Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson has accused the Adelaide 36ers of "accentuating" contact in order to draw fouls, and says his team may need to follow suit in order to keep their NBL title defence alive.
The Wildcats are 1-0 down in their best-of-three semi-final series against the 36ers after an embarrassing 109-74 defeat in game one in Adelaide.
The 36ers were awarded 30 free-throws in that match, compared to the Wildcats' 18.
It continued a theme that has occurred all season, with Adelaide topping the league for free-throws awarded (27.2).
Next best were the Illawarra Hawks with 21.5, while Perth ranked fourth with 20.5 free-throws per game.
"They (Adelaide) do a really good job of accentuating the contact," Gleeson said ahead of Friday night's clash with the 36ers at Perth Arena.
"They're masters at it. They lead the league in foul shooting. I think they've had 200 more foul shots than any other team in the league through the regular season.
"And again, it was pretty lop-sided in game one.
"We've got to be careful how we play that. If the refs are calling it, we've got to be smarter.
"We can take a leaf out of their book and start over-emphasising the contact as well."
Gleeson is backing his team to return to form in front of what's expected to be a sell-out crowd on Friday night.
If they lose their hopes of a title three-peat are over.
Star Wildcats import JP Tokoto scored just five points in game one; well down on his season average of 16.
Gleeson is backing the American to rebound strongly in game two.
"It was just a one-off bad game for him," Gleeson said.
"We have faith and trust in him. He turns us from a good team to a great team, and he's a big part of why we're going to win on Friday night."
Adelaide will again rely on an even spread of contributors to beat the Wildcats.
In game one, six Adelaide players hit double figures with Josh Childress (22 points), Mitchell Creek (20), and Shannon Shorter (18) leading the way.
The winner of the semi-final series will meet Melbourne United in the best-of-five grand final series.
Australian Associated Press