Roll The Dice: Wollongong Rollerhawks
After a cracking regular season, we’re finally at the pointy end as we prepare for the 2014 NWBL Finals Series.
In the lead up, we’ll delve into the strengths of our final four and discuss what needs to go right for them to finish on top when they each roll the dice during the 2014 NWBL Finals Series.
Finished Regular Season: 3rd
League Offensive Ranking: 2nd (1,073 points scored)
League Defensive Ranking: 3rd (901 points against)
There is no doubt, Wollongong play their best basketball in September.
Every year, regardless of where they finish or their regular season form, the Rollerhawks prepare as well as anyone for finals basketball.
The Rollerhawks will rate themselves a chance against anyone in the NWBL after recording wins against all of the top four teams in 2014.
The biggest dilemma for Coach Ettridge and the Rollerhawks will be how they start as they’re genuinely flushed with options.
They’ll likely favour a 4.0-4.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 combination to start but have the option to run three big men or using Fisher and Markcrow to run any number of midpoint combinations.
There’s been no dominant player for Wollongong in 2014 and it’s been a long time since at least one Rollerhawks player hasn’t featured in the league’s top five scorers. However that’s in no way a reflection of where they’re at this season, with the offseason addition of Deans, Auprince and Chiavelli meaning a better spread of scoring and an even more dangerous offense.
Can Wollongong win it in 2014? Absolutely! They can hurt you in the post, they can hurt you in transition and they can hurt you from outside. Scoring points will not be an issue for the Rollerhawks, but where they might be exposed is at the defensive end having conceded 65 points or more on eight occasions this year.
Written by Joel Mackenzie