The measuring stick (Adelaide vs Perth 24/2/12)
No, this wasn't our starting lineup (unfortunately), but a lineup that went on a 7-2 run in the 3rd that gave us a sniff going into the last quarter. This is close to our best defensive lineup (except Simpson for DJ) and a lineup that could put up a fight against the physical play of the Wildcats. Sadly this group only got 3:22 on court together but perhaps if they got more time together, they could have given us a better chance.
It was a scrappy start by both teams and Perth finished the first quarter ahead 23-20. The Wildcats extended their lead in the 2nd and were up 44-36 at the half, thanks to some good D and some atrocious shooting by Adelaide, including our bigs inside. It was clear early that we needed a more physical lineup out there and that Ng wasn't going to get daylight, yet unfortunately we couldn't get any rhythm going. Adelaide started Ng in the 3rd with Warren, Weigh, Johnson and Simpson, hoping Ng could get going but he didn't. For the quarter the team managed to match Perth's 16pts for the quarter, thanks largely to the lineup mentioned up above.
Adelaide started Ng, Warren, Weigh, Simpson and Johnson (again) in the 4th- a lineup that wasn't going to work. It didn't, Perth buidling their lead until Adelaide finally settled on a Bartlett, Warren, Weigh, Johnson, Simpson lineup that clicked, taking the 36ers from down 64-75 to down 77-79 until Perth woke up and took the lead back out 11, winning 79-90.
It was a weird game with Adelaide staying within 10 for most of the game before an inexplicable late charge that almost saw them snatch the lead until Perth composed themselves and put the game well out of reach. Adelaide had their chances but you'll never win shooting 38% from the field, 29% on the three and 63% from the line.
Weigh- 12pts (6/12), 6 reb, 3 ast. Played ok in patches but we needed a little more. 6/10
Herbert- 2pts (0/4), 5 reb, 2 ast. Some solid D but his shot continues to desert him. Must provide some scoring punch off the bench. 4.5/10
Daly- 0/0/0. Only got 2 minutes and didn't have much impact, obviously. Got crunched on a screen to add salt to the wound. 1/10
Ng- 0pts (0/6), 4 reb, 0 ast. It was never going to be his night, Perth don't let you get open 3's. Struggled all round. Shouldn't have got 16 minutes. 2/10
Helliwell- 6pts (2/4), 2 reb, 0 ast. Took it up to Perth, but also made some blunders on both ends. Has an injury apparently but deserved more minutes. Two of the best runs the team went on were with him on the court. 4/10
Warren- 12pts (4/12), 4 reb, 0 ast. 6 turnovers and no assists....not ideal. Struggled with the pressure and looked for his own shot too much. Hit some important 3's but you'd hope he would seeing as he took 9 of them. 3/10
Johnson- 24pts (8/18), 8 reb, 2 ast. Perth played him hard, fouling him 10 times. Was too soft at times but worked hard to compile his 24. Shot better from range, including 3/4 from the 3pt line. 7/10
Creek- 3pts (1/3), 4 reb, 2 ast. Only got 13 minutes and was poorly used by Clarke. Deserved more time as he was willing to take it up to the opposition. 3/10
Bartlett- 11pts (4/6), 3 reb, 2 ast. Again the team looked better with him running the show. Hit 2/3 triples and did some nice things. Was always looking to create but hit the shots given to him. One of his better games. 6/10
Simpson- 6pts (3/9), 6 reb, 3 blk. Not his night. Most of his shots rimmed out and was given plenty of attention by Perth. Didn't endear himself to Radford anymore with that performance. 4.5/10
Clarke- didn't get the rotations right when clearly the team needed Bartlett, Creek and Herbert on for more time. Persisted with Ng for too long. As a general rule if he doesn't hit a 3 early it won't be his night. I was already writing the apology letter when the group with Bartlett and Warren on were part of the 4th qtr blitz....until they let the lead blow back out to 11. Not his best night on the bench. 5/10.
Lisch, Wagstaff and Martin were Perth's best, taking it up to Adelaide with physical play and deadly shooting (8/13 threes between them, as opposed to Adelaide's combined 8/28). Perth continue to be the league's measuring stick, playing tenacious D for 40 minutes and unselfish basketball. A joy to watch.