The Taipans have had a couple of disappointing and underachieving seasons since making the NBL grand final that they lost to the New Zealand Breakers in 2010/11, but that certainly looks capable of changing even though it's only Round 1 of the 2013/14 campaign.
Coach Aaron Fearne has assembled a well balanced, experienced and talented squad made up of import guards Jamar Wilson and Demetri McCarney, and two/three men Cameron Gliddon, Stephen Weigh and Clint Steindl.
Then there is Cairns' great strength in the big men department with Alex Loughton, Cameron Tragardh, Matt Burston and youngster Mitch Young.
That all adds up to Cairns being well equipped in all departments and it all clicked nicely on Saturday night in Townsville with the Taipans leading all night at The Swamp to win the Reptile Rumble comfortably by 11 points.
Townsville led the contest 21-20 late in the opening period, but that was the Crocs' last lead of the evening with Cairns gaining the ascendancy and opening up a lead of as much as 18 points before eventually winning by 11 at the final buzzer.
Wilson led the way for the Taipans with 27 points on a supremely impressive 11-of-15 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
The point guard also had five rebounds, three assists and two steals as he showed that he could very well return to the form that made him an MVP candidate two seasons ago before a slightly below par 2012/13.
Taipans skipper Loughton was also terrific with 17 points and six rebounds while Tragardh hit 14 points, McCarney 11, Gliddon nine, Burston eight and Steindl eight in a strong all-round performance from the whole squad.
While there is plenty to still suggest the Crocs will be competitive this season under new coach Shawn Dennis and with Boomer Peter Crawford to still return from injury, but overall it was a disappointing home opener.
The Crocodiles were in danger of slipping into extinction over the off-season until the community of Townsville rallied to save the club, but a disappointing first-up home crowd of a well below capacity 3265 turned out to open the new campaign against the traditional rivals in a Reptile Rumble.
Experienced point guard Steve Markovic has returned to Australia after successful stints in Europe and had a solid showing for the Crocs with 15 points and four assists while hitting 3-of-6 from three-point territory.
Import Josh Pace was solid with 15 points as well while Todd Blanchfield had 14 points and physical big man Brian Conklin 12. Jacob Holmes worked hard for 12 points and six rebounds with experienced big man Greg Vanderjagt finishing with eight points and six boards.
NBL Round 1 will conclude on Sunday when the Sydney Kings host the Melbourne Tigers at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.