Pledger becoming target for refs - Lemanis

MARC HINTON
Last updated 05:00 16/11/2012
Alex Pledger STD
NATASHA MARTIN/Fairfax NZ
CHANCE: Pledger needs to improve or be whistled out the game.

Relevant offers

Basketball

LeBron James comes good as Cleveland Cavaliers close on NBA finals Wellington Saints face run of home games in NBL after going top of competition Stephen Curry sizzles as Golden State Warriors take 3-0 lead over Rockets Hawke's Bay Hawks beat Canterbury Rams in NBL with huge final quarter Kyle Korver out of Atlanta Hawks injured for the rest of NBA playoffs Southland Sharks win NBL shootout against Taranaki Mountain Airs Wellington Saints maintain the upper hand over Nelson Giants in NBL Cleveland Cavaliers far too classy for Atlanta Hawks as they take 2-0 NBA series lead Lakers star Kobe Bryant expected to step away after next season Saints' Leon Henry dons protective mask in bid to return

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