Perth Wildcats centre Angus Brandt has vowed to keep his hands out of the "cookie jar" as he attempts to quell Melbourne United big man Josh Boone during the upcoming grand final series.
The scoring shootout between Wildcats import Bryce Cotton and United star Casper Ware is set to dominate talk leading into the best-of-five NBL series.
But the match-up between Brandt and Boone could prove to be just as crucial.
Brandt tallied 14 points and 20 rebounds during the Wildcats' 101-96 double overtime win over Melbourne in October.
The Wildcats won the rebound battle 65-51 that day.
But in the final-round clash between the two sides, Brandt fouled out after just 13 minutes of court time, finishing with a meagre two points and two rebounds to his name.
United won the match 81-70, and prevailed 61-51 on the rebound count.
Brandt knows he can't afford to foul out so early during the grand final series.
"I think in the second game when I got fouled out I got caught out with my positioning," Brandt said.
"Just hand fouls, little cheapies, just undisciplined stuff.
"I've got to make sure I'm locked in and just don't bring my hands down and don't get my hands get caught in the cookie jar."
Brandt says he will relish the opportunity of facing Boone.
"He's a fantastic rebounder," Brandt said.
"He moves really well, he sprints to the lane. I'm going to have my work cut out but I feel confident."
The Wildcats look set to be bolstered by the return of guard Mitch Norton for Friday night's series opener at RAC Arena.
Norton hasn't played since tearing his left calf on January 25, but the Boomers guard has been training strongly over the past fortnight.
"I'm not the quickest bloke out there, but he went by me like I was standing still today. So he's moving pretty well," Brandt said.
"He got through the whole training session. He's looking good out there."
The return of Norton would ease the burden on Wildcats skipper Damian Martin, who has battled his own calf issues this season.
Brandt said Norton's strong defence would be a huge asset.
"He's just a very aggressive point guard. He's probably one of the best point guards of the league going downhill against defences," Brandt said.
"He's incredibly poised under pressure. He makes great decisions. He's good at getting guys in spots that we need to."
Australian Associated Press