Tight defence a real winner for Hawks

If the old adage that defence wins championships is true, the Wollongong Hawks are on a path to glory.

The unbeaten Hawks (5-0) are giving up a league-low 66 points per game - a whopping seven points less than New Zealand and eight less than both Perth and Cairns.

Last week Wollongong kept title favourites Perth to 67 points, erasing any lingering doubts about their championship credentials.

Defence will again be a major focus for the Hawks in tonight's road duel with the Sydney Kings.

"The thing that I've noticed is how we're winning games with our defence," forward Glen Saville said.

"I look at how much we're giving up to teams, because holding Perth to 67 isn't too bad.

"We're playing an effective style of defence and that's where the confidence has to continue to come from.

"If it's a grinding kind of game, we want to be able to do a good job with our defence and our defensive rebounding. We've done it for five games and we need that to stay consistent."

After beating the Kings 79-76 in round one, the Hawks crushed their next four opponents by an average of 18.8 points.

They are scoring 81.6 points per game and comfortably boast the best points differential between offence and defence (15.6).

"We had a chance to creep up on everyone early, but people now know we're playing pretty good team basketball and we're winning games," Saville said.

"We're getting good contributions from people. For [import guard] Adris [Deleon] to come off the bench and get 26 points and get [NBL] Player of the Week, it's a pretty good weapon to have sitting there on the bench."

Despite being one-up in their regular season series with Sydney, the Hawks expect a typically intense battle with their long-time rivals.

"They've shown when they get it together and get it right on the night, they're a very solid team," Saville said.

"It's not easy to go to Townsville and Cairns and win both games like Sydney did a couple of weeks ago, so we know it'll be a tough game."




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