Keeping Hawks' eyes on history

Glen Saville before a Hawks training session. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR
Glen Saville before a Hawks training session. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR


Hot starts don't guarantee a spot in the NBL finals.

If the unbeaten Wollongong Hawks need any reminding of that, they only have to cast their minds back to the 2010-11 season.

The Hawks caught fire early that season, soaring to the top of the ladder with nine wins from their first 11 games.

But they followed with nine straight losses, as injuries and a dramatic loss of confidence took hold.

Despite finally turning the corner late in the season and making a last-ditch run at the playoffs, Wollongong finished one spot outside the top four with a 15-13 record.

After dropping well out of contention in 2011-12, the Hawks have bounced back with a vengeance this season, taking the league by storm with five straight wins.

If they beat the Kings in Sydney tomorrow night and Cairns at home on November 17, the Hawks will equal the club record for the best start to a season.

That 7-0 benchmark was set by the 1987 side, which lost to eventual champions Brisbane in the semifinals.

Nineteen-season veteran Glen Saville insisted the Hawks were taking nothing for granted heading into the clash with the Kings.

"The fans and the media enjoy it and that's good, but we have to keep a level head," the 2001 finals MVP said.

"That's the best thing about [coach] Gordie [McLeod], that he doesn't get too high or too low. He's been around the game long enough to know that we haven't won anything yet.

"We've won some good games and we're playing well, but teams are going to keep improving. We certainly can't get comfortable when there's 23 games to go.

"You look at Perth; even though we did very well against them [last week], they've started their season with four road games and have a lot of games to make up at home.

"We've alternated between home and away games over the first five weeks and got into a routine, but the grind hasn't started where we have to go on some back-to-back road trips or play two games over one weekend.

"It's just about us continuing to do the work at training and keeping a level head, and just keeping everything in perspective.

"The majority of the guys in this team were around two years ago when we started 9-2, and then we lost nine in a row and just missed the playoffs.

"If there's any way to keep what we've done so far in perspective, we only have to look back at that season."

The Hawks are actually on an eight-game winning streak if last season's final three victories are taken into account.