Taipans players starting to bond
THE Taipans playing group have started to take the mickey out of each other and captain Alex Loughton see's that as a sign of positive things to come.
The leader behind the scenes and a key driver of the club's culture, Loughton believes the playing group was too tentative with each other in the early stages of season 2018-19.
Now, with a few jokes flying around at a teammates expense, the 35-year-old can feel a shift in the mood.
With a change in attitude among the group, the skipper is hoping it leads to a change of fortunes on the court as the Snakes sit at the foot of the ladder with a 1-8 record.
"Guys were a little tentative at the start of the season, thinking 'how is my season going to go individually and as a team'," Loughton said.
"Guys have been more honest, heated and aggressive on the court and they are not holding back now.
"It was a tentative style.
"Guys are now taking the mickey more and that is a sign of being relaxed.
"I feel like we have turned the corner over the break and I am looking forward to how we perform this Friday."
Loughton is all but assured of making his comeback from a sore ankle when Cairns host Illawarra on Friday evening.
He says the club was soft in defence when the Hawks claimed an upset win in the Far North earlier this season and need to be tough from the opening tip.
"I have felt really good this week - we have gone hard and I feel like I am in a good place for Friday's game," Loughton said on Sunday morning as the club held their Members Christmas Party at iPlay.
"With the bye, we managed the time as best we can with my ankle and it has pulled up well.
"I am really looking forward to Friday's game.
"I have rolled my ankle a couple of times before but this one had a little more spice to it."
NBL ROUND 8
Sydney v Perth
Cairns V Illawarra
Brisbane v Melbourne
New Zealand v Sydney
Perth v Cairns
Adelaide v Illawarra
Melbourne v Brisbane