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Wildcats NBL season at the crossroads

Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson admits he is at the crossroads after losing to bottom side Cairns on Friday night and falling to a 12-8 record.

Wildcats NBL season at the crossroads

Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson admits he is at the crossroads after losing to bottom side Cairns on Friday night and falling to a 12-8 record.

TREVOR GLEESON Perth Wildcats coach speaks to his players during the NBL match between the Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats at Hisense Arena on in Melbourne, Australia.
TREVOR GLEESON Perth Wildcats coach speaks to his players during the NBL match between the Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats at Hisense Arena on in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson admits his side are at a crossroads, as he tries to stop their once promising NBL season from flatlining.

The Wildcats slumped to a 12-8 record after their 81-79 loss to the Cairns Taipans at home on Friday night.


They once led the league at 10-1.

They will fall back among those fighting for third and fourth spots on the NBL ladder if something doesn't change quickly.

Gleeson said he will push buttons in a bid to re-find the early-season form.

That could mean making changes to their starting five when they travel to Adelaide to play the 36ers on Thursday and when they host Melbourne United three days later.

Perth and Adelaide have not met since Round 1 when the Wildcats won 99-91 at Titanium Stadium. They were thumped by United 82-65 in mid-December in their first of five consecutive away games.

"It's a crossroad for us right now," Gleeson said.

"It really is.

"I love our group, but we are not playing as hard and as ferocious and intently as we should until we are looking down the barrel, then it's 'let's play now'.

"Chemistry is good; guys like each other. There is no breakdown in the group. But now we're really tested and we're going to find out what we're made of in these last eight games.

"I will push buttons. I don't know where I will land on it, but I will push buttons."

Gleeson is sure to look back to the way his side played earlier in the season when injuries forced some of their starting line up out of action.

At different times this season, Damian Martin, Bryce Cotton and Angus Brandt have been forced out with injuries.

But players lifted and the Cats still found ways to win.

Mitch Norton, Clint Steindl and Tom Jervis all had their chances to shine and they took them.

Against the Taipans though, the Perth bench, that included those three, had just two points between them at half-time. Norton finished with four, as did Jervis and Steindl, six.

Jesse Wagstaff didn't put up a shot in more than 12 minutes on the court.

Gleeson said some players are sitting back and expecting Cotton to get them over the line.

But while he admits the bench needs to be more productive, Gleeson doesn't lay the blame for the side's recent poor form on them.

"I'm more concerned about our intent; the way we play the game," he said.

"Are we desperate; are we hungry?

"We are playing against a team who has won two games this year. We should be hungry and desperate and tear the heart out of people and I don't see it."

AAP


AAP




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