Thankyou For Smoking (Adelaide v Melbourne 25/2/12)
During the "ONE" coverage, Steve Carfino commented several times about how Chris Warren "loves playing at The Cage". That may be true, or it could just be that playing at "The Cage" generally involves playing Melbourne, who have no-one (or no-one smart enough) to contain him. Last night Warren put up 12pts on 4/12 shooting with 0 assists. Tonight his 26 came on 9/10 shooting plus he added 8 key assists. He's averaged over 24pts vs Melbourne this year (season avg 14.8) as he's been guarded generally by the tiny Myron Allen and Patty Mills. Good match ups for him.Warren was well supported by a lights-out Darren Ng (15pts on 4/7 threes), Daniel Johnson 18pts (16 in the first half) and Diamon Simpson (13 and 10).
Adelaide started the game with a new line-up, starting Bartlett over Creek. Pregame, Marty Clarke explained he needed Creek's scoring punch off the bench. Creek played 7 minutes. Liar! I would have liked Ng to start in this game as I predicted all along Melbourne wouldn't contain him. Ng didn't get on in the first quarter and Melbourne led 26-23 at qtr time. Ng got on in the 2nd and scored 6 quick points, playing a big part in a 22-11 Adelaide run. Adelaide finished the half up 1, 49-48.
The second half felt like all Adelaide with the 36ers outscoring the Tigers 43-35 the rest of the way. Adelaide's shooting stayed hot but they were helped by plenty of Melbourne lapses, poor offensive executions and the fouling out of Myron Allen. Adelaide kept doing what they wanted and pretty much stuck with the starting 5 plus Ng. Melbourne ran too many rotations (including 2 changes to the starting lineup) and struggled to get into any rhythm whatsoever.
Adelaide will be buoyed by the key role Ng has played in the club's last 2 wins and the continued improvement of Everard Bartlett. Clarke deserves credit for sticking essentially with 7 players and realising the different game this was to last nights game.
Weigh- 7pts (2/6), 5 reb, 2 ast. A quiet game but was important, especially by continuing to feed the hotter shooters. 5/10
Herbert- 0pts (0/1), 2 reb, 0 ast. Only got 8 minutes and was not really needed tonight as opposed to yesterday. 2/10
Ng- 15pts (5/8), 1 reb, 1 ast. A game set-up for a big Ng performance and he delivered big time. Got some good looks and also hit some tough ones. Averaging 17 in the team's last 2 wins. 7/10
Helliwell- 0pts (0/0), 1 reb, 2 blk. Probably overused despite only seeing 13 minutes. With Matt Burston barely playing, Wade didn't have any matchups to suit. 2/10
Warren- 26pts (9/10), 1 reb, 8 ast. Credit where credit is due. I've been a critic but he won us the game tonight. Did what was needed and then some. Best game of the season. 9/10
Johnson- 18pts (4/14), 6 reb, 2 ast. Scored 16 in the first half but got too trigger happy and took some bad shots in the 2nd, scoring only 2 for the half. 8/9 free throws. 7/10
Creek- 2pts (1/1), 1 reb, 0 ast. Moved to the bench and barely got a look, thanks to the hot play of Bartlett and Ng. 2/10
Bartlett- 11pts (4/5), 4 reb, 2 ast. Solid in his new role, but 4 turnovers and struggles with the pressure not good. On a positive note he takes good shots and looks to get others involved. 6/10.
Simpson- 13pts (2/6), 10 reb, 4 blk. Got 30 minutes but went long stretches with minimal impact. A solid game, highlighted by 9/12 free throws. 7/10
Clarke- again, credit where credit is due. Tried something new with the lineup, used Ng well, limited the rotations. Would have liked to have seen Ng in the 1st quarter and a little more of Creek but we won so he was right. 8/10