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Adelaide coach welcomes NBL trash talk

NZN 22/02/2017 Steve Larkin

Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright says beneath all the trash-talk, there's a feeling of respect for his side's NBL semi-final foe Illawarra.

Adelaide host the Hawks on Thursday night in the decider of a bitter three-game semi-final series, with the winner meeting Perth in the grand final.

The 36ers and Hawks have staged a running verbal stoush, triggered pre-series by Adelaide gun Jerome Randle labelling Illawarra a "dirty" side.

But coach Wright says the taunting has added spice to the series.

"It is just a part of it," Wright told AAP on Wednesday.

"It's great that the guys are sticking up for themselves on both sides of the court and, you know, I think it adds to the game a little bit.

"There is still a bunch of respect there.

"We respect Wollongong immensely. I respect (Hawks coach Rob Beveridge) Bevo, he's one of my better friends in the league. And I respect his team.'"

But Wright pointedly said the parochial Adelaide crowd would have some special "support" lined up for Hawks centre AJ Ogilvy, who was the central character in a game-two controversy.

Ogilvy legged Adelaide import Eric Jacobsen in an act that was missed be referees at a vital stage in the last quarter of a game the Hawks went on to win.

"I think they will give Ogilvy a lot of support,' Wright said of the Adelaide crowd.

"I think a few of their other guys will get a lot of support as well."

Wright said he preferred going to a third and deciding game than sweeping the semi-final series.

"We have done all of this work for the whole year from pre-season and it comes down to winning one more," he said.

"It's a prime place to be in, we're not looking at it as a burden, we're looking at it as opportunity to do something.

"The guys ... won't be in awe by it."

Wright said a key focus of his minor premiers would be forcing the Hawks to shoot from distance.

"It will definitely be taking away their easy shots or easy lay-ups, they had too many easy baskets last game," he said.

"We have got to make sure we take that away - they can shoot jump shots with a hand in their face, if they shoot those then so be it."

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