Devon Hall heads to the basket in the Taipans' loss to the Wildcats at the weekend. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Devon Hall heads to the basket in the Taipans' loss to the Wildcats at the weekend. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

NBL strugglers searching for motivation

ENERGY and effort. It was obvious those two fundamental elements of the game were lacking for anyone watching the Cairns Taipans' 22-point loss to Perth on Sunday night, their 10th on the bounce.

And, straight after the defeat, rookie coach Mike Kelly and experienced point guard Jarrod Kenny acknowledged as much.

"It was more so the fact that we did not bring the energy, being professionals, that is your calling card," said Kenny, who has 12 points in the defeat against his old club.

"Mike can't motivate us to play hard every game, that is on us.

"That is just something we spoke about and something we need to work on."

The struggling playing group held a lengthy discussion in the rooms straight after the game, which started with the players before the coaching staff arrived.

Head coach of the Cairns Taipans, Mike Kelly speaks to his players during the Round 8 NBL match between Perth Wildcats and Cairns Taipans at Perth Arena in Perth, Sunday, December 9, 2018. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Head coach of the Cairns Taipans, Mike Kelly speaks to his players during the Round 8 NBL match between Perth Wildcats and Cairns Taipans at Perth Arena in Perth, Sunday, December 9, 2018. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

With the New Zealand Breakers, who are 4-8 and are second last on the NBL ladder, on the way to the Far North this Sunday, Kelly challenged his players to display more energy and effort if they are going to get back on the winners list.

"Energy solves a lot of things, and effort," the first-year coach said.

"This group has been great all season, even through some tough losses.

"This is disappointing, so to shoot from the hip after a disappointing loss is not smart.

"That's why we don't have too many team meetings after a tough loss but today there was a real feeling that we have to be better at some things.

"It doesn't say we have answers, but I want to digest it again.

"The obvious things are energy and effort, from all of us, we can be better at that."

PERTH, AUSTRALIA — DECEMBER 09: Devon Hall of the Taipans passes the ball during the round eight NBL match between the Perth Wildcats and the Cairns Taipans at RAC Arena on December 09, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
PERTH, AUSTRALIA — DECEMBER 09: Devon Hall of the Taipans passes the ball during the round eight NBL match between the Perth Wildcats and the Cairns Taipans at RAC Arena on December 09, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Import point guard Melo Trimble had the quietest game of his NBL career, recording season lows in points, just eight on 2-9 shooting, and minutes, just under 26.

The Breakers will travel to Cairns for the first time this season in Round 9 following a 71-70 defeat at the hands of Sydney on Sunday.

Former Snake Jarrad Weeks top scored for the Breakers with 19 points off the bench, including 12 in the final quarter.