It’s top versus bottom in the NBL on Saturday night as Wollongong Hawks host ladder leaders Perth Wildcats. For only the second time this season Perth are coming off the back of a loss having been defeated by Cairns on New Years Eve.
The Hawks were also in action on New Years Eve, suffering a mentally and physically draining double overtime loss against Melbourne Tigers. In fact they are backing up for a third game in eight days.
Rotnei Clarke is showing the form that has the potential to lift the Hawks off the foot of the ladder. His game high 37 points against the Tigers was his highest tally of the season and secured him the NBL Player of the Month award. Despite the Hawks’ lowly position on the ladder Clarke remains positive about a push for the play-offs, but admits that this month will “make or break” their challenge.
Perth concede the fewest three pointers in the competition, a platform that allows them to dominate the scoreboard. After the only previous loss suffered this season the Wildcats followed up with a 40 point thrashing of the Kings. The Hawks will hope that their second loss has a slightly longer term impact.
As always James Ennis will be the key man for the Wildcats, and having narrowly lost out to Clarke for the Player of the Month award he may well set out to show who really is the best in the NBL. Matt Knight was concussed in the Cairns game but has recovered and has travelled with his teammates.
Saturday 4th January, WIN Entertainment Centre Wollongong 19:30
Wollongong Hawks v Pert Wildcats