Wildcats look to extend four game winning streak
Perth Wildcats associate head coach Mike Kelly believes the team’s four game win streak has shown that they are capable of competing at a high level.
The Wildcats endured a rocky start to the season by their own lofty standards under new head coach John Rillie, but have improved to a 9-7 record to sit fifth on the NBL ladder, most recently picking up a statement road win over third placed Cairns on Tuesday night.
Kelly believes the Taipans win was among their most complete performances of the season.
“We’ve had a few really good games, I think, we’ve had that one and the other one that sticks out is the game in New Zealand where we defended really well, moved the ball really well, and I think it was similar in a lot of ways,” Kelly told Sports Breakfast.
“[We] brought a level of physicality that we need to bring that we need to bring to compete at the top level in this league.”
The win streak has been powered by the team significantly improving on the defensive end, which Kelly said has been an continual area of emphasis.
“We’ve been improving at that over the last month I guess, couple of slight changes on how we’re doing it and the buy-in from the group has been unbelievable, so that’s been a major focus,” he said.
“Rebounding has been an ongoing thing, it was great to win a rebounding battle, which we haven’t done much at all, but it’s going to be continual growth in that area as well.”
Development player Michael Harris got some burn in the win over the Taipans and showed his scoring ability, dropping 17 points in just 15 minutes and nailing three of his five three point shots.
“He’s been around for a few years as a young promising player who can really score, was a development player for Adelaide a couple years ago, played for Mount Gambier in the NBL1 and really had a great NBL1 season for them,” Kelly said.
“He’s a special offensive player, and the rest of his game is continuing to evolve. He’s trained really well, [John Rillie]’s got a lot of belief in him and he’s got a lot of belief in himself, and it all came out in that game in Cairns, it was great to see.”
The Wildcats will get the chance to spend Christmas at home before they hit the road again, looking to continue their good form against Brisbane on Tuesday.