Winning Time (Preview: 36ers v Cairns 16/2/13)
Adelaide had a solid win over Cairns in their only matchup this year, thanks largely to the play of Schenscher, Gibson and Cadee. Big Luke's absence will be a huge loss tonight, as Cairns don't have the size to contain him easily (see Crosswhite's 21/10 game last night as evidence). Cadee and Gibson will again need to have big games and will need to work to slow Wilson. Look for Daly to also play some spot minutes on Wilson. Tommy D has had some good moments on US point guards and could bother Jamar at both ends of the floor.
Steindl had a big game here last time but is in the middle of a rookie slump. Looking very out of sorts. Tragardh will cause DJ problems with his array of post moves and is always a threat. Loughton always manages to find ways to score and must be closely watched. Edwards is a much tougher proposition now than he was at the start of the season.
Cairns came off a solid win last night and fought back well after trailing for a fair chunk of the game. It got strong games out of Wilson (16pts), Hill (14reb) and Loughton (17pts) as Cairns simply wore Sydney down. It's a tough ask for Cairns to front up again at home less than 24hrs later but I'm sure they'll be pumped for the game as a win will see them go 2-0 for the weekend and subsequently keep their slim playoff dreams alive.
The usual suspects (Gibson, DJ, Petrie) will need to have big games tonight, especially Gibson who really needs to have a 15/6/8 type of game and lead his team. Gibson is playing under duress but simply must break this game open. Adelaide will also need something, anything, from it's bench. One of Tommy D or the yet-to-score-on-the-road Scott Christopherson must chip in with 8-10 points.
Anything could happen in this game but I think the win last night will see Cairns go for the jugular tonight. They have struggled to build any momentum this season but and a 2-0 weekend could be just what they need near playoff time.
My Tip: Cairns by 5