The Illawarra Hawks will look to end their losing streak when they host the Perth Wildcats on Sunday in the NBL.
In the six games they have played this season, the Hawks have won just one. They beat the Cairns Taipans 89-88 to claim their first win of the season. Since that victory, Illawarra have succumbed to three straight defeats. The SEM Phoenix beat them 106-102 in a high-scoring game before the Adelaide 36ers won 98-92. But these were close games, unlike their latest loss which came in embarrassing fashion.
The Hawks traveled to play the New Zealand Breakers and suffered a 103-72 loss. In each of the four quarters, the Hawks failed to cross the 20-point barrier. Aaron Brooks top-scored for them with 19 points and only two other players were in double figures for the Hawks. Brooks leads his side with scoring, and he has averaged 19.7 points per game this season. LaMelo Ball and Todd Blanchfield are the other players with averages above ten.
Ball has impressed in his first season in the NBL. Aside from 12 points, he is averaging 6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. The latter two numbers are the highest in his side. Still just 18, Ball is getting experience in the NBL before he enters in the NBA Draft. The Hawks need help on the offensive end, as they have scored less than 90 points in four games so far. Coach Matt Flinn will want his side to bounce back from the Adelaide loss as soon as possible.
As for the defending champions Perth, they are in a much better place. Perth have lost one out of the five games they have played so far. They opened their campaign with a 94-93 win over Melbourne United in what was a rematch of last season’s final. Then they beat the Hawks 103-76 in their second game. Illawarra could not handle Perth, which would encourage the Wildcats. Their offence was clinical in that game as they shot 70.6% from the floor.
The Wildcats suffered their first defeat of the season when the Taipans beat them 99-76. They bounced back immediately, beating Melbourne United for the second time this season in their last game. Bryce Cotton has starred for Perth, and he is averaging 22.5 points per game. Terrico White is second on the list with 18.3 points. The club have shown consistency by defeating SEM Phoenix in today’s game.
After winning the title last season, the Wildcats are one of the favorites to defend their crown. They finished first in the regular season last time, and are third in the table right now. Their defense will be a worry for coach Damian Martin, as they have allowed more than 90 points in each of their games.
Illawarra Hawks vs Perth Wildcats Betting Tips
Despite a leaky defense, Perth will be the favorites to beat the Hawks on Sunday. Illawarra are short of confidence and Perth should take advantage. It will be a comfortable victory, and the Wildcats should win by a margin of more than 10 points.