Boomers v Tall Blacks: Game 2 PREVIEW

Boomers v Tall Blacks: Game 2 PREVIEW

BOOMERS coach Brett Brown may look to NBA big man Nathan Jawai to solve his team's rebounding woes in its vital series against New Zealand, writes Adrian Warren for the Australian Associated Press.

Brown is likely to return Jawai to the starting line-up when the teams meet in Tuesday's Oceania Men's Championship return clash.

Australia – which took a hard-fought 84-77 victory in game 1 on Sunday – was surprisingly beaten on the boards by the Tall Blacks, losing the rebound count 45-31.

Brown's front-court plans were "thrown into a little bit of a tailspin" by a heel injury to Mark Worthington, who will also miss Tuesday's game in Wellington.

He opted to start 208cm Jawai on the bench after consulting the Dallas Mavericks player about his role in the team.

Brown has identified rebounding as the major problem he needs to fix before the rematch and said his first inclination was to look at a bigger starting line-up.

"We have to compete on the boards, I thought there was a tenacity that they got the better of us for the large majority of the game," Brown told reporters.

While he was looking at a bigger starting five, Brown said he was unlikely to use both Jawai and 208cm forward Aron Baynes together as they would crowd each other.

AJ Ogilvy, the tallest player in the squad at 210cm, collected a couple of early fouls on Sunday, which brought Jawai into the game quickly.

"I didn't have much of a great game and I've been starting since I've been on tour (in South America), so I've don't know, will just see what happens when I get to New Zealand," Jawai said.

Jawai accumulated 17 points on 5-of-15 field-goal shooting and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds in just over 22 minutes.

However, no other Australian grabbed more than five boards, with the lion-hearted 193cm Mika Vukona proving particularly pesky as he collected 10 rebounds.

"They got a heap (15) of offensive rebounds, Mika is an animal," Boomers guard Adam Gibson said.

"With our size that shouldn't be happening, so we would definitely look at that and take care of that on Tuesday."

New Zealand coach Nenad Vucinic said his team needed to "take care of the little things" heading into Tuesday's game.

"We need to make sure that they don't get anything out of transition because that's what basically killed us right throughout the game," Vucinic told reporters.

"I think in the half court situation we didn't really have too much trouble with their game, but offensively we need to make sure that we execute much better."

New Zealand will look to contain SA-raised Joe Ingles, who top-scored with 26 on Sunday, while the Tall Blacks will be looking for another big performance from Kirk Penney, who helped himself to 23 points.

Game 2 of the 2009 FIBA Oceania Championship at TSB Arena in Wellington tips off at 7:30pm local time.

Australian fans can tune in to FOX Sports 3 at 5:00pm AEST to watch the game.

CLICK HERE to go to an NZ One News preview of the game