Will Magnay set to play on Thursday after watching Perth Wildcats’ demolition of Breakers
Perth Wildcats are confident boom recruit Will Magnay will play in Thursday night’s clash against Melbourne United after they decided not to take any risks with the big man just one day after he completed hotel quarantine.
Magnay suited up for 98-84 win over New Zealand, but didn’t spend any time on court. The Wildcats won comfortably without him as Bryce Cotton dominated with 32 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.
John Mooney was also outstanding with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Todd Blanchfield had 18 points.
Perth only signed Magnay on Thursday and coach Trevor Gleeson said it quickly became apparent after his arrival in WA that it wasn’t smart to push him.
“You can’t sit in a room for two weeks and then come out and play at the elite level. We have a duty of care for him,” Gleeson said.
“He’s been locked up in a room for 14 days so he hasn’t got his legs underneath him.
“It was good to get a blow out yesterday and we worked him out just after shoot around before the game.
“We decided not to play him because he hasn’t had any traction with the team. Physically he wanted to play but his body’s not there yet. We’ll build him up this week and anticipate he’ll play on Thursday.”
Magnay had to be in the game-day roster for nine of Perth’s last 10 games to qualify for finals and his inclusion forced Jarrad Bairstow out of the team.
Bairstow, who originally signed as Majok Majok’s injury replacement, has remained with the Wildcats and can return if another player is injured.
He had been a key part of the starting five and youngster Luke Travers replaced him in that role.
New Zealand have had a horror season of injury and couldn’t select Corey Webster (back) or Levi Randolph (hamstring). They then lost captain Tom Abercombie to a hamstring injury late in the match.
Cotton had put the result beyond doubt by that stage and said he’d been determined to have an impact after being below his brilliant best in recent matches and struggling with his shooting.
“There’s going to be games where your shot is falling and there’s other times where it’s not as we’ve seen,” Cotton said.
“I just want to make sure I continue to play my game regardless of the result. It was a big focus for me to not get caught up in how the past couple games had been and just worry about the game tonight. That helped me out a lot.”
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