This year, I renewed my season tickets for the first time in over a decade. I'd moved to Melbourne back in 2004, returning in 2010. I decided to go along to a few games in 2010-2011 and this year decided to get a family season ticket.
Over the off-season I liked, on paper, the import signings and the addition of Weigh and Crosswell. All things sounded good and there was no reason not to think Adelaide would make a legitimate finals run.
In a pre-game interview before the season opener, I noted Marty Clarke talk about how (in short) "you don't need to prepare for Perth, you know what they're going to do". 48 minutes later Adelaide had recorded a 33 point loss. We were bamboozled by their press and were made to be bystanders on D. The alarm bells were ringing early. I was hopeful though that we could just put this down to being down Ballinger and our new import, Diamon Simpson. The team lost the next 2 games to Wollongong (away) and Sydney (home) before pulling off a surprise win over the Wildcats in Perth.
We suffered another 2 losses to Sydney (home) and NZ (away) before pulling off our first home win of the year against Melbourne. The Melbourne game was memorable for the head-to-head battle between Mills and Warren and the standout performance of Steve Weigh (24pts, 7 reb). Another home loss followed to Gold Coast before we "shocked the world" again with another win over Perth on their homecourt.
Next up was Sydney in Sydney. It was a costly loss with the team losing and captain Adam Ballinger going down to another ankle injury. 3 days later we took on the Breakers at home and lost another veteran to a season-ending injury, vice-captain Nathan Crosswell.
Crosswell's injury forced a shake-up of the lineup, bringing Mitch Creek off the bench into the SG role. It worked, Adelaide pulling off a comfortable win over Wollongong in Adelaide. Another loss to Gold Coast followed before Adelaide finished 2011 strong with a win over Sydney in Sydney and the new look line-up had a 2-1 record.
2012 started badly with 6 losses on the trot ( Cairns x 2, Townsville x 2, NZ and Melbourne). On Feb 12 Adelaide pulled off it's first win of 2012 with a win over the Crocs (it's third attempt in 18 days). A loss to Perth followed before "The Streak" began - back-to-back wins over the Tigers (away) and the Hawks (home).
Unfortunately "The Streak" ended quickly and was replaced with 4 straight losses, culminating in an 8-20 record, the worst in club history.
So what will be the wash-up of season 2011-2012? The club starts some intense reviews this week. In Pt 2 of the blog tomorrow, I'll rate the season's of all players and say who should stay and who needs to move on.