Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Danger Game For Hawks

Hawk Larry Davidson is 3rd in block shots. Can he have an impact tonight? I think so.

Tonight's Fox Sports game is a clash against the community teams. The league leading Wollongong Hawks (4-1), takes on the road inept (0-3) Cairns Taipans (3-4).

The two teams have already met this year with the Hawks taking the Taipans to school in the Gong, 71-59 in Round 3.

I'm sensing this is a danger game for the Hawks though. They have bolted out of the gates and have taken care of business at home to date with a blemish free 4-0 record at home..

This game will really show me what type of team the Hawks can be this year. It should be a game they win but if they do not apply themselves mentally the Snakes will take advantage as they have been on struggle street of late.

It's going to be important that the home team comes out strong early and put the Taipans under pressure. Plant doubt in the Taipans mind early.

A key match up will be at the point guard position. Can Taipan Skip Mills slow down Ty McKee? McKee (2nd in scoring at 22ppg) has won recent battles against studs CJ Bruton and Corey "Homicide" Williams so I hope Mills is resting up as I speak.

Rebounding is going to be key, in particular the Snakes on the offensive glass. Both Ian Crosswhite (2.4) and Dusty Rychart (2.9) are in the Top 10 for rebounding teammates misses. A team that is a little down on confidence can hand around with second chance opportunities and these two guys make a living from this.

The Hawks offense has been running very smoothly and a big reason for that is they create easy baskets from their defense. They have four guys (McKee, Mat Campbell, Glen Saville and Ryhs Martin) in the Top 10 in steals. (That is almost unheard of.) Steals lead to easy baskets so the Snakes will need to look after the ball otherwise the Hawks will be "off to the races", making it a long night at the office for the Snakes.

My X factors in this contest are Larry Davidson of the Hawks and Rich Melzer of the Snakes.

Davidson has been doing a little of everything for the Hawks and I have grown to appreciate his skill set. Whether it has been a three from the top or starting the break with a defensive rebound, he has become quite a factor in the Hawks success to date.

Melzer needs to provide offense for his team. If Phill Jones is having a quiet night Melzer is the other guy on the squad that can score points in a hurry and put his team in a winning position. He is a tough match up for other four men in the league as he can knock down the three but but the ball on the floor and get to the rim. He needs to come ready to play if the Taipans are to taste success on the road.

For some strange reason, I'm pumped to watch this game and that is something I can say I have never said about this matchup before.

My tip, Hawks by 13.

In the other game tonight, the Melbourne Tigers will bounce back from their loss to the Perth Wildcats on Sunday. They host the Gold Coast Blaze.

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