Sydney Kings’ Gaze has rebound conundrum

Sydney Kings’ Gaze has rebound conundrum

Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze wants his side to stop giving away so many offensive rebounds.Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze said he thinks his players may be relying too heavily on Andrew Bogut in defence and admits that he doesn't know what to do about it.
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The Kings have won four of their past five games despite giving up a massive advantage in offensive rebounds in each contest.

In those five games the Kings have conceded 86 offensive rebounds at an average of 17.2 per game and grabbed only 47 (at 9.4 per game) themselves.

"I basically conceded to the fellas that I feel a little helpless because I don't exactly know how to fix it," Gaze said after the Kings come-from-behind one-point win in Perth on Friday night.

"I know there are drills you can do; I know there are box out drills and we went through a big video session this week, exclusively on that particular area.

"It's not just our bigs. Boges leads the league in rebounds, he's doing an unbelievable job. But we're inconsistent in that area."

Gaze said the situation Sydney is in is similar to when he was playing with Mark Bradke at the Melbourne Tigers.

He said that guys like Bradke and Bogut pull down rebounds in defence so often that teammates can take them for granted.

Perth's Nick Kay (six offensive rebounds) and Angus Brandt (four) combined for two more offensive boards than the whole Sydney side on Friday night. Perth scored 25 second chance points to the Kings 11.

The Wildcats led for most of the game on the back of their 21 offensive rebounds to the Kings eight.

The Kings were able to pinch the win thanks to their 11 three-pointers, scored 55 per cent, including David Wear's, with just 11 seconds left on the clock.

Gaze is hoping not to have to rely on last minute long-shots to win in the future.

"There might be something in the players' psyche, that because we have that big presence in there we are going to be OK; we're not OK in that area and we have to fix it," he said.

"If we could just tidy up that part of our game, then we feel like we would have an advantage.

"When you don't do that, you need an unbelievable last play in order to get the win."



Lyon reinforces value in tight Perth spell

Lyon reinforces value in tight Perth spell

n bowler Nathan Lyon could be crucial in the second Test against India, Aaron Finch says.Nathan Lyon continues to be Mr Dependable for , tying down India's premier batsmen in a compelling session of Test cricket in Perth.
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The offspinner's battle with Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara concluded with India 2-70 in their first innings, in reply to 's 326, at tea on day two.

Lyon's figures for the session - 10 overs, three maidens, 49 dot balls and 0-16 - reinforced his ability to tie down an end, giving Tim Paine the freedom to rotate quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

Arguably the only loose delivery Lyon sent down came in his final over when Kohli capitalised on the full-pitched ball and unleashed a trademark cover drive for four.

Kohli, who was unbeaten on 37 at tea on Saturday, had far greater success against Hazlewood, taking 13 runs from one of the metronomic paceman's overs.

While the pitch has been relatively tame on day two, the variable bounce on offer the previous day highlighted the key role Lyon could play later in the Test.

Having lost offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin to an abdominal strain, India face the prospect of batting last on a deteriorating pitch.

"I think the bounce that Nathan will get will be crucial on this wicket," opener Aaron Finch said.

"He talks about how much more effective he is when you do have that bounce because you can get guys caught on the crease; it brings in your bat-pad and your leg slip.

"No doubt he'll be excited by it."

Lyon also continued his much-improved batting form, compiling his fourth straight unbeaten score - a streak which includes knocks of 24 and 38 during the first Test in Adelaide.



Qld Cyclone Owen downgraded to low system

Qld Cyclone Owen downgraded to low system

The worst of the weather in north Queensland is over as ex-tropical Cyclone Owen moves to the east.The Owen cyclone system moving over Queensland's north has been downgraded to a tropical low but severe weather and flood warnings remain in place.
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The system weakened as it tracked south-easterly across the far north after crossing near remote Kowanyama as a category 3 cyclone early on Saturday, bringing winds of 120km/h.

Owen was downgraded to a category 2 system later in the morning and revised down again to a tropical low by 4pm.

Residents in inland areas of the far north are still facing wind gusts up to 85km/h and heavy rainfall.

Kowanyama escaped the brunt of the storm when it crossed to their south in the southeast part of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

"Everything's still intact. I'm pretty happy," Kowanyama mayor Michael Yam told AAP.

"It was a bit scary when it was heading straight towards as a category 3, but everything's back to normal. I thought we'd get a bit more rain out of it.

"But we're always well prepared. My community takes it very seriously."

The now ex-cyclone system was moving at 21km/h towards more populated areas and was expected to reach Ingham and Innisfail early on Sunday before running parallel down the east coast over the next 24-48 hours.

Potentially damaging winds and flash flooding, with possible falls of 100-200mm within a six-hour period, continue to pose a risk.

"Please do not be complacent, particularly in that northeast tropics area where the rains will continue," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Katarina Carroll said.

"It's a heavily saturated area from the past week or so, and there may be flash flooding."

A severe weather warning was in place for the north tropical coast, tablelands, peninsula, northern goldfields and surrounding areas.

Residents were being warned to check with authorities before leaving shelters to "sight-see", with the risk of hazards including fallen trees, power lines, debris and structural damage to infrastructure.



Flash flooding in outer Melbourne

Flash flooding in outer Melbourne

More storms and flooding have hit parts of Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.Flash floods have caused havoc for some in Melbourne this afternoon, with flash flooding turning backyards, suburban streets and ponds into gushing rivers.
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A Christmas party at a Pakenham housing estate in the city's outer southeast was called off Saturday afternoon when heavy rainfall halted celebrations.

Organiser Samantha Thorpe said a little pond nearby became "like a raging river".

"It has never happened like this before."

Just as amazingly, Ms Thorpe said, within an hour of the deluge, the water had drained away and the sun was shining, as if it hadn't happened.

A general severe thunderstorm warning remains in place for most of the state - Central, East Gippsland, South West, North Central, West and South Gippsland, Wimmera, parts of the Mallee and Northern Country districts.

Thunderstorms lashing parts of Victoria have seen up to 13mm of rain fall every five minutes in the early hours of Saturday and a severe weather warning is also in place for parts of Victoria including Shepparton, Seymour, Castlemaine, Kyneton, Ballarat and Wangaratta.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said the bad weather had been widespread.

"There weren't too many parts of the state that have been spared the impact of the weather event we've seen over the past 48 hours," he said on Saturday.

Bureau of Meteorology's Kevin Parkyn said intense storms and heavy rain were expected to continue in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon and night.

He said the relatively rare weather conditions could bring flash flooding too.

In the 24 hours from 7am on Friday the SES received 693 requests for assistance across the state, with 123 of those calls from the Malvern area.

Most calls were about flooding or building damage.

Other areas badly affected included Bacchus Marsh, Port Phillip, Wyndham and Hobsons Bay.

The SES also took part in 25 rescues on Friday night - all people trapped in cars in floodwaters.

SES spokeswoman Susan Davie said it wasn't clear how those people got trapped, but said it would be a combination of some driving into flood water and others who would have got stuck in the flash flood.

"We just want to remind people to never drive through flood waters, it's hard to assess the depth of the water," she told AAP.



Fourth victim of Strasbourg attack dies

Fourth victim of Strasbourg attack dies

Strasbourg's cherished outdoor Christmas market draws more than 2 million visitors each year.A fourth person has died from their wounds following Tuesday's Strasbourg Christmas market shooting, the Paris prosecutor's office says.
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"The person had been fighting for their life," an official in the prosecutor's office said on Friday.

Gunman Cherif Chekatt, 29, was killed in the Neudorf neighbourhood of Strasbourg on Thursday night after firing on police, ending a two-day manhunt that involved more than 700 members of the security forces.

The city's traditional Christmas market was reopened under heavy security on Friday.

Stall-holder Bernard Kuntz said the market was reopening just in time for struggling business owners.

"We were getting worried. Some of the guys have taken out loans to be here, and we've already lost two days," he said.

Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries said the attack was indisputably an act of terrorism.

Strasbourg's cherished Christmas market is a target full of religious symbolism, and the killings have evoked France's difficulties in integrating western Europe's largest Muslim minority and dealing with homegrown militants inspired by Islamic State.

Ries expressed relief that Chekatt had been killed and said everyone in Strasbourg, on eastern France's Rhine river border with Germany, felt the same.

French troops, who have been used to bolster national security since a wave of Islamic State-inspired attacks began in France in 2015, stood guard at the open-air market.

"I think it will help to get back to a life that I would describe as normal," Ries told reporters after the news that Chekatt had been killed.

"With the death of this terrorist ... citizens, like me, are relieved."

Islamic State claimed Chekatt as one of its soldiers, saying he carried out the operation in response to calls for citizens of coalition countries that are fighting the militant group.

IS provided no evidence for the claim and French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called it "opportunistic".

"Nothing indicates that (Chekatt) was part of a network. There is nothing to suggest that he was being protected by such, but the investigation is not yet over," Castaner told Europe 1.

He described Chekatt as a long-time delinquent whose Islamic beliefs were radicalised during previous periods in prison.

Police were still interrogating seven associates on Friday, including Chekatt's parents, to determine whether he had accomplices.

France ramped up its security threat to its highest level after Chekatt struck late on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe promised an extra 1800 troops would be put on patrols with a special focus on Christmas markets.

The outdoor market in Strasbourg, centred around a towering Christmas Tree in Place Kleber, draws more than 2 million visitors each year.

Christmas markets have been a feature of the Alsatian city since the early 15th century.

The Strasbourg shooting was the latest in a succession of attacks linked to Islamist militancy in France going back to 2012.

Since January 2015, more than 240 people have been killed in attacks on French soil, most of them in 2015-16.