It would be really nice to leave Adelaide Arena tonight celebrating successive home wins and clinching the season series against Perth......but I've got my doubts.
The only time both teams were at full strength against each other was the last time they played. Adelaide still had Ballinger and Crosswell and Perth had just returned Martin to the lineup. Adelaide struggled mightily with Perth's press the last time they met and now Adelaide must try to beat it without Crosswell. Hopefully Adelaide has worked hard these last 2 weeks on how to execute against the press and how to utilise it themselves. We don't match up brilliantly on paper against them but have managed to pull off two impressive wins on their home court. Here's what I think the team must do to ensure a win.
1) Start Helliwell. Apparently he has some injury issues but he must spend time on Nevill. Perth start him and then tend to leave him on the bench for a while and this would mean Helliwell would likely come on when he's off. Nevill has strung together 5 successive double digit games and can't be underestimated. Too big for Simpson or DJ to handle 1-on-1. Helliwell starting though is about as likely as the scoreboard working for the entire game.
2) Creek on Lisch. Creek must be given this match up and should thrive. Shutting down Lisch will go a long way to a 36ers win.
3) Stop the press. We must beat the press early and encourage Perth to try something else. We should also try it in stretches on them.
4) X-Factor. Don't expect it to be Ng's night tonight- Perth won't allow it. Chris Warren has had some big nights against Perth and we'll need another one from him tonight. He is too quick for their guards and must utilise his speed because if it becomes physical he's toast.
5) Herbie Time. Herbert has the physical tools to take it up to their guards but we'll need his outside shooting to be on too. A few threes would go a long way.
6) Go to the bigs early. We must get DJ and DS going early. On offense DJ must take Nevill outside and DS needs to work over whoever takes him inside.
I think the boys will put in an honourable effort tonight but I think Perth will be a handful. Wildcats by 5.