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Hawks coach warns of over-confidence

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Illawarra Hawks coach Rob Beveridge insists his side won't be brought undone by over- confidence after Friday's season-opening 122-88 rout of the Adelaide 36ers in Wollongong.

The Hawks swiftly reeled in a 56-55 half-time deficit with a devastating combination of suffocating defence and dead-eye three-point shooting in the third quarter.

They never looked back in the final period and finished with six players in double figures, led by American duo Rotnei Clarke (23) and Marvelle Harris (21).

Despite the impressive performance, Beveridge is confident the Hawks won't get carried away heading into next Thursday's home game against NSW rivals Sydney.

The Kings tip off their 2016-17 campaign with Saturday night's home game against the Brisbane Bullets, who marked their return to the NBL with Thursday night's come-from- behind home win over reigning champions Perth.

"There's absolutely zero chance of that happening," Beveridge said of potential overconfidence creeping in.

"I know we can put points on the board, no question. But we're trying to teach our players that the way we put points on the board is through our defence.

"We gave up 34 points in the second quarter and it was horrible, and I challenged the guys. I wasn't happy at halftime.

"They put a show on in the second half, particularly defensively, which allows us to run and shoot with freedom. It's almost like a tsunami when you know it's coming and you can't stop it, and that's what happened in that second half."

Widely tipped to miss the playoffs, Illawarra have a habit of proving the sceptics wrong.

Beveridge is convinced he has the league's deepest team and was puzzled by the Hawks' low rating.

"We've been tipped to come second-last and I'd be more than happy to have that underdog status, but unfortunately I don't think we'll be flying under the radar," he said.

"We've got so much firepower out there and we're so deep. We've got 11 contracted players and it's very difficult to get everybody the minutes they deserve."

Adelaide coach Joey Wright didn't try to hide his concern about the Sixers' defensive problems.

"I haven't seen our team play with the passion that we need to on defence," Wright said.

"I've challenged them repeatedly at training. Ultimately it comes down to individuals wanting to play like that.

"We've tried to disguise it with full-court pressure and other things but in the end it comes down to how much the individual wants to play defence."

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