Hungry Jack's NBL
Illawarra Hawks v Sydney Kings Game Preview
Illawarra Hawks v Sydney Kings When: 7.30pm (AEST), Thursday 13 October Where: WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong Broadcast: NBL TV; Fox Sports Board silly When Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze was asked what could be expected from new import and NBA championship winner Josh Powell, he was pretty straight up. “Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve seen the vision of him, I’ve spoken to Brian Goorjian about him, he’s a veteran, but until you actually see it and put it in there you never actually know,” he said. Some two years ago Powell suited up for his first, and only, game for the Houston Rockets and pulled in five rebounds in just 19 minutes. Given just one King, Brad Newley, grabbed more than five boards in the loss to Brisbane last weekend, Gaze will probably be happy with a similar debut from his new recruit, however he warned his players not to expect Powell to do their work for them. “You can’t just throw one guy out there and that’s the panacea to all your rebounding problems, it’s a collective thing that we’ve got to get everyone engaged in and understanding the urgency that’s required,” he said. Remarkably, Newley and Greg Whittington were the only Kings to collect more than two defensive boards against the Bullets, Gaze clear his team’s poor rebounding form of pre-season and Round 1 won’t be tolerated. “We’re going to be the biggest barrel-chested team in the competition because even at practice if there’s an offensive rebound we’re making the guys do five push-ups,” he said. “I can’t remember a game this season where we’ve won the rebounding count and you can’t do that, you’re giving the opposition too much of a head start.” Hawks soaring The Kings head to Wollongong this Thursday to take on the buoyant Hawks, who made an emphatic statement with their 122-88 demolition of Adelaide. Coach Rob Beveridge has no such concern about his team’s work inside, where big men AJ Ogilvy, Nick Kay and Michael Holyfield ripped down 19 rebounds between them in just 52 minutes, the Hawks won points in the paint 44-24 and got to the free-throw line 33 times to 18. “We got 44 points inside, that’s very, very impressive there’s no doubt about that,” Beveridge said. “We want to be a well-rounded team, and I believe we’ve addressed our issues of physicality and size and interior scoring.” Despite these impressive numbers, Beveridge was not completely impressed, and sounded the horn for some urgent defensive work at training before taking on talented Kings like Kevin Lisch and Newley.
.@Vellshow picks up the @ladbrokescomau player of the game honours in tonight's @illawarrahawks ?in #NBL17 #yourgame pic.twitter.com/zVZ2GTzOxm — NBL (@NBL) October 7, 2016Beveridge wants more of the same offensive gusto on Thursday, but reminds his players their success always starts at the defensive end. “They came out and put a show on in the second half, particularly defensively, which allows us to run, allows us to shoot, allows the freedom,” he said. “It’s almost like a tsunami, you know it’s coming but how do you stop it?” And though the Kings will have their backs to the wall – the likes of Jason Cadee, Tom Garlepp, Aleks Maric and Michael Bryson well below their best last Saturday – Beveridge says their little brother to the south has all the motivation they need too. “It’s the old David and Goliath story, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “We are nowhere in the ballpark of the Sydney Kings or those well-resourced teams, so we’ve got this circled, we’re going after it for the region we represent and what we stand for.”