Illawarra spineless in Kings loss: Beveridge

DISSATISFIED: Hawks coach Rob Beveridge was fuming at his troops after an abysmal second half display against the Kings. Picture: Getty ImagesHawks coach Rob Beveridge labelled his squad “spineless”after what he said was one of the worst team performances he hadever coached in Monday’s loss to the Sydney Kings.
Nanjing Night Net

Illawarra were outclassed, out-enthused and outworked by their bitter rivals in a 90-73 thrashing at Qudos Bank Arena.

The ugly display saw the Hawks slump to their fourth successive defeat and tooktheir record to a disappointing 1-4 to start the NBL campaign.

It prompted Beveridge to cut loose post-match.

Almost a year to the day since he labelled the Hawks ‘mentally soft’ in a season defining blast, the NBL championship winning coach slammed his struggling side.

“We are spineless at the moment and I am really upset that this is not who we truly are,” he said.

“We have to have a good hard look at ourselves and all the players we will challenge them physically, mentally, the whole lot and make sure they are ready to go and not put that kind of performance on.

“Probably not so much performance but the fight.

“We laid down and that’s unacceptable for us.

Beveridge admitted the loss of starting guard Mitch Norton was a factor in the Hawks’ form, but demanded more from his men.

Illawarra were in the game up until half time before the wheels fell off following one of the worst third quarter performances you are likely to see this season.

They had 11 turnovers in the period and were outscored 25-6 by a ruthless Kings outfit led by former Hawks superstar Kevin Lisch, who had 19 points, eight rebounds, six steals and three assists.

“That third quarter was diabolical,” Beveridge said.

“It was embarrassing for us.

“In saying that I thought Sydney were absolutely outstanding. They played the way I want us to play, it’s as simple as that.

“We have to show our players and say you know what; the way they are moving the ball, the way they get open, the way they are playing for each other. How hard they played. The were relentless and their desire. All of those things I was saying are the characteristics which are supposedly non-negotiables for our team and we didn’t show it tonight at all.”

With another match this Friday night against the Perth Wildcats at WIN Entertainment Centre, the Hawks must turn things around quickly or risk slipping further away from the leading pack.

“We are going to look in the mirror,” Beveridge said.

“I am going to do it myself.

“Did I coach great? No I didn’t.

“So I am going to have a good hard look at my substitution pattern, what I said in timeouts and all of those things. I am extremely critical on myself and I expect that of the players.

“I hold myself extremely accountable.

“I set very high standards and tonight the standard was simply so far off the pace.

“It is one of the worst performances of any of my teams ever.

“I am pretty upset about it.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.