Preview: 36ers v Tigers (9/11/12)

By now you're probably sick of all the hype about Jonny Flynn. 6th pick in the 2009 draft. Highest ever draft pick to play in the NBL. Lightning quick. Legit NBA player.

Tomorrow we'll see what all the fuss is about.

Flynn's arrival in the NBA started controversially. He was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves at number 6, a spot after Ricky Rubio (also taken by Minnesota). Critics slammed the move by Timberwolves GM David Kahn. Drafting point guards with back-to-back picks seemed dumb, but Kahn made the move based upon the likelihood that Rubio wouldn't enter the NBA that season. The pick was justified when indeed Rubio did stay in Europe for the next 2 seasons, giving Flynn the chance to start and get first crack at becoming the franchise point guard. 3 years later he's in the NBL.

Flynn can no doubt play but has been affected by two things that will always hinder point guards- injury and a weak outside shot. He has the tools though to make his mark on the league and fix the Tigers. He'll provide leadership and a pass-first mentality that should greatly help the Tigers. He can probably hide his shooting to a degree over here so it will be interesting to see how he fits.

This Tigers team will be quite different from the Tigers outfit Adelaide faced in Round 1. Besides Flynn, the Tigers this time have Adam Ballinger in uniform. Melbourne struggled to score in that game and lacked depth. That shouldn't be a problem this time around. The game is also in Melbourne, another help for the 1-4 Tigers. So who will win?

The case for Adelaide
The 36ers had a solid road win last week which will help their confidence. They scored down the stretch and hit the 3 with better efficiency. Luke Schenscher and CJ Massingale look much better of late than they did in the early rounds, meaning Adelaide doesn't have to lean as heavily on DJ and Gibson. DJ has been a Tiger killer in the last few games and this presents the perfect chance for him to bounce back from a few poor games.

The case for Melbourne
Melbourne got their first W of the season last week and will be buoyed by the Flynn signing. How quickly he adjusts to the Tigers system will be key but the guy has the potential to drop a 25 and 10. Ballinger will be keen to perform against his old side and Seth Scott matches up well against Adelaide's bigs. A big home crowd and lots of hype should have the Tigers pumped to kick their season into overdrive. Will Flynn be enough?

I don't like tipping against Adelaide but this game throws up a few challenges. A big crowd, Ballinger, Flynn, plenty of media, the chance to salvage a hopeless season....it has to be the Tigers. Hopefully I'm wrong like I was last week.

My Tip: Melbourne by 8

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