Hawks import Jordair Jett has vowed to maintain the rage at both ends of the floor after admitting he neglected his biggest assets during Illawarra’s early season slump.
At their last outing before the international break, Jett provided a spark off the bench which proved crucial in helping the Hawks snap a three game losing skid with an 11-point win over Adelaide 36ers.
He finished with 18 points, seven assists and four rebounds while claiming three steals in a textbook defensive display.
The American guard was also at the centre of a fiery controntation with Adelaide import Jacob Wiley that saw the 36ers big-man ejected from the game.
The decision to remove Wiley was later ruled as incorrect by the NBL’s game review panel.
The second quarter altercation did little to distract Jett as he produced one of his best displays of the season so far.
He is determined to continue in the same vein for the remainder of the campaign.
“It was more my style of play regardless and I feel like I shied away from what I am good at and what I actually do. Now I am back to what I do it’s great,” Jett said.
“I love that fire and I love that type of game.
“I am going to be a lot more aggressive at the hoop and in the paint, where I am great. I shied away and was shooting too many jumpers and was kind of settling when I get a mismatch on me.”
Jett’s performance against Adelaide mirrored his outstanding match in round two against Cairns Taipans.
He compiled 22 points, five assists and four steals on that night as Illawarra surged to a 104-93 victory away from home.
“That was one of the funnest games of the season so far,” Jett said.
“We were short-handed, missing AJ [Ogilvy] and Kevin White was out as well so we had two important players out and found a way to get it done.”
Illawarra are set to travel to North Queensland again this week to take on the struggling Taipans on Friday night.
The Hawks round two defeat of their rivals kickstarted a run of eight straight losses for Cairns, which has seen them slump disappointingly to the bottom of the NBL ladder.
That fact meant little to Jett heading into their round eight stoush.
“I don’t think they’ve lost confidence at all,” Jett said.
“They have been close in pretty much every game they have played.
“They have been right there to win. It is not like they are a bad team, they just haven’t figured it out how to get the wins in the end. We are going to come out and play them like they are 8-1.
“We aren’t going to come out there and say it’s Cairns, their record is bad. We are going to come out there and go and win the game.”
Illawarra carry a 4-7 record and sit seventh on the ladder, but could claw their way into the top-four by the end of the weekend.
To do it they will need to win both games of a difficult double-header. Friday’s encounter is followed by a rematch with the 36ers in Adelaide on Sunday afternoon.