Big Larry exceeds top standards

It is being hailed as one of the NBL's all-time great play-off performances and should be the clincher for Larry Davidson to get a call from Australian Boomers coach Brett Brown. Making his first finals appearance in a Wollongong uniform last Friday against Townsville, Davidson had the game of his life, putting together arguably the line of the season - 17 points (6/8 field goals), eight rebounds, five assists, five blocks and five steals.The 209cm centre has always shown glimpses of his potential since his rookie season with the Hunter Pirates in 2004-05.

  • Full coverage of the Wollongong Hawks But constant knee injuries kept him off the court for long periods, including last year with the Hawks when he effectively missed half the season.Davidson sent a huge scare through the Hawks camp when he tweaked his knee two weeks before Christmas and sat out road games against Cairns and Gold Coast.But the setback was only temporary and the 26-year-old went on to have the best season of his career.Playing in 26 games, he averaged 10.1 points and 6.9 rebounds. He tallied 54 assists, 27 blocks and 15 steals and made 50 per cent of his shots for the season, including 49 per cent from the three-point line.Davidson said being injury-free had changed the way he approached each game."The way I feel on the court ... I was saying to someone the other day how I don't have to worry about being physically able to do stuff, so I don't have that in my mind. I can just go out and play without having to worry about limitations on myself," he said.Hawks coach Gordie McLeod wouldn't swap Davidson for any centre in the league."Larry's been a big reason that we're where we are now. He's done a very good job," McLeod said."The effort Larry put in over the off-season laid the foundations for what he's done this season and what he's doing for us now."The Hawks expect the Crocs to readjust tactics and play with considerably more resolve in Wednesday's second game of the best-of-three semi-final series.Wollongong lead the series 1-0 after a 19-point rout in game one."Their crowd's going to be hectic and we'll have to make sure we're ready for a really intense game," Davidson said."Our defence just kept on rolling in the first quarter (of game one) and we really set the foundation for the rest of the game. Our game plan was to limit everything in the paint, and me being the centre, I'm kind of the central part of that."Hopefully we can come out and do the same thing in game two. There's no reason why we can't."

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