The Cairns Taipans and Sydney Kings may be the hottest rivalry in the National Basketball League.
Cairns Taipans coach Aaron Fearne says he expects another physical encounter against the ladder leading Sydney Kings tonight at home.
The Kings and Taipans three games this season have been heated affairs - none more so than their last match when Sydney’s Aleks Maric put Mark Worthington in a chokehold.
But Fearne says scoring against Kings big men Greg Whittington and Josh Powell is his main concern.
“We’ve got to find a way to score the ball a little better against them. All three games against them have been very low scoring,” he says.
“I think it’ll be a really physical, competitive, fired up game. There will probably be some pushing and shoving … it will be what it will be.
“Our crowd will be fired up from the big blue we had last time. I’m sure you guys [media] will talk about it a lot and it’ll be fun.”
The Kings high-powered backcourt will cause plenty of havoc with Jason Cadee enjoying a career year alongside Kevin Lisch.
“You can’t just target one guy. I don’t think you can stop everybody,” Fearne says.
“You just pick a few guys you want to make life difficult for but they’ve got weapons everywhere.
“They’ve got a lot of game breakers.”
The Taipans play the Adelaide 36ers at home again on Monday but import Fuquan Edwin says the aim is to topple the Kings first.
“We’re just focused on the first game trying to get ready for Sydney,” Edwin says.
“I like the feeling of playing at home in front of our crowd. It’s good energy.”
Edwin says fellow import Travis Trice has trained solidly coming off a 24-point performance against the Brisbane Bullets.
“He takes pressure off of the guys and he’s been doing pretty well,” he says.