Shut 'Em Down! (Preview: 36ers v Kings 13/1/13)
Tomorrow Adelaide faces off against Sydney for the last time this season. Sydney leads the season series 2-1 and has won the last two battles versus the Sixers. Adelaide's season has gone from promising to "train wreck" in little more than a month and the team is under immense pressure from a "fed-up" fan base (just check the forums,social media and "booing" at the last two games). Few will give them any chance for a win tomorrow. I can only see a win if they pull off these two benchmarks.
1/Hold the Kings under 80 points
Each Sydney-Adelaide game this season has been a scoring-fest (well for NBL standards at least), with each team scoring in the 80's
Game 1: Adelaide 88, Sydney 81
Game 2: Sydney 88, Adelaide 85
Game 3: Sydney 86, Adelaide 82
To win, Adelaide will need to hold Sydney under 80pts and make 80 themselves.
Adelaide needs to especially hone in on Henry and Madgen while not allowing Bruce to get going. Not as easy as it sounds. The Sixers will need to........
-Rotate Gibson and Weigh on Madgen primarily.
-Use Cadee and Christopherson to split the minutes on Bruce
-Use Cadee on Henry with Crosswell and Daly getting spot bench minutes bothering Sydney's dynamic point guard (Crosswell has frustrated Henry at times this year and Daly has had some good defensive stretches against opposing point guards of late).
Adelaide has little scoring punch off the bench nowadays being down Creek and CJ and with new import Scott Christopherson contributing a single point in his debut weekend. The Sixers must work especially hard on the defensive end from here on in as it won't win any shootouts against the better teams.
2/ Get some bench help
All Adelaide's starters love playing Sydney, with each player seeing a bump in their per game scoring figures versus the Kings.
Schenscher averages 18 against Sydney (10.2 season avg)
Gibson 17.3 (12.8)
Johnson 15.7 (15)
Weigh 14.7 (10.6)
Cadee 7.3 (7.2)
The bench on the other hand all scores under their season averages, most notably Petrie who is averaging only 4.3 points per game against the Kings this year (despite the fact he only averages 3 less minutes a game versus Sydney). On averages, we'd only anticipate 6-8 extra points from our bench, putting a large burden on the starters. If Schenscher gets it going inside, it makes it so much easier for Weigh and Gibson from outside. They can't do it alone though, meaning one of Petrie or Christopherson needs to provide some scoring punch. In the Sixers lone win versus the Kings this year, they got 9 points from CJ (in under 6 minutes) and 7 from Mitch Creek.
Adelaide is on an eight game losing streak and enters this game with little confidence. It's only won three games at home all year, has lost their last two to Sydney and hasn't won since it lost Creek and Massingale from the lineup. In what should have been a week of action, the club sheltered itself from attention by advising it was holding a board meeting at the end of the week and making itself largely unavailable to the media. This didn't exactly appease the media and fans and will only serve to anger both parties more if Adelaide submits another poor performance.
I really want to tip Adelaide but I just can't ignore the lack of options off the bench. Unless Christopherson shows something soon or Daly gets significant minutes and fills a role, I can't tip Adelaide against the top 4.
My Tip: Sydney by 3