Agent Orange: Never too early for Taipans to count their chickens
According to the internet, former American President Abe Lincoln maybe once said: “don’t count your chickens until after you get home from the theatre”.
Sadly, Honest Abe never got the chance to count those imaginary chickens. The lesson we learn from his lax poultry computation is, naturally, to count those chickens before they hatch vigorously and often.
In that spirit, only one game into the Taipans 2018-19 campaign, and I think it’s reasonable to not only crown them championship favorites, but to award the MVP award to Melo Trimble, and Coach of The Year to Mike Kelly.
Too much? Maybe, but it’s hard not to get excited about the potential of this squad.
As rookie coaches go, Mr. Kelly’s debut was the best in Taipans history in terms of margin, but the size of the victory wasn’t as impressive as the nature of the victory. With the calm of a heavily sedated Jedi Master, Kelly deftly maneuvered his squad to counter everything the opposition threw at them.
He was playing chess, where others were playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with a bulimic semiaquatic mammal.
Outside of former Taipans superstar, and still very much a superstar Cam Gliddon, the Bullets looked like a squad that has spent most of the past month road tripping around the globe.
New Taipans import, Mr Romelo Delante Trimble, also put his name on the lips of NBL fans and into their Fantasy League rosters.
With the biggest points total of any Taipans rookie, Melo mercilessly carved up the Bullets offense like a hot knife through a room-temperature ice cream cake. He’s hit the ground running, and the promise that we haven’t seen his full powers on display just yet should put the fear of Odin in the hearts of opposition teams.
THIS SUNDAY: TAIPANS VS HAWKS
On the other end of the spectrum, last weekend couldn’t finish quickly enough for the Illawarra Hawks, the Taipans’ foe this weekend.
Where a record four overtimes were needed for Melbourne United to overcome the Hawks on Friday, only two quarters were needed to decide the winner when they travelled to Perth Sunday.
It was never going to end well for Illawarra after effectively playing an extra half of basketball, and then travelling to Perth in testing conditions (the NBL forgot to book them seats with extra leg room, so 7ft players were forced into aeronautical clown car conditions).
Bloodied and weary, they are still very dangerous foes. Former league MVP Brain Conklin, whose elbows put a number of dentists in new Mercedes during his last stay in the league, was a shining light for the Hawks with two very solid performances.
He is still very much the battleship he was before he was shipped off to Elbows Anonymous half way through his last NBL gig. Curtailing his bully ball will be the key to the Taipans success, and it just so happens that the Taipans have their very own human juggernaut to unleash, Nate Jawai.
The big man looks to have rediscovered that mix of gentle touch, raw power and even a mid range jumper. The potential of these two rampaging bulls going head to head tantalizes the basketball senses; hopefully the NBL officiating team doesn’t turn their duel into a symphony of whistles and let the big man rumble.
The first Taipans home game for this season should be a barnstormer, but hopefully not another four-overtime affair, I have to be home in time for the Bachelorette...
Buy your Taipans game tickets here, and don't miss the new Agent Orange column on TropicNow every Wednesday.