Hungry Jack's NBL
R18 Preview: Illawarra v Townsville
Who: Illawarra Hawks v Townsville Crocodiles When: 7.30pm (AEDT), Saturday 6 February Where: WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong Watch: Fox Sports; Sky Sports NZ; NBL Live App Last time they met: Illawarra 98 (Penney 23, Ogilvy 18, Lisch 17) d Townsville 74 (Norton 18, Steindl 16, Henry 11), Round 13, Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre
WATCH | @weeksy_11 puts it in reverse for a HUGE @illawarrahawks jam! #HardBall #Agent97 https://t.co/22lJdzx6dn — NBL (@NBL) November 28, 2015But the Hawks feed on turnovers and quick shots, and coach Shawn Dennis has made it clear that attacking Rob Beveridge’s pressure schemes is a two-edged sword. “SD has coached under Bevo for a long time, the way they play they want you to take quick contested jumpshots,” Norton said. “Even if you make one then you’ll come down and shoot another one and that’s playing into their hands. Our style of game is to play fast, but if you don’t have an easy lay-up or a wide open three you need to slow the ball up and get through a good set with multiple on-balls.” Making sure they know the correct starting time is also important, the Crocs seemingly turning up after quarter-time in their first three meetings and never really having a chance of victory after that. “It’s right from the get go, from when you get to the stadium you have to be ready to play these guys because they can put points on the board in a hurry,” he said. “I’m going to try everything in my powers to make sure we’re good to go when we get to the stadium.”
NBL Round 8 Illawarra Hawks vs. Townsville Crocodiles Highlights #HardBall @illawarrahawks @TsvCrocs https://t.co/swzftQfzeO — NBL (@NBL) November 28, 2015The ability of Omar Samhan, Nick Kay and Mitch Young to hedge and recover to Ogilvy will be crucial, as will Samhan’s three-point shooting to drag AJ from the basket, opening lanes for Norton and Jordair Jett, then jumpers for Clint Steindl, one of the Crocs’ key barometers. While this season series may have been dire for Townsville, they bounced back from a 31-point defeat to Melbourne to win their next meeting, and you can bet they have a different defensive plan for the Hawks, the only team they haven’t kept below 80 points this season.