Sydney coach Shane Heal and Melbourne counterpart Chris Anstey couldn't turn down the chance to sign NBA-calibre imports.
The gamble to bring Sam Young (Sydney) and Mustapha Farrakhan (Melbourne) should pay off, but the chemistry of both teams isn't what it was two or three weeks ago.
Adelaide coach Joey Wright wasn't surprised both the Kings and the Tigers lost their first game with the new additions in place.
"If someone did a study on how many teams have won games with a new import, I'd like to see it, because I've never won a game with a new import - ever," Wright said.
"It's one of those chemistry things and getting people in the right place. All that stuff matters more than just having a dominant player who doesn't know anything about the competition or anything about the players on his team.
"You've gotta feel both those guys are gonna be special players in this league after a while."
Wollongong fans should get to WIN Entertainment Centre on Saturday night to see Young - who played 249 games in the NBA - in action.
Adelaide's Wright on the money
It’s often hard to put a finger on why one coach succeeds and the other doesn’t, but Adelaide’s Joey Wright certainly seems to possess a winning touch.
Wright won a title with the Brisbane Bullets and steered the Gold Coast Blaze into the play-offs a couple of times.
Ten games into his first season at Adelaide, he has guided the 36ers to second spot after six consecutive wins.
That’s not bad, considering the Sixers have finished dead last in three of the past four seasons and missed the play-offs in six of the past seven.
‘‘What we try and do, no matter who we play, is have a style of play, and we hold ourselves accountable to that style of play and not to our opponent,’’ Wright said.
‘‘If they’re not doing it in training or shoot around or anything we do, then we hold them accountable and it’s addressed.
‘‘We definitely address not having a let-down after a win, no matter what.’’
The Sixers will be tested in North Queensland this weekend.
They play Townsville on Friday night and back up 24 hours later against slumping Cairns.
Martin notches points milestone
Guard Rhys Martin racked up his 1000th point for the Hawks in last Friday’s 82-81 road loss to Adelaide.
Needing 11 points to reach 1000, Martin was his team’s best player, tallying 16 points, six assists and five rebounds.
The 27-year-old is on the brink of a much more significant milestone - becoming a first-time parent with wife Danielle.
Speaking of milestones, import Kevin Tiggs scored his 100th point for the Hawks against Adelaide.
Tiggs chipped in 13 off the bench, boosting his NBL total to 105 points.
Rotnei Clarke had a team-high 19 points against the 36ers, Oscar Forman finished with 16, while Dave Gruber added seven points and eight rebounds.
Cats lead the pack
The Hawks weren’t the only team to be slaughtered under the boards last weekend.
Wollongong were out-rebounded 48-31 in Friday’s 82-81 road loss to Adelaide, while Perth smashed Cairns 48-30 under the glass in Saturday’s 85-75 overtime win.
The Wildcats remain on top of the ladder with a 10-1 record.
‘‘Our first overtime and our first real test, and I was really pleased at how we responded,’’ Cats captain Damian Martin said.
‘‘The big-time players step up in those situations.’’
No-one stepped up more than Perth import James Ennis (33 points, eight rebounds).
‘‘We came out slow and fumbling but the resilience and will to win showed again,’’ Perth coach Trevor Gleeson said.
‘‘I was happy with how the guys responded in overtime and made a lot of plays.’’