Perth Wildcats coach Scott Morrison has labelled the team’s 82-70 loss to Adelaide as embarrassing and described the first half performance as soft while turning up the heat on his under-performing players.
The Wildcats were blown away by a 36ers team that had lost four consecutive games to sit in ninth place. But the visitors looked like world beaters from the start of the match and raced to a 30-15 lead at quarter-time.
Morrison said only one team was prepared to compete.
“In any shoving match, one person is doing the shoving and one person is getting shoved. You can guess which one we were tonight,” he said.
“I don’t mean there was anything dirty. One team came out tough, to play hard, to play to win and one team came out soft.
“However many losses we’ve had this year, I’ve tried to come in here and take the blame for it or at least say hey I can do better myself first and that’s still the case whether we win or lose, but I think the players’ side of the locker room has to look inside of themselves after this one and see if they care about getting to the post-season or not.
“Adelaide is a good enough team to beat us on a good night when we play hard, but we sure as hell aren’t beating anyone when we come out like we did in the first half. It was embarrassing.”
Perth have now lost four of their past five games and while they still remain in the top four, one win and a healthy percentage difference clear of fifth placed Tasmania, are a shadow of the team that was on top of the ladder in round 10.
The loss came despite having their entire roster available for only the third time all season.
The 36ers put enormous pressure on Bryce Cotton, holding him to just seven points.
Perth have now lost an equal club record five games at RAC Arena this season and vice-captain Mitch Norton said enough is enough.
“We’ve got signs on the wall in the locker room and right now they are just words,” Norton said.
“They need to become actions, and actions quickly. I think we need to find why we play basketball. Whether it’s your family or whatever it is.
“Right now we’re not playing for the name on the front of the jersey and that’s probably the most disappointing thing. The only positive is we get to play in a day or so’s time and rectify this.”
Matt Hodgson was one of the few players to step up and he finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Vic Law scored 20 points.
But Adelaide dominated with Sunday Dech scoring 23 points while also defending Cotton. Daniel Johnson also scored 23 points, Dusty Hannahs finished with 21 and Mitch McCarron had a huge night with eight points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals.