Hungry Jack's NBL
Sky’s the Limit for Perth’s Flight 23
Perth Wildcats swingman Casey Prather has arrived. Having spent the early parts of his first NBL season getting to know new team mates and managing a niggling knee injury, Prather has turned heads recently with his improved play. Across Perth’s last three games – all wins – Prather is averaging 21.3 points at an impressive 67 per cent shooting from the field. “I’ve been feeling really good,” he said when asked about his recent form. “I’m just being aggressive and taking the shots the defence gives me. That’s helped me to get into a groove which has been fun.” Prather was a key difference-maker in the Wildcats’ win over New Zealand on the weekend, notching up 18 points and five rebounds on 7/8 shooting from the field. He put 26 points, 8 boards and 5 dimes on Cairns the game prior – a narrow win in which his speed, athleticism and cool head were influential down the stretch. However it was against Adelaide in Round 7 where Prather’s recent spike in form began. He scored 20 points on 9/11 shooting that night, operating in attack-mode for much of the evening. In fact, it was clear right from the opening tip against the 36ers that the athletic wing meant business: [ooyala code="trbGg3eTq8FBuP-hCG2DZEXpWd1cOvj6" player_id="d5b993422b3e4b5ebd61f9e19ca2a6a5" width="1280" height="720" auto="true"] Prather admits to approaching that game with something of a fresh mindset. “I had a different mentality that night as far as being more aggressive and trying to create more for myself and my team-mates and that’s how I’ve been going into games ever since,” he said. Perth head coach Trevor Gleeson has been pleased to see the real Casey Prather standing up over the past couple of weeks. “We knew what he had in store, it just got delayed a little due to that knee issue,” Gleeson explained. “It’s great now that he’s getting in rhythm with his team-mates and he’s finding his spots in the offense where he can be aggressive.” Gleeson believes adjusting his game to the style and flow of the NBL has been a learning process for Prather. “He played last year in the D-League and that can sometimes become a bit of standing around outside the three-point line and waiting for the ball,” said Gleeson. “How we play is different to the American style and it‘s just taken him a few games to start moving more without the ball. That’s happening now.” What’s also happening is the unwrapping of Flight 23’s exciting open-court game. His breakaway dunk on Friday night provided some early excitement for the passionate Perth faithful and helped propel the Wildcats to a double-digit half-time lead.