THE Hawks will look to get their season up and running when they welcome Brisbane to Wollongong.
Just like Melbourne United last week, the Bullets returned from their NBA adventure to secure a well-earned W back in Australia.
The team was able to bring back a wealth of experience after their one-game outing against some of the best in the world, and just like United before them it’s their defence that has stepped up most.
Adam Gibson showed up on the defensive end both in Phoenix and Cairns to establish himself as one of the league’s best perimeter defenders.
The Bullets will need Gibson to show up once again on the side of the ball as he seems the likely man tasked with slowing down Rotnei Clarke.
The Hawks have relied on Clarke’s spark off the bench to ignite their offence, and he’s once again delivered in the early parts of the season shooting 48% from beyond the arc.
Despite his best efforts however the Hawks haven’t had any consistency in scoring buckets, with the team currently averaging 79.3 points per game.
Last season’s grand finalists will know they’ll need to find the defensive pressure that led them to an unexpected finals run and preventing Brisbane’s penetration in the paint will be key.
Rob Beveridge certainly knows how to get the best out of his players and with time to re-focus and plan for this one it’s hard to see the Hawks walking away with anything other than a W.
To do so however, they’ll need to limit the Bullets speed around the court and force their opponents to engage in half court offensive sets.
Brisbane meanwhile will be encouraged by what they did in halting the Taipans on Friday night, holding the visitors to just 78 points.
While we do have a slight lean on the line our best bet sits with the points total, which seems a little too high according to our data.
We have this one falling Under the points total almost 68% of the time, with a combined 171.2 points being scored here.
Tip: Under 176.5 points @ $1.89
Punter Problems NBL multi:
Perth Wildcats +5.5