There’s a new power couple in Australian sport and they’ll now be known as Vice.
Forget about Hollywood’s Brangelina, Kimye and Bennifer, the NBL now has to counter the Bryce Cotton and Vic Law show when teams confront the Perth Wildcats.
Wildcats fans shook their head in amazement when Law scored 37 points on Friday night. Cotton followed that performance with 31 of his own as Perth beat Cairns 90-67 at RAC Arena.
Coach Scott Morrison coined the nickname after winning his second game in a row.
“I know how much you guys down here love nicknames,” Morrison said.
“You’ve got to have different options. They came in here to really focus on Vic, rightly or wrongly, after a big game on Friday.
“They were playing him tight and didn’t really leave him for help. I think that helped to open up a bit of space for other people, including Bryce. My challenge to Vic and Bryce would be to see if they can get 30 on less than 25 shots.”
Law still scored 14 points, had six rebounds and four assists, but Cotton stole the show with 16 points in the third quarter.
Cotton said the advantage Perth had with two huge scoring weapons meant they could adjust their tactics depending on who the opposition spent more time focusing on.
“It’s still basketball 101. You take what the defence give you,” Cotton said.
“The one thing with Vic as well is even though he can score a high level of points, he’s an unselfish player. They did a good job of doubling him and basically not letting his breathe but he still made great passes, picked his spots and found the right times to be aggressive. Along with the scoring, his IQ comes into play.”
Luke Travers was again influential with 14 rebounds, Kyle Zunic had a big presence with 13 points while Majok Majok, Jesse Wagstaff and Ollie Hayes-Brown stepped up at important times.
Cairns captain Scott Machado struggled with only four points from 12 shots and he also had four turnovers.
The Wildcats will play Brisbane on Sunday in the first of two games across consecutive weekends.
With concerns WA’s border, the Bullets will fly to Perth on Monday to begin preparations. The Wildcats are unlikely to have Matt Hodgson available for that game with scans expected to reveal his calf injury will keep him sidelined for several matches.
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