Sydney 86, Adelaide 82
It was hardly our worst loss and there were some positives, but it would be a shock if Adelaide doesn't have a new coach before their next game.
The game was tight throughout and Adelaide went into half-time down 41-37. Clarke did a very "UnClarke" thing to start the second half by going with a Crosswell/Cadee/Gibson/Weigh/Petrie lineup. It didn't really work initially but the team did get a lift when DJ and Schensch subbed in for Crosswell and Petire. This meant Adelaide was playing it's starters against a mix of Sydney's starters and reserves and this worked well, with Adelaide going on a 12-8 run to finish the quarter.
The 36ers entered the last quarter down 62-59, having won the quarter 22-21. Nothing huge but at least Adelaide won the quarter and could go into the last 10 minutes with some hope.
Two and a half minutes into the last quarter the Kings had put together a nice run (12-2) and had a 74-61 lead. Adelaide kept fighting back and got as close as 85-82 with four seconds left. They fouled Madgen who went to the line, converted 1 of 2 and got Sydney the highly important win. The win sees Sydney move to third on the ladder and shuts the door completely on Adelaide's playoff hopes. I think.
Postives from the game included.......
-Our 4 key starters (Gibson,Weigh, DJ.Schensch) all scoring 16 or more. Cadee was a little more assertive and finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
-Clarke's willingness to change things up to start the 3rd
-The ability to stay in the game right until the end
The negatives which are killing the team
-Inability to stop individual opponents from taking over the game. This time it was Madgen, who scored 30 playing with a dodgy shoulder.
-Scott Christopherson. I went early with my doubts and I appear to be right. Didn't get a shot off in 13:32. I do put a lot of the blame on his team mates rarely even looking to his side of the floor but in any case he appears to lack confidence and the ability to have any other impact on the game (2 boards, 1 turnover)
-Nathan Crosswell is in a massive slump and continually gets exposed for his lack of an outside game. Registered 0pts, 1 block and 3 fouls in over 17 minutes of court time.
Not much of the above is on the coach for this game but a change is needed to shake things up and see how the team responds to a different voice and game plan. A local born, well known name interim coach who can see out the season and try some new things should appease the fan base, create some breathing space for the club and roster and allow the board to work out it's direction for 2013-2014. The following should be on next season's wish list.
-Import point guard in the Jackson/Ervin mould who can lead, direct the team down the stretch and get some media attention for the team
-One or two local boys on the roster
-An attractive style of basketball that will attract fans.
-A coach who can get the best out of the signed talent while lifting the profile of the game in South Australia
Will be an interesting week in Adelaide.............
*Tomorrow I'll do a "The Numbers" piece covering both weekend's games. Stats will be updated Monday and I'll bring you up-to-speed with any news should their be change in the wind.