Bullets keen to get a handle on Randle
BASKETBALL: The Brisbane Bullets have a clear goal when they are hosted by the Adelaide 36ers tonight - stopping the NBL's leading scorer Jerome Randle.
The American is a clear and present danger for the Bullets, who are determined to continue the momentum that began with wins over Sydney and Cairns last week.
Randle led a late-game fightback when the sides met in Brisbane in round two, helping to turn an 11-point last-quarter deficit into a thrilling 96-93 overtime win as he downed 34 points.
"Our focus is obviously going to be slowing down their transition, getting ahead of guys like Randle and keeping him in front of us as best as we can,” Bullets forward Daniel Kickert said.
"I don't think there is an easy way to do it. He's obviously a really dynamic player. He gets to pick and choose a lot of areas of his game because of his speed.
"But I think it's a concerted team effort, making him be a scorer and be a shooter instead of a scorer and a distributor.
"Keeping him in front of us and making his shots a little more difficult, finishing around the rim and being contested - that's a lot better than letting him settle for jump shots.
"We'll do our best to contain him.”
Adelaide has lost its past three games, against New Zealand, Perth and Illawarra, and sits second last on the ladder with a 3-5 win-loss record, but the Bullets are still wary.
"They've got five guys out there now playing as hard as anyone else in the league,” Kickert said of the 36ers.
"Instead of trying to match their energy, (we'll) use our experience to wear them down and try and keep our legs.”
Though overrun last round by the Hawks, Adelaide regains Daniel Johnson (hamstring) from injury, and will be confident of bouncing back.
Also tonight, the Sydney Kings will be out to turn the tables on Perth after losing their Thursday night battle 93-80 - and losing top spot on the ladder to the Wildcats.
Tonight: 36ers v Bullets 4.30pm; Kings v Wildcats 6.30pm (times AEST).