Bubbles Bursts Adelaide Bubble (Review: Adelaide vs Melbourne 27/10/13)

The Melbourne Tigers, led by Chris Goulding, beat the Adelaide 36ers 93-79 in Melbourne today.
It was the Tigers first win of the season and left Adelaide with a 1-1 split for the weekend.

The game opened with Adelaide struggling to hit anything but staying in the game thanks to either some good offensive rebounding or some appalling Melbourne defensive rebounding. Melbourne therefore had less shot opportunities but hit at a much better clip. It was Adelaide 16-15 at the end of the first quarter.

The game stayed tight in the second before Melbourne closed the half with a 12-5 run on the back of six points from underused reserve Auryn Macmillan. Adelaide was shooting bricks from all over the floor and only kept the game within reach due to free throws, which it was also shooting at a poor rate. At half-time though Adelaide fans would have still been confident they could repeat Friday's heroics against a shaky Tigers team.

Then Chris Goulding happened.

The Tigers guard went nuts in the third, scoring 13 points on 6/9 shooting. The Tigers crept out to a 54-43 lead. before Adelaide started to come back. At the 2:22 mark with his team up 59-50, Goulding left the game with a leg injury and Adelaide pounced, going on a 6-0 run to still give itself a chance, only down 59-56 at three quarter time. Unfortunately for Adelaide Goulding did return late in the third and was ready to do more damage to start the fourth. And he did.

Adelaide went with an Ervin/Cadee backcourt to start the fourth while Melbourne countered with a Ubaka/Goulding backcourt. By the time Adelaide got Gibson and Frye in for Cadee and Creek, Melbourne had blown the margin out to 71-60 in just over 3 minutes. Goulding and Walker had their eye in by then and all of Adelaide's attempts became futile. Melbourne closed the game with a 34-23 quarter to win comfortably, 93-79.

Looking at the bigger picture, Adelaide will be comfortable to have come home from it's road trip  with a 1-1 split. A win though would have made the league take notice. The split keeps them the in the talk to finish anywhere from a playoff certainty to a possible 5th or 6th. Coach Wright will look to address Adelaide's free throw shooting (19/33), perimeter D (Melbourne shot 10/24 from range) and inability to create some easy shots. Fatigue may have contributed to all of those but he surely won't be happy with the nature of the loss.

Here's how I rated the players

Gibson (32min, 7pts, 4 reb, 3ast)- Shot deserted him (3/12) and couldn't slow Goulding once he got going. Needed  more from him.

Cadee (14min, 0pts, 1 reb, 1 ast)- Looked lacklustre and didn't fire a shot. In danger of losing more guard minutes to Creek and Teys.

Ervin (29min, 16pts, 2 reb, 2 ast)- Led scoring but wasn't there when game started slipping. Not a brilliant weekend.

Schenscher (5min, 0pts, 1 reb, 0 ast)- Again played by foul trouble in a game he could have been handy in. This will happen with Luke every 2-3 games.

Frye (21min, 8pts, 6 reb, 1 ast)- Not our worst but shot 3/9 from the field, 2/4 from the line. Unsure how much he's bothered by the ankle but was lacking some of his fire.

Petrie (33min, 15pts, 12 reb, 0 ast)- Those numbers look ok, unfortunately those 15 points came on 5/17 shooting. Worked manfully and had a solid weekend but his shot was way off today.

Anthony (10min, 3pts, 5 reb, 0 ast)- Looked dangerous but couldn't finish- anywhere. 1/5 from the field, 1/4 from the line.

Johnson (30min, 20pts, 6 reb, 1 ast)- Good on offense but too many lapses on D (ie 6pts for Macmillan)

Creek (23min, 10pts, 7 reb, 0 ast)- Rewarded with his most minutes this season and was one of our better players, only letting himself down from the line (3/8)

*We'll have updated stats up tonight and "The Numbers" tomorrow with a spotlight on DJ

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