DrinkWise Game Preview - Round 7 - Perth Wildcats v NZ Breakers
Rillie felt his team, who's hunting a third win on the trot, would be in for a "long night" if they read too much into the Breakers' 2-5 win-loss record, highlighting their tiny points differential.
The Breakers have suffered a couple of tight losses in recent times, going down to South East Melbourne and Sydney by a combined margin of five points in the last two rounds.
“They’re going to come fired up,” Rillie said.
“Their record is 2-5 but I told the team, take us seven days ago and we were in a similar situation where the record does not reflect who they are.
“Their points differential is 1.5 per game, so they’re right there. If you just look at their record and go ‘that’s who they are, they’re 2-5’ it will be a long night.
“We had a great weekend winning two games. But we are 4-5. That’s where none of us want to be. We have to keep trending in the right direction with the way we’re playing.”
The Wildcats had the same record as Friday night’s opponents this time last week before bringing their season to life with back-to-back victories over Adelaide and ladder leaders Melbourne United in the space of three days.
New Zealander Hyrum Harris’ move to the starting five has been a positive one, while import Jordan Usher has provided a spark off the bench including a 10-point final term against United.
“He came off the bench in that first game and brought a massive spark for us, and in that second game in Melbourne he showed what he can do in that fourth quarter – especially that last shot," Harris said about Usher.
“He was huge and a big momentum swinger that took us to overtime and we won the game based off that shot.
“Ush is a professional athlete, he’s not going to shy away from trials and he did exactly what we needed him to do to come away with two victories.”
Who: Perth Wildcats vs New Zealand Breakers
When: 6.30pm WST Friday 10 November
Where: RAC Arena
Watch: Live on ESPN via Kayo or Foxtel
New Zealand have been closing in on their third win of the season, going down to South East Melbourne and Sydney by three and two points respectively in their last two outings.
The Breakers will be without Justinian Jessup (pelvis) and Zylan Cheatham (foot).
Speedy guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who's been a revelation in his first season in the NBL, is expected to spend plenty of time on Wildcats superstar Bryce Cotton, who's put up 53 games in his last two games.
Last time they met
The Wildcats prevailed 93-90 in a thriller at RAC Arena last time the two sides met back in January.
Perth have won 10 of their last 11 games against the Breakers.