Wildcats best yet to come; Rillie
By Josh Kempton
Perth Wildcats head coach John Rillie believes his team is trending upwards after a shaky start to their NBL campaign.
The season of the 6-7 Wildcats was encapsulated in their most recent road trip, putting in a poor performance against the second-last Brisbane Bullets before taking down the ladder-leading New Zealand Breakers.
The first year coach said addressing the team’s inconsistency was his main concern.
“We tinker with things, I’ve changed the starting lineup a couple of times, I’ve changed the way we practise a little bit, those types of things,” Rillie told Sports Breakfast.
“You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you have to make progress and tinker so you can find a good rhythm for our team.
“If we can peel off four or five in a row, we’re gonna move up the ladder pretty quickly, because it’s a pretty tight ladder right now.”
Rillie’s team has struggled on the defensive end, conceding the third-most points in the league at 88.3 per game, but put in a solid performance to limit the Breakers to 84 points.
“A lot of attention’s being put on our rebounding, and that goes into our defensive effort, where we don’t have to get into so many rotations and scrambling and so forth,” he said.
“We didn’t put ourselves in those positions against New Zealand, and the rebounding count worked our very well with us.
“Like anything, it’s progression of building blocks and that was just our best performance, and the guys got to watch that and hopefully that’s a great visualisation of what we should become down the line.”
Former Breaker Corey Webster had his best performance in red in the New Zealand win, pouring in 26 points to go with five rebounds and four assists.
“The expectation on Corey coming in was to be able to provide an offensive lift for us, and we saw what he can do when he’s in full flight,” Rillie said.
“Returning to New Zealand, he got to play in front of family and friends, so that’s always a comforting experience as well.”
The Wildcats’ next assignment comes on Friday the road against Adelaide, with the game tipping off at 4:30pm AWST time.
IMAGE: Perth Now.