12/14/12

Once bitten.....(Preview: 36ers v Crocs 15/12/12)

Adelaide faces off tomorrow against a "hot" Townsville team on a 2 game winning streak and keen to keep their  current form going. The Crocs started the season 0-10 and opened their win column against these Adelaide 36ers. The Sixers were playing the first game of a weekend double header and despite all the talk, it was clear Adelaide was half-focused on their matchup against the Kings two days later. This time the game is at home and Adelaide has no other game to think about. If it can't focus and get up for this game, on the back of the public criticism of the sacking of CJ, the calls for a coaching change and the resignation of their CEO they never will. A lot is on the line.

Despite sitting at 5-6 after 11 games, Adelaide finds itself boasting three NBL all-stars. Daniel Johnson starts, coming in for the injured Matt Knight. Adam Gibson comes off the bench as probably the league's form local guard (recognising Madgen as a forward) and Anthony Petrie joins him as perhaps the league's best 6th man (yes, I'm aware Petrie probably got the nod due to the fact the game is being played).  Adelaide somehow though is starting to lose ground in the hunt for a playoff berth.  After tonight, Adelaide plays 7 of it's last 16 at home. If they win tonight, they'll still need to pull off probably at least 8 wins from those 16 games to have a serious shot at finals action. Here's a quick look at what's ahead after tonight.

7 home games, 9 road games

HOME GAMES
4 against top 4 teams (2 vs New Zealand, Sydney, Wollongong)
3 against bottom 4 teams (Townsville, Cairns, Melbourne)

AWAY GAMES
5 against top 4 teams (2 vs Wollongong, Perth, New Zealand, Sydney)
4 against bottom 4 teams (2 vs Cairns, Melbourne, Townsville)

It's pretty hard to get a handle on this team but I'd pencil in no more than 7 wins on current form. At home we'd hope to beat Melbourne and win one against Townsville or Cairns and one against Sydney or Wollongong. On the road we'd hope to get a win against Perth or Sydney, 2 out of 3 against Townsville and Cairns and another against Melbourne. Some might see that as pessimistic, some optimistic. Remember though we lost by 30 to Melbourne over there last time and lost to Townsville at the Swamp too. All indicators point to another season out of the playoffs and for some serious change in 2013. Having a team with 3 all-stars, a former NBA player and two very highly rated juniors shouldn't be missing the playoffs. Lose tomorrow and they can all but say goodbye to playoff hopes.

Townsville won the last game thanks largely to the form of Gary Ervin, who Adelaide had no answers for (read the game review here ). Besides Ervin, you'd say only Jacob Holmes had any meaningful impact. Adelaide certainly did itself the most harm, getting little out of DJ,Schensch and Petrie (23 points combined). Cadee and Gibson both had solid games and will need to play even better tomorrow (assuming Gibson does play, currently under a cloud with a hip injury). If Gibson does miss I'm trusting Marty starts Mitch. I'd love to see a Cadee/Creek back court and to see them get out, run and have some fun. Adelaide's bench gave little last time and is now even weaker with the departure of Massingale. If Gibson misses it's extremely thin. The one positive is that Cadee and Petrie suffered varying degrees of illness on that last  weekend and should be fully fit this time around.

To win, Adelaide needs big games out of it's two best players in Gibson and Johnson and for some bench impact from Petrie and Creek. On defense we must curtail Ervin's impact by keeping the ball out of his hands and not letting him get to the line. Gibson and Creek should spend the majority of the game making his life difficult. Man, we really need Gibson to play.

I've pretty much convinced myself we can win this one if we pull off the above....and Gibson plays. If you don't normally attend games, make sure you get down to this one. It's Adelaide's best chance for a decent home win in a while and it's a rare Saturday night game. The club desperately needs this win and a full house in loud voice will make a difference. A win and some fun at a 36ers game are well overdue.

My Tip: Adelaide by 8

3 comments:

  1. One other thing we need is Schenscher (and possibly DJ) being able to stop 7'2" (218 cm) Crocs centre Luke Nevill who scored 26 last time out for Townsville against Melbourne.

    Adelaide also needs DJ to exploit his 10 cm height advantage over Jacob Holmes at PF, something that didn't happen at The Swamp (I remember watching the game live online and thinking that Clarke....er....the 36ers, were stupid for not doing that). DJ was pretty quiet in that game and to be a chance we need him firing. I don't expect DJ to out-rebound Holmes even though he is capable of it. But he should be scoring double what the former 36er does.

    If Gibbo is out I'd imagine Creek will start in front of Cross and will get more game time but sadly I can also see Tom Daly getting a fair bit as well (Daly is ok but Ervin would tear him apart). And if Gibbo is out don't expect Stephen Weigh to see much bench time either, regardless how he plays.

    I think a full house crowd is wishful thinking, though damn it would be nice to see. People have been complaining so far about the amount of Sunday arvo games, now they're getting a game when they want it lets see what the crowd is, though I doubt we'll even crack 4K. I've said it before and I'll say it again, IMO the 36ers playing winning and entertaining basketball is more likely to bring crowds back to the Adelaide Arena than whatever day of the weekend a game is played on.

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  2. I agree, the boys do need a packed house to get the win tonight, now, is that the fans fault? Or is it the players and the 36ers administration for not making the games entertaining?
    Look at all the other teams in the NBL, game day is a really big day/night. They have a big lighting show, smoke and you can really see that they are a team with their player intros.
    Adelaide come onto the court looking like a standed under 12s teams.
    To the players, YOU NEED to give us something to believe in again. As a 36er, you are playing on hallow grounds. This house has seen some of the best basketball you will ever see in Australia. You need to respect that, when you are one of the lucky ones who get your name on the back of an 36ers jersey.
    This year, you are playing for the survival of a great club.
    Let’s face it, we only have a lease on this house for the rest of the year. If numbers don’t pick up soon, there goes Adelaide arena.
    Adam, Jason, Anthony, you have seen the fall of a club once before, but this time, it would undo a 30 year history.
    A lot of them are at the end of the contracts with the 36ers this year. But that does not mean that you can let our great club fall in to the pages of history, not here, not in Adelaide. We stand by our club and fight like hell to keep its reputation.
    Marty, you are just not up for the job and that’s it. Step down before you are run out of town.
    Something’s not right in the walls of the 36ers house at the moment
    Mark and Brett, the 36ers and on the edge of not having a team next year, so your retired numbers are not going to have a house to be held in, do you want this?? Step in and call ‘shambles.’ You have had your time, but you are a 36ers for life. That’s the responsibility you have now.
    The lucky 10, who have honour of wearing the 36ers jersey this season, Play your heart out or leave your jersey at the door.
    If you do this, the fans will come back. Adam and Nathan as captains of this club this is your calling don’t let the fall of the 36ers be a stain on your careers

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  3. I wasn't expecting a full house but thought we'd get a few more considering the timeslot, school holidays have started etc. You're right KTR, the games have lacked a lot of in the way of pre-game and half-time entertainment. You'd bump the crowds up by default if you played some junior/U23 3 on 3 games, dunk competitions etc as it would bring family and friends along too.

    Our game style isn't overly attractive to watch-but could be. Allowing Cadee to run, more time for Mitch, bringing in a name import... some of the ingredients are there.

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