Bradtke confident he can help Kings' rebounding woes

Mark Bradtke knows a bit about rebounds, having pulled in an NBL record 6283 during a storied career.

In coming days he will share the secrets of dominating the boards with Sydney as they attempt address the area of the game that has let them down the most. The Kings have have been dominated in the middle during a 1-4 start to the season as they prepare to keep their campaign alive against an equally desperate Hawks outfit at Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday.

Enter Bradtke.

The four-time Olympian, whose career included multiple NBL championships and a stint in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, has accepted an invitation to help Sydney address their rebounding woes via specialists' sessions from next week. While the focus will be on the big men, Bradtke is looking to share his knowledge with the whole squad to ensure it reaches its potential.

"I you're talking about the defensive end and the rebounding, it's not just the bigs, it's about everyone being accountable," Bradtke said.

"It's about how you help your teammate out. The bigs might be doing a good job blocking out, but then the guards let their men through. It could be that the guards are penetrating too easily, the bigs help out and then they dish out to a player who is left [open].

"It's all those bits and pieces you need to work out.

"If I can help out in any way with Andrew [Gaze] or Lanard [Copeland] with the Kings, I've always said I'm happy to do that."

The Kings' sole victory this season has been against Sunday's opponents, the Hawks. The common denominator throughout the losses has been their weak defence inside and their inability to compete on the boards. Both were Bradtke's specialty. The former 36ers, Tigers and Bullets centre believes the Kings have the ability to turn things around and is looking forward to working with the likes of Isaac Humphries, Amritpal Singh and Dane Pineau.

"There's not a huge science to rebounding, it's about effort levels," he said.

"You have to set expectations. If you're playing a game, can you get one offensive rebound per quarter? You'd say to yourself that you could get one. So if six of the ten players taking the field in that quarter can get one each, then all of a sudden people are saying you're the greatest rebounding team of all time.

"The principles can be pretty simple. You have to make sure you're between your man and the basket at all times, so if the shot does go up you go out and chase that thing.

"If I was to offer advice to the young guys like Isaac and Dane and Singh - it's that you don't have to block every shot.

"You've got to learn what you are and what your opponent is. If someone is really quick, don't get up into their grill to force the drive, because that's what they want. So post them.

"If they haven't got a left hand, force them left. It's about doing an evaluation. If you keep it simple like that, you can be very effective."

Kings' general manager Jeff Van Gronigen has previously worked with Bradtke and said he and other luminaries will be brought into the fold to improve performances.

"For obvious reasons, because he's the all-time leading NBL rebounder, we've asked him to come and work with our guys," he said.

"It's an area we want to improve on and we want to expose our players to different voices in specialists in various areas."

This story Bradtke confident he can help Kings' rebounding woes first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.