JCU Townsville Fire coach Claudia Brassard has stressed that her team needs to execute their offensive sets better if they are to maintain their unbeaten start to the 2016/17 season.
Despite their 22-point win against Perth last week, Brassard said there was still a lot of improvement within the two-time reigning WNBL champions, commencing on Sunday against the Adelaide Lighting.
With Chris Lucas at the helm of the Lightning, Brassard is only too aware of the danger they possess, having worked as an assistant to her on-court rival for the past three years.
“We need to take care of the ball whoever we play,” Brassard said.
“This is a Chris Lucas team, so they’ll play hard, but we’ll be ready for that.”
Having led for most of their season opener against Bendigo on the road, the Lightning eventually fell in overtime against the Spirit before losing narrowly to Melbourne in the second game of their double-header.
With the Lightning poised to play the University of Canberra Capitals tonight, it’s a tough ask to begin the season with four consecutive road games, but Brassard is not willing to give them an inch.
“It’s exciting to play Chris, we’ve been ringing each other all week,” Brassard said.
“If you look at the rosters, we should win, we should come out on top, but it’s about not letting the underdog come out and play harder than you.
“It’s about making sure that we come out and are not complacent and that we’re playing our game.”
While four-time WNBL MVP Suzy Batkovic paced the Fire with 25 points on Sunday – complimented by Mia Murray (16), Micaela Cocks (13), Darcee Garbin (12) and Kayla Standish (10) – Brassard was far from impressed with the team’s offensive execution.
The Fire coughed up 16 turnovers against their Grand Final nemesis and shot the ball at a 44% clip from the field.
“Our offensive execution (is something we need to work on),” Brassard said.
“We only have a few players and not everyone knows them yet, so everyone got a copy of the playbook and got told to read them.”
The Fire host the Lightning from 1pm at Townsville Stadium on Sunday.
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