The two dominant NBL teams of the past decade square off in a top-of-the-table clash at Spark Arena on Thursday night as the Breakers host the Perth Wildcats.

The two clubs have won the past eight championships between them and once again look like the teams to beat early in the 2017-18 season.

The rivalry has been a fierce one that has boiled over on more than one occasion.

"There is a different buzz around the place the week we play Perth," swingman Thomas Abercrombie said.


"There is a lot of history there, everyone gets excited by it, coaches, players, fans - it seems everyone is clued up on the history of both teams and the history we have had, and it contributes to an exciting week.

"Everyone comes in on Monday just that little bit more ready to get things going for the week."

Both sides have got off to a hot start this year, which adds to the intensity Abercrombie said.

"I think that buzz happens regardless, but it seems we are one and two quite often when we meet," he added.

"That adds another layer of intrigue to it and is a good measure of where both teams are at, both have had a good start to the season and now we get the real test of playing each other home and away.

"I am sure that as much as we are looking forward to it, Perth will be up for the challenge as well."

The Breakers carry a six-game winning streak into the occasion and top the standings after dropping their season opener.

They face back-to-back games against the old enemy this week with a return game in Perth on Sunday.

"No one has left disappointed after a Perth Breakers game, it is always physical, there are always fireworks it is always an intense encounter and I am sure this week will be no different," Abercrombie said.

"We would love to have a massive crowd cheering us along, we know that everything we give we will get back when we play over there on Sunday, so a big and passionate crowd on Thursday would be huge for us, knowing we have to go and face their fans in Perth on Sunday."

Veteran Perth player Matt Knight will be one big name missing however with the centre/power forward forced into premature retirement due to lingering concussion symptoms.

Despite many fierce battles over the years long-time rival Mika Vukona paid tribute to Knight.

"I was sad to hear Matt's news yesterday, you never want to hear of a player having to retire on anything other than their own terms," Vukona said. "Matt has been a true warrior in this league and an opponent to be respected and admired for what he brought every time he suited up.

"We had some great battles, with neither of us prepared to take a backward step, he has been a huge part of Perth through their recent success and will leave a huge hole for sure."