Reality Check (Review: 36ers v Hawks 28/10/12)
In yesterday's game preview I said that we'd know a lot more about both teams by the end of today's game. True dat. We know Wollongong, coached by the brilliant Gordie McLeod, is legit. We know that Adelaide, in reality, still has a long way to go.
Adelaide was smoking from the opening tip, racing out to a 10-0 lead. The fans were feeling it, the team was feeling it and it looked like Adelaide was going to realise it's potential. Gibbo (9pts) and DJ (4pts) looked dangerous and even CJ Massingale hit the scoreboard with a nice steal and layup right near the end of the first quarter. Marty Clarke also got in on the act, using all 10 players including the rarely seen Pero. Adelaide led 21-12 at the end of the quarter and it looked like it was gonna be a fun day at the Arena. Then Wollongong made adjustments and the game got turned on it's head.
From the second quarter onwards, Wollongong simply wore Adelaide down by it's continual push to score inside baskets, wearing down Gibbo and DJ and making Schenscher ineffective. Amazingly, Gibson did not score for the rest of the game. He hit his first four shots and then went 0-8 for the rest of the game. DJ hit two of his first three shots in the 1st, then went 1/6 for the rest of the game, only scoring again when the game was well and truly over. Adelaide scored 15,13 and 14 for the next three quarters, with Wollongong going for 18,17 and 30.
So how did Wollongong turn it around and get the win?
McLeod had a great game from the sideline. In the first quarter Schensch was rotating well off pick and rolls and getting a hand in the face of several three point attempts. For the rest of the game, the Hawks players attacked him, drawing fouls and frustrating Big Luke into some poor play. Gordie's rotations were good and he did his part in turning a game from unwinnable to winnable very quickly. On the other hand, Marty Clarke dug himself a hole by getting all 10 players into the game so quickly, then messing up many of the rotations from there on in. The main offenders were DJ sitting the first five minutes of the last quarter and too often getting his mix of guards wrong.
An incredible 4th quarter. Scored 14pts and dished 3 assists. One of the most dominant performances by an opposing point guard here in recent memory and one of the best overall performances against Adelaide since Cedric Jackson two games ago. Sensing a theme here. Thankfully Gordie kindly subbed him off for a spell late in the game.
Adelaide hit 10 of it's first 16 shots, then went 17/47. They only shot seven free throws (as did Wollongong) and simply struggled to find anyone outside workhorse Anthony Petrie (16pts) who could consistently score. The 36ers won't win many games with Gibbo and DJ both not scoring in double figures.
Gibson: 9pts (4/12), 3 reb, 7 ast. Brilliant start tarnished by the next 3 quarters. Made some nice plays but the team needed his scoring and leadership down the stretch. Got embarrassed by former team mate Deleon in the last quarter. 6.5/10
Weigh: 8pts (3/5), 6 reb, 3 ast. Again had limited opportunities on offense as the guards look to score themselves or pass inside while Stevey watches from the 3pt line. Not being fully utilised. 5/10
Cadee: 6pts (3/9), 2 reb, 3 ast. Was not given much burn at the 1 and tried to find his way into the game at times but is not at his best when he's at the 2. Clarke needs to throw him the ball and let Gibbo be the off-guard. 4.5/10
Massingale: 2pts (1/1), 0 reb, 0 ast. Finally scored but did little else in his 5 minutes and saw no second half action. A concern. 1/10
Schenscher: 7pts (2/4), 4 reb, 1 ast. Outworked on the boards and was made ineffective after the first quarter. 4/10
Petrie: 16pts (7/15), 5 reb, 1 ast. Kept working hard and kept the scoreboard ticking. Great return for 23 minutes of PT. 7/10
Johnson: 6pts (3/9), 7 reb, 1 ast. I "tweeted" at the start of the 4th that he'd need to finish with a double-double for us to win. Didn't get onto after the 5 minute mark and didn't get the double-double. Poor game and his FG% is a concern. Went for a dunk which rimmed out. Now we know why he doesn't go for them very often. 6.5/10
Creek: 5pts (2/3), 1 reb, 0 ast. Made some nice plays in his 12 minutes and deserved more PT. 4/10
Crosswell: 4pts (2/4), 3 reb, 3 ast. Was used a little with Gibson and looks better when he's at the 1 and Gibson at the 2. Also wasted with some time at the 2 with Cadee on court. Made some good plays. 4.5/10
Vasiljevic: 0pts, 0 reb, 0 ast. Got less than a minute and only registered a missed skyhook. Baffling why Clarke brought him on for less than a minute and not again. 0/10
Hurdle: 16pts (7/13), 4 reb, 2 ast. Popped up with key baskets and played an important role. 7/10
Demos: 0pts (0/1), 0 reb, 1 ast. Only played a shade under 5 minutes and did little. 0.5/10
Deleon:23pts (10/16), 3 reb, 7 ast. Massive 4th quarter and put the game well and truly out of reach will a dazzling array of moves. A gun. 8.5/10
Forman: 0pts (0/4), 2 reb, 4 ast. Another poor hometown game but was happy just to keep the ball moving on offense. 3/10
Jackson: 2 pts (0/1), 2 reb, 0 ast. Played 9 minutes and contributed little. 2/10
Davidson: 12pts (5/11), 7 reb, 1 ast. Solid D and rebounding and always threatening on offense. Solid. 7/10
Saville: 7pts (3/8), 3 reb, 2 ast. In the twilight of his career but plays a role. Not their worst. 5/10
Martin: 9pts (4/9), 1 reb, 0 ast. Not a great return for 25 minutes but played his part. 5/10
Gruber: 8pts (3/4), 11 reb, 1 ast. Worked his backside off and out rebounded and outworked everyone on court. 7/10