Tonight Adelaide takes on New Zealand for the 3rd time this season. Both games this year (1 at home and 1 away) have had differing results with Game 1 turning quickly into a rout before Adelaide stormed home (thanks largely to NZ clearing the bench) and managed a flattering 90-99 loss. Game 2 in Adelaide was tighter until the Breakers, thanks mainly to Gary Wilkinson, outscored us 25-13 in the 4th quarter. Despite the differing flows of the game, some things have been consistent and the 36ers must address them if they don't want to be embarassed.
-Stop Wilko. He has killed us in both games and must be slowed down (somehow). A box and 1 mightn't be a bad move as he'll drift outside at times and likely manage to get isolated against Warren or another guard. He's hit 7 threes over the two games and we must respect his shot and not leave him open. It took us 4 games to get it right against Khazzouh, hopefully we can get it right against Wilko quicker.
-Bench Help. The bench has contributed little against NZ so far this season with Herbert averaging 5, Ng averaging 3 and Helliwell 1.5. Hopefully Bartlett can offer something and Ng can have one of "those" games.
-Feed The Bigs. Again our best hopes lie with DJ and DS. If we can get DS isolated on Wilkinson and get him into foul trouble it will have a double whammy effect. DJ also has the versatility to hurt Pledger when he's on. Must give him some looks and would be good to see him playing from up top.
Assuming we play mainly man and use the same starting lineup, here's how I'd like us to matchup
Warren v Jackson
Creek v Abercrombie
Weigh v Corletto
Simpson v Wilkinson
Johnson v Vikuona
It will be a tough ask, especially with NZ playing at home, welcoming CJ back into the lineup and the likelihood Abercrombie won't go 0-9 again . We will be missing Crosswell from the last matchup too (this was the game he did his achillies). NZ and Perth are this season's benchmark and are a level above the rest of the Top 4, let alone the bottom 5. Sorry but it's just too tough an ask- NZ by 11.