Tomorrow the 36ers get their final crack at the Breakers for this season, hoping to secure their first win over them this season. It ain't gonna be easy. NZ has comfortably/easily beat us in all 3 games this year and it won't be any easier this time.Both Breakers imports are in good form, they have a much healthier CJ in the lineup than last time and the team is coming off a big win in Perth. If Adelaide is going to have any chance, here's what they must do.
-Stop Wilko. He's averaged 25pts @ 58% and 6reb against Adelaide this season (up on his season averages of 16pts @ 50% and 6 reb). Why? He constantly drifts outside for threes (8/11 in the three games) or wide open jumpers. He can cause us trouble inside too, especially if not being guarded by Diamon. Unfortunately we don't have an ideal matchup for him. We probably need to throw a mix of guys at him (DJ, Simpson, Helliwell) and some zone until we find the right mix. NZ has plenty of good players but the one constant in all 3 games has been Wilko.
-Play Herbie, Creek and Ng. NZ has a potent offensive team and we'll need to run Herbert and Creek a little more. I'd like us to go back to Creek starting for this game but if not we must ensure Herbie and Mitch get plenty of burn. Id' like to see some Warren, Creek, Herbert, Simpson and DJ or Bartlett, Ng, Herbert, Simpson, Helliwell. Some niggle will go a long way and these lineups provide that.
-Ngsanity. When CJ or Corletto are playing SG, Ng must get some minutes. He's got the height and athleticism to trouble both. I'd get him on early in the 1st quarter and throughout the game run his defender ragged through screens for 4-5 minutes, sub him for 3-5 minutes and bring him back. We need 10+ out of him tomorrow night.
-Take good shots. Duh. Our bigs FG% has dropped in 2012, mainly due to teams honing in harder on them and the guys occasionally taking shots they shouldn't be taking. DJ must draw his defender outside a little and try to draw some fouls with his athleticism. This will also open things up for Diamon who should have an advantage over all their bigs.
A tough ask and I think the Breakers will just have too many answers. A closer contest though. NZ by 8.