OCT 11- Away vs Perth
In the team's debut under Joey Wright, Adelaide heads west to take on it's nemesis Perth. It should be a fascinating game for many reasons, including...
-The debut of Heat-drafted James Ennis
-The debut of the new rules interpretations. What better test for this than a home Wildcats game where the refs can sometimes get a little....affected
-Can Adelaide continue it's dominance over the 'Cats in Perth without Marty Clarke on the sidelines?
-Can Gary Ervin get over last year's Perth blues, where he averaged just 12 points a game at 33%?
Many experts figure a slight dip in the rankings for Perth with a new coach, no Kevin Lisch and Matty Knight out injured for the opening weeks. If Redhage and Martin can produce their best and both imports work out the Wildcats should be back for another Grand Final.
Adelaide has the team on paper but can it bring it together for the opening round?
OCT 19- Home vs Wollongong
The team's home debut comes in round 2 against a team many figure to not make the playoffs. Sav is gone, Martin won't be back until later in the year and the team is still looking for one more import. All things considered this is a very winnable game for Adelaide.
OCT 25- Away vs Cairns
After taking a big step back last year, many are picking the Taipans to be a Top 3 team.
The team has a potentially explosive offensive lineup. It's backcourt features Jamar Wilson and Demetri McCamey, who comes in fresh from the NBA Summer League. The frontcourt is equally devastating with recruit Stephen Weigh joining Cam Tragardh and Alex Loughton. It's bench is suddenly extremely deep with youngsters Mitch Young, Cam Gliddon, Shaun Bruce and Clint Steindl joining veteran Matt Burston. The team has a the potential for a great inside/outside game and will just need to ensure it's defense is solid.
Cairns has started it's preseason well and will be keen to avenge for last year's poor year.
OCT 27- Away vs Melbourne
Adelaide finishes off a tough weekend road trip in Melbourne against the Tigers. Luckily for Adelaide, Jonny Flynn is gone but the team looks stronger despite losing the former NBA lottery pick.
Despite his lack of size (0kg and 0cm according to the Tigers website ), many are expecting Stephen Dennis to be a great fit for Melbourne. The jury is out on 7 footer Scott Morrison but the addition of Mark Worthington certainly offsets any concerns. The club also has Lucas Walker, Adam Ballinger and Auryn Macmillan for frontcourt depth. Coach Chris Anstey looks to have assembled a very complimentary roster but will rely heavily on Ballinger and Wortho staying fit and Morrison contributing at least on defense.
Oh and they also have Chris Goulding who many anticipate to take another huge step in 2013/2014.
OCT 31- Away vs New Zealand
Adelaide finishes it's brutal 5 game opening with a trip over the Tasman to visit the defending champs. To say the 36ers have struggled in Auckland in recent times is a little like saying Miley Cyrus's performance at the VMA's was a little distasteful. It's a new team but this trip is just never easy. Hopefully BJ Anthony can provide some insight to help the 36ers break their Kiwi blues.
This Breaker's team certainly doesn't look as strong without Jackson and Boucher but if the Breakers lock new import Kerron Johnson in a room for 24hrs watching Ced Jax video and say "play like that", they should be ok. I'm predicting Darnell Lazare to be a great fit in New Zealand and for Webster and Te Rangi to ensure the scoreboard keeps ticking over. It will be tough but don't be surprised in NZ heads back for title 4.
Doesn't make for pleasant reading does it? While many are predicting a huge improvement for Adelaide, the schedule certainly won't help them get off to a fast start.
2 wins from 5 would almost be a pass mark, 3 would be good and 4 would be an outstanding achievement.