Action Jackson stats leave Taipans spent
MEET Cedric Jackson, the man who is singlehandedly almost as effective as three quarters of the Cairns Taipans' team.
On Saturday night at the Cairns Convention Centre, Jackson led the way as the New Zealand Breakers delivered the Taipans a third-straight home loss.
The stat line was not eye-popping -- but when compared against three-quarters of the Taipans team it shows just how bad the Cairns performance was.
The Breakers import played almost 33 minutes, hitting 9-of-15 from the field (60 per cent), with 20 points, twelve assists and two steals.
Taking out Cam Tragardh and Jamar Wilson, who scored the bulk of Cairns' points, the rest of the Taipans played 140 minutes, hit an abysmal 7-of-39 from the field (18 per cent), scored 25 points, with four assists and three steals.
That's right: Alex Loughton, Brad Hill, Cameron Gliddon, Kerry Williams, Shane Edwards, Aaron Grabau, Clint Steindl, Dusty Rychart and Shaun Bruce combined for five points more than one Breaker.
The group had one-third as many assists (even with Tragardh and Wilson, the Taipans assist total was five fewer than Jackson's), one more steal and two fewer buckets from the field.
None of this will be news to coach Aaron Fearne or the Taipans team, who were clearly dejected after the lowly performance.
"We've got some talent," Fearne said in the post-game press conference.
"But talent doesn't mean jack if we can't play together and move the ball and know what we need to do and play your role and we're just short of the mark.
"We're just not good enough right now."
Tragardh, perhaps a lone bright spot on an otherwise dark night for Cairns, struggled for answers.
"We're all in there, but it's just so deflating when you have two or three goes at it and miss and they sort of smack it out of there to Cedric and he's off and they run in the lay-up," he said.
While the Taipans' offensive woes certainly helped, Jackson said he was able to find holes in the defence.
"I felt pretty comfortable out there just taking what the defence gave me," he said.
"They were running under the screen very low so I just told our bigs to just keep rolling and then when they switched it was a mismatch and we just started using their own defence against them."
After the game Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis heralded Jackson the best point guard in the league.
"We've seen growth in Cedric from this year to last year in his ability to influence games," he said.
"He can do it on the defensive end, he can get key steals, he can shut people down. Offensively he can get people in the lane. He's been shooting the ball with confidence this year and he's shooting well."
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Taipans bitten: Aaron Grabau during the loss to the Breakers. Picture: MIKE WATT