Master and apprentice key match-up

Nuggets point guard Tai Webster will miss tonight’s game against the Bulls after being suspended....
Nuggets point guard Tai Webster will miss tonight’s game against the Bulls after being suspended. PHOTO: BLAKE ARMSTRONG
The teacher and the student. The master and the apprentice.

Whatever analogy you want to use, Jack Andrew and Sam Timmins are in for a big battle tonight.

Otago Nuggets centre Andrew is raring to match up against his former captain-turned Franklin Bulls centre Timmins in the top-of-the-table clash in Auckland.

But the Nuggets will be without Tai Webster, who has been suspended for one game after a scuffle with Wellington Saints guard Lat Mayen during Saturday’s game in Dunedin.

Webster was deemed to have pushed Mayen in the head during a heated discussion in the opening quarter by the league’s game review commissioner.

The low-level head contact came with a one-game suspension and a $600 fine, but Webster entered an early guilty plea and the fine was rescinded.

Nuggets coach Brent Matehaere had no comment on Webster’s punishment.

Instead, he looked forward to seeing Andrew and Timmins match up tonight.

Andrew leads the league in offensive rebounds (16) and Timmins leads in blocks (10).

"I’m looking forward to seeing, I guess, the mentor and the apprentice go at it," Matehaere said.

"Jack’s really looking forward to the challenge.

"I think the challenge for Jack is that he actually just does what he does and not worry about anything else.

"Certainly looking forward to see how he responds ... but there’s so [many] more other aspects of the game that are important as well and we’re making sure we give attention to those."

The Nuggets and the Bulls match up well against each other and are both unbeaten after three games.

The Bulls come into the game after a big 101-83 win over the Manawatu Jets at the weekend.

But the Nuggets were sublime in their 105-98 win over the third-placed Wellington Saints.

"We found out a little bit more about ourselves and found out when we can knuckle down on defence and get stops, we’re a really effective basketball team.

"The defence side of the ball is probably the most important for us. We seem to be able to score the ball quite well and have talented players.

"So making sure that we can stop other teams gives us a real good chance of getting wins."

That defensive pressure will be paramount against the Bulls, who have proven they are strong with the ball in hand.

"They’re one of the better offensive teams in the league, so they’re scoring on most possessions that they get down the court and they have weapons right across the board.

"They’re quite a tall team as well. They’ve got a lot of tall guards, so they match up kind of well with us."

Dontae Russo-Nance is still unavailable for the Nuggets due to injury.