Hawks to Take Flight in New Zealand
Under the direction of interim head coach Justin Tatum, a hungry and determined Hawks roster has their sights set on a big road scalp leading into the FIBA break.
For three quarters in Cairns, the Hawks showed their improvement on the defensive side of the ball and a renewed focus on playing through the big of Froling and Clark before a last-quarter run from the Taipans saw them hold onto the win at home.
While it was disappointing to leave without the result, there were some positives to draw upon as the team prepares to return to Spark Arena, the venue of our last win on the road.
Few will forget the Tyler Harvey buzzer-beater in the closing rounds of NBL23, and Hawks fans will be hoping the celebrations will be repeated as the time expires on Sunday afternoon.
Coach Tatum has shared his intention to see the side play with more joy and freedom, with a clean slate for all in the fight for court time and the chance to contribute on a nightly basis.
Sunday's match-up will be the first regular season hit out for the Hawks and Breakers in NBL24, and with the sides sitting 10th and 9th on the league standings, there will be no love lost in what is shaping as a must-win game for both sides.
Last year's Grand Final runners-up, by their own admissions, have had an indifferent start to their NBL24 campaign.
The carryover from the Breaker's trip to the US as part of the NBL x NBA fixtures, injuries to imports and key players, and some uncharacteristic losses at home and on the road have seen the Breakers playing catch-up in the season's early stages.
Coach Maor has some serious talent at his disposal, none more so than the import duo of Anthony Lamb and Parker Jackson-Cartwright.
Jackson-Cartwright has become one of the most impactful players in the NBL this season, while Lamb has shown his NBA calibre talent since arriving as an injury replacement for former Hawks Justinian Jessop.
The Hawks took the first step to improving their defence and rebounding in Cairns last week, and they will need to replicate that and then some to defeat a Breakers team fresh off a big road win against Tasmania to kick off Round 8.
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