No Wildcats Complacency as Law Vows to Keep Stepping Up

Written for by Chris Pike

Vic Law is urging his Perth Wildcats to not let playing back at RAC Arena for their final nine games to cause them to fall into a false sense of security while he vows continue doing whatever is asked of him to help the 'Cats keep winning games.

Law isn’t too fussed if people see him as a three, four or five man and he's not too fussed if he's sent out there for the Wildcats to score, to rebound, to defend or to play second fiddle to Bryce Cotton.

His one and only focus is doing whatever he can to make himself invaluable to the 'Cats to keep him out on the court. In return for that faith from coach Scott Morrison and his team, he's willing to go out and do whatever it takes to help them win.

And he is more than living up to his end of the bargain. Whether it's delivering the two highest-scoring individual games of #NBL22 including 39 points in Monday's overtime win against the New Zealand Breakers, or the 37 he opened the season with, he can without doubt score in spades.

However, with the Wildcats' Achilles heel becoming their rebounding, he stepped up in remarkable fashion in last Thursday's win over Melbourne United. Despite battling Jo Lual-Acuil and Ariel Hukporti, he plucked 18 rebounds.

In fact, over those last three road games for the Wildcats in the space of five days to end their stretch away from Perth, Law delivered 27.7 points and 11.3 rebounds and he's happy to do whatever has to do for his team.

"It hasn’t just been about letting me do any one thing to take pressure off certain players, but it's always been about me doing whatever it takes to help the team win to the best of my abilities," Law said.

"I do enjoy the challenge whatever it is. I enjoy battling big guys like that on the glass if that's what I have to do or I enjoy the challenge of going against whoever is guarding me. I just think of myself as a basketball player out there. 

"The only real position you can be in is on the court or on the bench so I want to make it hard to take me out of the game. So if I have to match up with bigger guys like Hukporti or Jo then that's what I'm going to do if it's what it takes to be out there on the court.

"I've always considered myself a pretty tough and hardnosed player in regards to how I like to play and go about things. I don’t really care who's across from me, I just know I'm going to play hard every time I step out there."

As for what the feeling was like to hit the game tying mid-range fadeaway jumper against the Breakers to send the game to overtime in Hobart, while it was just two of his 39 points for the game, it felt sweet for Law on a number of fronts.

"It felt great. Out of the hand it felt good and I was really happy and blessed that Scott drew up the play where I was the option to get the shot, and that the team believes in me to take a shot like that," he said. 

"I've been thinking about how the season has gone and I've had shots like that throughout the season against Brisbane early on and against Sydney. 

"Even though those plays didn’t maybe go exactly how we wanted, you still build up those reps and win or lose you get that experience of doing stuff like that. So if shots like this do come up, I'm more than prepared to knock them down."

The Wildcats have now completed 14 straight games away from Perth this season where they did a remarkable job to win eight of them, including the last four in-a-row.

The 'Cats now play nine straight matches at RAC Arena to close the regular season starting on Sunday against the Breakers. 

But Law is fully aware they can't just expect the home court to do the work for them.

"I think all of us kind of understand and respect that the road doesn’t get easier and in some ways it gets harder for us because you have to be mindful of that complacency and you have to ignore everyone talking about how good it is that we have these nine home games," Law said.

"We still are playing every team again barring Brisbane and we'll either be playing teams who are trying to get into playoff contention or teams trying to move up in their spots, or teams who are fighting for their careers. 

"You can never take a game easy in the NBL because no teams take any nights off, so it's going to be a long trek upwards still. But I'm sure with the energy that you get in at RAC that teams are going to come in pretty hungry to play against us."

Another factor in Law wanting to come to Perth in the first place was to play alongside Bryce Cotton to make up for a missed opportunity they had to do just that with one another at Providence College.

To say they have clicked together would be quite the understatement. Their one-two punch is averaging 45.0 points, 12.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists a game.

But for Law, it's more than just about their bond on the court that he's treasuring.

"It's awesome and I really enjoy being able to go out there to play with Bryce. We've definitely found a good camaraderie and chemistry out there, and further than that I feel like Bryce will be a long-time friend of mine regardless of basketball," Law said. 

"He will be someone I always try to stay in touch with because he's someone who has meant a lot to me both on and off the court over the last couple of months. 

"I'm just happy that we are able to come together because we did have an opportunity to play together in college and weren’t able to do that. It's funny how the world works and we've probably now found each other right when we needed to."

Even though Law has spent more time outside of Western Australia than inside it since coming to Perth, he is glad to now be back for the rest of the regular season to reconnect with his new home environment.

"It does feel like I'm coming back home. I've been here long enough and have made enough friends outside of the team, and have found my little spots where it feels like when we're here that I feel like I'm in my own space and feel comfortable," he said. 

"And just being able to practice in our own gym just helps more than just your game, I just love the whole lifestyle and comfortability you feel by being back at home."

Law now can't wait for the opportunity to get out in front of the Red Army again on Sunday, even if it's only at half power, and to experience all those benefits and feelings of comfort that playing on your home floor brings.

"In terms of being out there playing, it will be good to be in front of the RAC Arena crowd again. It's funny because in contrast for our last game we had no fans down in Hobart so it's going to be nice to have fans in the stadium, and so many of them cheering for us," Law said.

"I was actually just talking to my dad about this the other day, I don’t know if you can really measure how important it is. I don’t know how big you quantify the home court advantage, but when you have a good home court like we do with RAC Arena it's almost like a plus-four handicap you have going into every game. 

"That's for a number of factors too like just being comfortable and having your own energy in the gym, being more aware of certain things around you. So it's going to be nice for sure and I'm definitely happy that we're back home and finally playing out at RAC again."

What it also does is make Law realise just how tough things continue to be for their opponents on Sunday, the Breakers. 

Their options so far this season have either been playing in front of opposition fans or in empty stadiums. While there's no room for sympathy once Sunday's game starts, Law does respect the sacrifices they are making.

"I think it's harder to just play in an empty gym to be honest than on the road. At least for a normal road game, you can turn up and have a Shootaround and then play the game with the energy from the crowd around you," Law said.

"But when it's empty, it's kind of just flat and it has to be hard for those guys with this long and monotonous trip they are on. I definitely respect what they are doing and hopefully when the season's over a lot of them can be with the rest of their families again."


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