Clarke firing on all cylinders

He was named NBL MVP in his first season, but could Hawks import Rotnei Clarke be playing as well as he ever has in an Illawarra jersey in 2017-18?

MAN IN FORM: Hawk's Rotnei Clarke during the Hawks win over Adelaide 36ers at Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide on Saturday night. Picture: AAP

MAN IN FORM: Hawk's Rotnei Clarke during the Hawks win over Adelaide 36ers at Titanium Security Arena in Adelaide on Saturday night. Picture: AAP

The American sharpshooter has played a major part in the Hawks’ early season revival, with stunning displays in two of Illawarra’s last three road wins.

He dropped 24 points in Illawarra’s 96-87 win over Adelaide on Saturday.

The performance drew praise from all corners, including Hawks coach Rob Beveridge. 

"It is one of those things where you try to run the offence but the stuff that [Rotnei Clarke] does has zero to do with us as coaches," he said.

"It is his individual brilliance.

"He is a risk tasker and he backs himself. We want him to do that.

"We have him in the team. We expect him to take some shots that coaches look at and say that's a bad shot.

"We have every faith and belief in him to keep shooting that because that what he does.

"I have coached him for a couple of years now and that's Rotty."

Adelaide did their best to stop Clarke, but the former Butler guard continued to hit shot after shot down the stretch. 

"I thought Adelaide did an amazing job on how they defended him," Beveridge said. 

"They tagged him and doubled him.

“They did an enormous amount of things but over 40 minutes it is really hard to continue to do that.

"He made some massive shots at massive times late in the game."