Kirk Penney has been in good form for the Hawks.
Kirk Penney has been in good form for the Hawks. GETTY IMAGES

Adelaide must shut down Hawks' shooters

Adelaide coach Joey Wright admits disarming Illawarra's shooters will be vital to repeating their last win over the Hawks and pushing deeper into the NBL top four tonight.

The fourth-placed 36ers (13-9) can draw level with Rob Beveridge's Hawks (14-9), with the clubs booked to clash again in Wollongong on Sunday.

While there was still doubt over whether scoring machine Kirk Penney would play, Wright said Illawarra were "seriously tough" to beat.

"Man they're tough, really tough. They've got three of the top five shooters probably to play in this league, backed up by a great low post presence in (AJ) Ogilvy, plus a great supporting bench," Wright told APN.

"If we control the tempo offensively we're okay, but if they dictate we're in trouble because they will want to run more than us.

"They'll want to get up a lot of jumpers and threes, and we like to attack and get to the hole.

"It's a contrast play so we'll see who figures it out."

Wright, who said he liked the way Illawarra played and was coached, has his own weapon in blistering guard Jerome Randle who keeps taking his game to new levels, recently posting a career-high 41 points.

"The last time we played there were shots being taken and made from everywhere - that's what basketball is about," Wright said.

"I love the way Bevo coaches."

Adelaide got away with that clash 89-77, Randle leading all scorers with 20 points, but Wright warned the Hawks were a much better outfit now.


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