12/10/11

Playing without Balls

Tomorrow the 36ers will be back to putting out a team sans it's captain, Adam Ballinger. Reports are he showed some signs in Thursday's loss to Sydney before reinjuring his ankle. Helliwell took the bulk of his minutes and while he gives some different looks on D, he's no longer really a threat at the other end of the court. So how should the 36ers rotation adjust?

Starting 5- No change (DJ, Simpson, Weigh, Warren, Crosswell)

6th Man- Herbert. First sub for Crosswell, will likely match up on Jackson. Must stay out of foul trouble and hit some 3's.

7th Man- Creek. Deserves some court time early if Weigh is not having a big influence. Has done what has been required in his limited minutes. Needs an opportunity to show what he can do with an extended period of play.

8th Man- Helliwell. Clarke will be tempted to slot him in for 20+ minutes but he should only be used to spell DJ and Simpson when they need a quick breather or are in foul trouble. He's not suited to guarding Wilkinson or Vukona which really means he should come on when Pledger comes on.

9th Man- Darren Ng. Best used as a backup to Warren or when the team need a bailout shooter. Should see some minutes against the shorter NZ backcourt and could be a factor tonight.

10th &11th Men- Tom Daly & Jan Warbout. Use only in emergency.

The matchups dictate DJ and Simpson must play 32+ minutes each so it's crucial they don't get in foul trouble. As Wilkinson likes to draw opposing bigs outside it's critical we don't give up bad fouls outside the key. Abercrombie will also be a handful and Simpson should match up well on him. Promises to be a good game.

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