11/14/13

Can Adelaide Land The Killer Blow? (Preview: 36ers vs Breakers 15/11/13)

Adelaide got a huge gorilla off it's back 2 weeks ago when it defeated New Zealand for the first time this decade. Tomorrow it will dare to even create it's own streak as it seeks another win in New Zealand.

The last match at NSEC (which makes Adelaide Arena look like Madison Square Garden) was remembered for "the double ejection" of BJ Anthony and Mika Vukona and the return of Gary Wilkinson. Those who watch the 36ers a little more closely also noted it was this game that the team looked to push the ball much more and rely a little more on point guard Gary Ervin. G-Money and J Frye were both huge and got key support from Peach, Gibbo and Mitch Creek. The Breakers got little out of it's starters besides KJ and Pledger. It's production came largely from bench scorers Reuben TeRangi and Corey Webster.  You'd expect the regular starters, especially Mika Vukona, to be keen to make amends for their performances a fortnight ago. Also expect Gary Wilkinson to be close to his best. Throw in the fact this game is at the much bigger and better Vector Arena which will be full of fans getting more and more restless and this should be a beauty.

Adelaide will likely go in as favourites thanks largely to it's performance in New Zealand two weeks ago and impressive wins since against Sydney and Melbourne at home. The Sixers have looked sharp and it's bench depth has stood out. If Frye struggles, Mitch Creek steps up. If DJ and/or Peach aren't getting it done, Luke Schenscher and BJ Anthony step in.The Sixers main struggles have been from the free throw line, it's perimeter defense and with maintaining consistency over a full forty minutes.

To win, it will again need to push the tempo, respect New Zealand's array of long-range threats and keep up the pressure at both ends. Several times Adelaide has seen 15-20 point leads get whittled away and it needs to start inflicting some blowouts on teams.

At 2-5 the Breakers will be desperate to find a win- if they really care. A loss will have it's fans thinking this is a team that's very happy with it's recent achievements and the lack of hunger to see it get back to the finals.


My Tip: Adelaide by 6

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