Speed, mobility and three-point shooting loom as the Wollongong Hawks’ best weapons in Sunday’s road meeting with the Adelaide 36ers.
The unbeaten Hawks are seeking their fourth straight win and expect a tough test in the paint against Adelaide seven-footers Luke Schenscher (216cm) and Dan Johnson (212cm).
But the 36ers might also have their hands full as they try to shut down Wollongong’s slick ball movement, particularly with the Hawks boasting so many three-point marksmen.
Wollongong also love to share the offensive workload – they have had three different leading scorers in each of their wins – and will head to Adelaide brimming with confidence after last week’s 18-point victory over Townsville.
‘‘We try to move the ball to the open guy and play unselfishly – it could be anyone [leading the scoring] on any given night,’’ Hawks coach Gordie McLeod said.
‘‘It’s a style we’ve worked on for a number of years now and the guys do a good job of executing it.’’
The Hawks were confident they were on to something when they won nine of 11 pre-season games.
Winning their opening three games of the regular season by a margin of 10.3 points was all the proof they needed to be convinced they are genuine championship material.
Still, McLeod is constantly striving for perfection.
‘‘It’s always the same – day by day, week by week – we’ve gotta get better,’’ the 2009-10 NBL Coach of the Year said.
‘‘Everyone’s come with the right attitude and they’re playing well as a group, but we have to keep getting better each week because next week’s challenge is always that little bit tougher than the one before.’’
Wollongong’s bench players had a huge impact in the thrashing of Townsville and will need to be similarly effective against the Sixers.
‘‘We try to win by committee, and if one guy’s not having a great game somebody else can step in and give it a crack,’’ bruising forward Dave Gruber said.