NBL: Cairns Taipans looking for answers as losses mount

Cairns Taipans coach Mike Kelly has challenged his players to display more energy and effort in next Sunday's NBL clash against the New Zealand Breakers.

The Taipans lost their 10th consecutive game of the season on Sunday, a dramatic drip after winning the season-opener.

They started poorly against the league leaders Perth, in Perth - a deficiency not many teams recover from when facing the Wildcats.

They lost by 22 points.

Despite a lengthy discussion in the rooms after the game, which started with the players before the coaching staff arrived, Kelly conceded that he doesn't yet have any answers to why they performed so badly.

"Energy solves a lot of things ... and effort," he 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."

When dissecting the game, Kelly's review of the first half will be ruthless.

The Taipans conceded four fouls in the opening three minutes and gave Perth 15 free throws in the first half.

Cairns didn't score one point from a turnover before half-time when the score was already difficult to manage, at 52-38.

But Kelly will take some positives from the third term when DJ Newbill got off the leash and scored 10 of his 17 points, despite missing two free throws.

Having conceded 13 fouls in the first half, the Taipans played mainly a zone defence in the second and committed only five more.

The Taipans trailed by 19 points midway through the term, but by only 13 at the last break. And they had some momentum.

"It just goes to show, even three minutes of solid defence helps your team do good things," Kelly said.

"The lead ballooned a little bit then DJ got rolling and bought the team with him for a little while.

"It's something we can build on, but something that we should have all the time."