Hawks Nick Bullets to get back on track
The Illawarra Hawks bounced back in a huge way dismantling the Brisbane Bullets 112 - 81 behind a well-balanced offensive attack and a sound team defensive performance. Illawarra finished with six players scoring in double figures, hitting on 56% of their field goal attempts, 52% from deep and assisting on 35 of their 42 made field goals.
Defensively the Hawks held Bullets backcourt duo of Travis Trice and Stephen Holt to a combined 23 points on 10 of 25 shooting from the field. The Bullets as a team hit on 47% from the field but struggled from three, connecting on a paltry 21% from beyond the arc.
Illawarra had numerous players perform well in this one. AJ Ogilvy was excellent on both ends of the court. Rotnei Clarke hit big shots like he always does. Demitrius Conger was super efficient while throwing down some highlight reel dunks. None of these guys was the top scorer for the Hawks however. Top scorer of the night was Nick Kay who for me is about to breakout in a big way.
Kay got the Hawks going to start the game hitting his first two shots of the game for the Hawks first four points of the night. He also connected with a cutting Tim Coenraad who finished the play with nice reverse layup.
In the 2nd quarter Kay showed off his full arsenal. He scored on a nice layup off a big-to-big pass from Delvon Johnson. He hit a pair of free throws after getting fouled at the rim by Tom Jervis. He nearly took down the backboard on a rim rattling fast break dunk, and he capped off his 2nd quarter with a corner three.
Kay finished his night with a +18, totalling 19 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Coach Rob Beveridge said of Kay in the post game, "Tonight he went back to doing what he does. He was a work horse, taking care of those little things, the one percenters". That is what I love about Nick Kay's game; he does everything and anything and he does it all well.
Ask him to guard 3 through 5, he'll go out there and do his job. Put him in the high post and run the offense through him, he will make the right play whether it is to create or score. And if you need a bucket Kay is able to get you one from the inside or outside, never forcing it, just taking what the defense is giving him.
Kay has played in the NBL for a few years now, first with the Townsville Crocs and for the past couple of seasons with Illawarra. He has continued to improve year on year with his reward a call up to the Boomers 2017 Asia Cup winning squad.
Nick Kay may not scream out superstar but he is more than capable of becoming when if and when the time calls for him to be one. The Illawarra Hawks picked up a big win versus Brisbane thanks to their depth of talent and the multifaceted game of Nick Kay.