Deleon looks to end shooting slump

BASKETBALL

Wollongong backcourt maestro Adris Deleon isn't overly concerned with his two-game shooting slump.

The NBL's second-leading scorer a fortnight ago, Deleon has made just 7/30 shots in the past two games and dropped to sixth with a 15.3 scoring average.

Last week he scored 11 points (5/17 field goals) in his team's 80-68 loss to Perth.

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He made just 1/6 three-point shots and earned no trips to the free throw line.

Those numbers were in stark contrast to his explosive output in Wollongong's 33-point rout of the Wildcats in round five.

Deleon was unstoppable that night, pouring in 26 points on 8/11 shooting. He made 3/5 threes and all seven of his foul shots.

If Deleon doesn't rediscover his shooting touch in tonight's rematch with the Cats at WIN Entertainment Centre, the Hawks could be in trouble.

"Perth did a pretty good job against me," the 180-centimetre playmaker said.

"When you struggle as a player, you're wondering what you're doing wrong. But the thing is I've been doing it since the beginning of the season, and it's just not working right now.

"I've been playing the way I play and it's been OK, and now the scouting is like 'Oh he does this and does that'. Everybody tries to pick on the things that you do.

"Perth did a pretty good job of containing me. Cairns did a good job of containing me [the previous week]. They tried to force me into different things I didn't want to do. When the shot's not falling it's going to be hard. They're giving you shots and they're not falling, so it's kind of like 'I want to drive'."

The Hawks have to back up on the road tomorrow night against the Sydney Kings.

"It's day by day, so we have to take care of Friday night before we think about what's after that," Deleon said.

"Sydney are a pretty good team and they're playing real well right now. It's a big, big weekend for us. It's going to challenge us to see where we're at and we look forward to it."

The Hawks will be without centre Larry Davidson (broken rib) for the next few games, while guard Tyson Demos (knee) and forward Tim Coenraad (foot) remain hopeful of returning for the New Year's Eve home game against Melbourne.

"We were disappointed we lost last week," Deleon said.

"We knew that we had 'em where we wanted 'em. Perth know we had them too. Credit to them that they got the win, but we watched the game film and it made us realise we really had that game, so that's the attitude we have coming back home.

"With the big import [Mike Dunigan] they have, he really dominated in the paint last game. We have to do a better job with that. The things that hurt us were second-chance points and points in the paint, and he was one of the main differences with that. We have to box out. Especially the guards. We have to get in there and make sure we get a body on someone.

"Guys like [Perth forwards Shawn] Redhage and [Jesse] Wagstaff are good offensive rebounders so we have to box those guys out.

"As coach [Gordie McLeod] says, we have to grind it out and win the effort areas."

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