Pledger becoming target for refs - Lemanis

Last updated 05:00 16/11/2012
Alex Pledger STD
CHANCE: Pledger needs to improve or be whistled out the game.

Relevant offers


NZ Breakers coach Paul Henare demands better after lacklustre effort in Adelaide Adelaide 36ers too strong for NZ Breakers in ANBL opener Revamped ANBL tips off with Aussie teams looking to break Kiwi stranglehold Cedric Jackson, Mika Vukona the keys in NZ Breakers' ANBL title defence Back problems likely to keep Steven Adams out of OKC Thunder's pre-season opener Australian NBA star Andrew Bogut drops 10kg in off-season after cutting sugar from his diet NZ Breakers newcomer Shane McDonald ready to unleash his tricks ANBL players poll picks NZ Breakers to go all the way again in 2015-16 NZ Breakers head to ANBL season opener without Tom Abercrombie, Alex Pledger Corey Webster quiet as New Orleans Pelicans launch NBA pre-season

Towering Breakers centre Alex Pledger isn't quite in the endangered species category, but his coach thinks it's worth sounding a warning.

Pledger and the Adelaide 36ers' Luke Schenscher, who both stand 2.16m, are the only "seven-footers" left in the Australian NBL and ahead of tonight's game against the Townsville Crocodiles at Vector, Lemanis has issued a "fair go" plea on his big man's behalf.

The Breakers coach was prompted to do so after reviewing the video of last Saturday's 73-54 victory over the Cairns Taipans where Pledger picked up three early offensive fouls to effectively be chopped off at the knees.

What worries Lemanis is that true big men like Pledger - in his first season as a starter - risk being whistled out of games unless they're allowed to play the same way as everyone else.

Already there's a trend for "small-ball" developing in the NBA, led by champions Miami Heat who have had considerable success playing without a true centre. Others have quickly followed suit.

Lemanis would like to think there would always be a place for a dominant, multi-skilled true big man.

"One of the things we've seen in this league before is big guys who try to play big sometimes get into foul trouble by guards taking advantage of it . . . the league has spoken a lot about flopping and taking that out of the game," he said.

"For big guys to continue to play in this league and be effective they need to be refereed like everyone else. They can't suddenly be penalised just for being more powerful or taller than somebody else.

"Certainly you see in the NBA, Dwight Howard ends up shooting 20 foul shots.

"If you have an advantage, you have an advantage because you're good and the game is refereed the same for everybody."

The Breakers should take care of business against the struggling Crocs who have lost 10 straight stretching back to the semifinal opener they won at Vector in March.

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

How do you expect the Breakers to perform in this season's Australian NBL?

Last season was a blip, they'll be champions once again

They'll go close to another title, beaten finalists I'd say

Playoffs for sure, but can't see them going any further

Not too excited, they'll miss the playoffs again

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content