Hawks out to beat 36ers in NBL again

Adrian Warren

Illawarra Hawks captain Todd Blanchfield says the NBL cellar dwellers need to keep a chip-on-the-shoulder mentality for Monday's away clash with a smarting Adelaide.

Prior to Saturday's 104-91 home loss to Melbourne United, Illawarra had gone 2-2 in their previous four games, beating ladder leaders Sydney in their last outing.

They looked set to claim another big scalp when they led United by two points at three quarter time, but were outscored 32-17 in the final quarter.

Melbourne executed better and made the Hawks pay for costly turnovers, with the NSW club still to post back-to-back wins this season.

The Hawks have to bounce back quickly for the visit to Adelaide, who suffered a 14-point away loss to Sydney, a couple of hours after the game in Wollongong finished.

The fifth-placed 36ers are two wins off fourth and will also be looking for payback for a recent nine-point home loss to the Hawks.

"They are sitting just outside the top four, so we've got to be able to go in there and play with that chip on our shoulder that we've been playing with for the last month," Blanchfield said.

"This can define their season right now....but this (win) will put them one step closer to being right where they want to be.

"We're going to play hard."

Despite Saturday's setback, Blanchfield said he was "super proud" of how far the Hawks had come in the last month.

"The way we're playing , everyone is out there working 100 per cent, there's no guys taking backward steps," he said.

Apart from again missing injured star guard LaMelo Ball, Illawarra weren't able to call upon frontcourt veterans AJ Ogilvy and David Andersen for Saturday's game.

Coach Matt Flinn said Ogilvy's shoulder had failed to settle after getting a cortisone injection earlier in the week, but he would travel to Adelaide.

Andersen, who has been dogged by a knee issue, suited up on Saturday but ruled himself out after the warmup.

Flinn hopes to finally get a time frame in the coming week for Ball's return to action, after missing the last seven games with a foot injury.