NBL: Perth Wildcats focus on Illawarra and Melbourne after Jaron Johnson bombshell

Jaron Johnson in action for the Wildcats last Friday before he was delisted a few days later. Picture: Getty Images
Jaron Johnson in action for the Wildcats last Friday before he was delisted a few days later. Picture: Getty Images

OBVIOUSLY, much of the focus from an outside perspective leading into this round has been on the deactivation of Jaron Johnson.

It’s something most of us have never experienced.

Jaron was a quality guy, working tirelessly on the court and in the community.

MORE: three-point specialist replaces Johnson

We will definitely miss his vibrancy around the club and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.

Last Friday, we were able to get over the line against the Breakers, but only just.

It’s that common saying, you take a win any way you can, and while we didn’t play our best basketball, the team was able to make big plays to ensure our home record remained intact.

Casey Prather was phenomenal. His aggression and focus was on another level.

I also thought Jesse Wagstaff played with plenty of vigour.

Jesse is known for his outside shooting but I loved the way he was able to impact the game in many different ways.

This week we come up against two fantastic teams.

We face the Illawarra Hawks and our former coach Rob Beveridge at Perth Arena on Friday.

On Sunday, we oppose last year’s minor premiers Melbourne United at Melbourne Park.

Illawarra likes to play free- flowing basketball, speeding up the game and driving up possessions.

Melbourne has recruited extremely well in the off-season with the return of Boomers legend David Anderson and Breakers champions Cedric Jackson and Tai Wesley.

Illawarra and Melbourne played against each other last Sunday, giving us a rare opportunity to scout both oppositions in one game.

Our wing players have a great challenge this week with Marvelle Harris a shining light for the Hawks and Todd Blanchfield, of Melbourne, going on an absolute tear in recent games.

I’ve always regarded Todd as one of the tougher players to face so it will be important to negate his impact.