Cotton in frame to take on Taipans
PERTH Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson has not ruled out NBL MVP Bryce Cotton returning for tomorrow’s home clash with Cairns.
“It’s just being comfortable with the ball in his hand and obviously it’s his shooting hand, so I don’t want him getting out there where he’s a bit timid with that,” Gleeson said.
The Sydney Kings beat the Wildcats 77-72 in Sydney on Thursday.
Even though the Kings ended the ladder-leading Wildcats’ seven-match winning streak, Gleeson still took positives out of the game.
Guard Damian Martin, in his first game since October 27 because of a calf injury, showed his trademark determination.
With star import Cotton’s injured thumb not improving enough for him to play, and Mitch Norton having limited time after getting injured on Boomers duty earlier in the week, Martin played more than half the game.
He helped restrict prolific Sydney guard Jerome Randle to a season-low eight points and was instrumental in the Wildcats’ second-half fightback.
“You’ve got to love Damo, don’t you, when it’s all said and done,” Gleeson said.
“He’s going to have a statue in probably every stadium in Perth.
“He just plays with so much passion and intensity out there and he does all the intangible stuff that doesn’t come out on the stat sheet.
“It’s the deflections, it’s the leadership, it’s just the level he plays at.
“He’s going to go down as one of the best players ever from the NBL.”
Perth won the rebound count 44-29, Clint Steindl scored 16 off the bench and Boomers forward Nick Kay was prominent down the stretch, finishing with 17 points on seven from 11 field goal shooting.
“Nick is just a workhorse, he’s fantastic out there, we’ve got to get him the ball a little bit more,” Gleeson said.