Perth 73, Adelaide 67
The final score tonight was 73-67 but the numbers of most importance were 49 and 29. That was the rebound count for each team, in Perth's favour. Yep, 20 difference. A staggering 22 of those Perth rebounds were on the offensive end. We can spin this a whole heap of ways to show how pathetic Adelaide's boxing out and rebounding was, for example....
-Greg Hire had more offensive rebounds (8) than any Adelaide player had total rebounds
-Greg Hire had more rebounds (14) than Adelaide's three frontcourt starters (11)
-Perth had more offensive rebounds (22) than Adelaide had defensive rebounds (18)
-Adam Gibson and Jason Cadee both had 5 rebounds, both more than Johnson (3) and Schenscher (2)
Adelaide's bigs simply allowed Perth's players, especially Hire, to sneak through for easy rebounds. It's just lucky for Adelaide the Wildcats squandered a lot of their hard work. Perth shot 39% from the field, 14% from three point range and 67% from the charity stripe. So yeh, it could have been a massacre.
Adelaide showed some good signs early, especially Daniel Johnson, who was having his way inside early and even showing some aggression with a big block and dunk. He scored 10 in the first quarter, again proving to be a first quarter bully. The Cats lead 22-15 at the end of the quarter but Adelaide was still in the game- it just needed to improve it's board work.
The second quarter was a a dogfight and wasn't pretty with Perth wasting plenty of opportunities and resorting to some lazy shots. Adelaide outscored Perth 17-11 for the quarter, despite getting 0 points out of DJ. Perth went into halftime up 33-32, thanks largely to the efforts of Greg Hire, who recorded 9 boards for the half (6 offensive).
The physicality of the game continued into the second half, with the result being some pretty poor shooting. Perth outscored Adelaide 14-13 for the quarter as both teams struggled to find a match winner. Knight and Lisch had both had moments while Adelaide was relying heavily on DJ, who was pretty much playing a lone hand.
The fourth quarter contained the usual Adelaide fourth quarter trademarks: a late game run, the inability to make key stops and an opposing superstar taking over. Adelaide reduced a 10 point deficit down to 3 in the final thirty seconds before Perth put Adelaide away for another home win.
The 36ers certainly had their chances but were wildly inconsistent, were pathetic on the boards, had too many defensive lapses and were unable to give DJ enough help on the offensive end. Perth did what they normally do in a tight game against an unsure-of-itself team- they simply went back to basics, ran their plays and were led by their veterans Lisch,Martin and Redhage.
DJ, Petrie and Cadee were Adelaide's best, although all three made their best contributions on offense. DJ was especially poor on defense. Gibson and Schenscher both had nights to forget which was magnified by the fact Clarke only played each of his three bench guards for under 11 minutes. Christopherson again failed to score on the road, Crosswell struggled and Daly had some nice baskets overshadowed by some fouls and mistakes.
It doesn't get easier for Adelaide, who have to fly home tomorrow and then face up Sunday to a hungry Tigers team, who are all of a sudden in the Top 4 and will be looking to cement their place inside it.
With the season shot, it would be good to see some sort of change on Sunday. Give us something 36ers. Please..........