Hudson uncertain starter after blow to face
The Breakers are awaiting the result of concussion tests on dazed backup centre Will Hudson to determine if he will play in Thursday’s suddenly important NBL clash against the Cairns Taipans at Vector.
Hudson took an inadvertent elbow to the face early in Saturday night’s 75-62 defeat to the Sydney Kings and was unable to re-enter the game.
It’s thought the American suffered concussion from the blow and was certainly the worse for wear as the team travelled home, a badly swollen and bruised eye area leaving little doubt about the extent of the damage done.
Coach Andrej Lemanis was not sure today whether he would have Hudson available for the Taipans’ visit, with so much depending on the result of tests.
“He’s doing concussion tests now and that will determine how he goes,” said Lemanis after a grim-faced training session.
There was no ranting and raving from Lemanis after the Breakers shot a woeful 34 per cent from the floor against a Kings side who badly exposed the New Zealand club’s lack of urgency.
That’s simply not Lemanis’, or the club’s, style.
Nor was there any finger-pointing after the starters combined for just 27 points on an abysmal nine-of-42 shooting night. Again, that’s not how the back-to-back league champions roll.
What there was out at the club’s Atlas Place headquarters was a steely acknowledgement that what they produced at Sydney’s Olympic venue on Saturday night was not good enough.
The defeat dropped the Breakers to 8-3 and into second place after their great rivals the Perth Wildcats moved on to the same mark following their overtime victory at the Adelaide 36ers.
“We’ve just got to come out and play well,” said Lemanis.
“The way we started against Sydney wasn’t ideal, but I thought the bench did a good job of helping us work our way back into the game.
“It was just one of those things where sometimes the bounce of the ball didn’t quite allow us to get back into the game. But that’s behind us now and we’ve got to come out and play well and get after it.”
There would be no knee-jerk reaction to the starters’ off night, confirmed Lemanis.
“They shot nine-of-41. It’s one game - you don’t read too much into that. It’s about how you come out and play this week now,” added Lemanis.
“Defensively we weren’t as disruptive as we were the game before and that’s a big part of how we play. We’ve got to get back to being a disruptive defensive team.”
Lemanis did confirm the club was looking at its protocols after travel changes brought about by a change of carrier this season.
The move from Australian airline Qantas to Air New Zealand meant the team were getting into some cities much earlier than they were used to.
The club believes arriving some time around 6pm on the day before a game was ideal.
“Maybe we’ve just got to manage our time a little better when we’re there," added Lemanis.
"We’ve got to make sure we’re doing the best thing as a staff to put us in a good place to come out mentally ready to go.”
The Breakers certainly appeared flat in Sydney on Saturday night and were lacking an edge when they travelled to Perth last month.
But, as Lemanis pointed out, with a 3-2 road record there was no need for any panic buttons to be depressed. This club hasn’t lost its mojo on the back of one lackluster game.
Equally, it’s important they get things back on track against the Taipans. With four straight away games to follow over the holiday season, they desperately need to restore confidence levels.