Batkovic aims to add to Caps' pain
Former Canberra star Suzy Batkovic admits the Capitals' slow start to the season has come as a shock.
But the Opals centre doesn't plan on being charitable when she tries to help Adelaide knock off her old teammates tonight.
Batkovic has been in blistering form for the Lightning, averaging 24 points and 12 rebounds in its first three games.
The Capitals snapped a four-game losing streak at Logan last week, and are desperate to make further inroads against the star-studded Lightning.
''I'm a bit surprised [with Canberra's start], but the group they have are not quitters,'' Batkovic said.
''They're a team that can come out firing and are capable of a lot, whether they bring it each and every game is something they have to work on, I guess.''
After winning only three games last season, Adelaide is rated a championship contender thanks to an impressive recruitment drive.
Along with Batkovic and Abby Bishop, Adelaide has added the likes of Opals guard Jenni Screen and experienced forward Jo Hill to its roster.
Batkovic said the chance to help revive the Lightning as a force played a role in her decision to sign with the five-time champion.
''I wouldn't say it was a massive factor, more so the challenge [appealed to me],'' she said. ''Adelaide shouldn't be a bottom team and they have been the last few years.
''It's a challenge to build the team and get it back up to where it belongs, when they had all those championship-winning sides.''
The inside battle between Adelaide's Batkovic and Bishop, and Canberra pair Marianna Tolo and Natalie Porter, will undoubtedly be pivotal at AIS Arena tonight.
Adelaide's two wins have come against minnows West Coast and AIS, with the Capitals posing a much stiffer test.
''It's always a challenge to play Canberra, it's a quality side and coached well, [but] I have no doubt me and 'Bish' will be fine on the inside,'' Batkovic said.
''Porter's come out of retirement and can light it up, she's a player we have to be careful of as well.''
Batkovic, Bishop and Tolo are all current Opals squad members, while Porter won an Olympic silver medal in 2004.
''I don't think there will be any love lost in the post contest and it will be great to watch,'' Capitals coach Carrie Graf said.
''All of them will be fired up for varying reasons and I think that makes for a hell of a contest in the post.
''Certainly that's the strength of their team. They've got good size on the perimeter, but the job we do with those guys [Bishop and Batkovic] is going to be critical.''
Graf said the areas that hurt Canberra in its losing streak - turnovers, possession play and defence - had improved markedly against Logan.
''They're all critical areas of the game,'' she said. ''We're still a work in progress, but you can't be a work in progress and be sliding ourselves out of our season.
''Coming off a win has given this group the confidence we're heading in the right direction.''