The Numbers: Perth vs Adelaide 11/10/13
After Friday's game, coach Joey Wright stated the following in response to the question "what went wrong?"
"It's probably not necessarily anything that went wrong, but they hit five threes in the fourth quarter and our game plan was to try and take away Ennis' threes but give it to everyone else, and Wagstaff hit a few to make the difference.”
So the plan was to give the Wildcats, except Ennis, the threes and restrict the mid-close range shots.
In essence, the plan worked. The Cats shot 11-35 from three point land and 31-75 overall. Those numbers are pretty remarkable for a few reasons.
1) Perth took 35 threes. That's a huge number. It equates to 47% of their field goal attempts, which basically says every second shot was a three. Considering Perth only hit at 31% that's either clever defense by Adelaide or dumb offense by Perth. Or both.
Despite the close attention, Ennis still went 4/7. Besides Ennis and Wagstaff (3/8), the team hit 4/20 threes with the worst offenders being Redhage (0/4), Martin (0/2), U'u (1/4) and Hire (1/3).
Redhage and Wagstaff, as per Crunchtime Shots, were the only current Cats from last year who shot over 30%. Redhage didn't make them pay but Wagstaff in the end probably did. Perhaps next time the Sixers will add Wagstaff to the guys not to give the open 3 to.
2) Perth shot 20/40 on 2pt attempts, a very healthy percentage. The best shooters were Jervis was 3/3, Redhage 4/7, U'u 2/2 and Hire 2/3.
So if you're like me you were probably watching and thinking "get out to the three boys!". Turns out the guys were just doing what the coach asked. And it almost worked. The game plan therefore defensively was pretty sound.
I'm not sure if Perth had the same plan but it turned out Adelaide's three point shooting proved costly.
The team only took 16 attempts but hit only three. Besides Ervin (1/2), the team shot appallingly. Jason Cadee and Mitch Creek, both <31% three point shooters last year, both went 1/4. The rest of the team shot bricks too, just less of them (Peach and Teys both 0/2, BJ and DJ both 0/1).
That should improve next week with the team's best active long-range bomber from last year, Adam Gibson, returning. Plus Jason Cadee turns into Steve Kerr when he plays at home. Defensively, Adelaide's game plan may be the opposite against the strong three point shooting Hawks. The team shot a poor 4/17 from deep against the Breakers but boasts solid long-range players such as Oscar Forman, Rhys Martin and import Rotnei Clarke.