Tragardh hopes to hit groove against old mates

NBL

Former Wollongong star Cam Tragardh is hoping for a change of luck when he returns to his old stomping ground tonight.

Tragardh was the Hawks' leading scorer when they reached the grand final series against Perth in 2010, only to leave the club and sign with Melbourne a few weeks after the season ended.

After two lean years with the Tigers, the man with the best low-post moves in the NBL, opted for another change of scenery, signing a three-year contract with the Cairns Taipans.

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But while Tragardh has been typically productive with 16.7 points per game (third in the league), he hasn't had many memorable nights against his former club.

The 29-year-old forward is determined to boost his winning record tonight against the Hawks.

"Playing the Hawks hasn't been a real happy hunting ground for me," he said. "I've certainly lost more than I've won and I haven't played very well traditionally against the Hawks.

"I'll need to be at my best to try and contribute. I'm sure they'll have a game plan for me when I get the ball, so I've been working all week on getting other guys involved and that's what I'll try and bring to the game.

"I'll be trying to get some of our guys who've been quiet into the game."

Of the Taipans' four losses, three have been on their home court.

But they have won two of three road games and fell a few points short of a third away victory against Adelaide.

"At the moment we're playing a lot looser on the road than we are at home," Tragardh said.

"When you have some guys who are new to the league, sometimes playing at home is tough, because you want to play really well for your parents or your girlfriend or the fans, and perhaps you try a bit too hard and you tense up a bit. That's what most of us are doing right now.

"I wouldn't say it's a major problem. We're just having a few hiccups at the offensive end. Everything will click eventually."

The Taipans were thrashed at home by New Zealand last week, while the Hawks went down by 14 to the Sydney Kings.

"Sydney did a pretty good job of disrupting them last week and we'll try and do the same," Tragardh said.

"They're so hard to guard. [Hawks coach] Gordie's [McLeod] such a smart coach. He's seen everything under the sun and it really is a challenge to keep him guessing and keep junking things up to try and break their rhythm.

"If you break their rhythm you're a chance, but if you don't you're a chance of having 100 put on you.

"We know we're playing the most well-drilled team in the league. They're very deadly, especially at home where they play with a little extra confidence."

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