Now We Rolling (Review: 36ers v Kings 3/11/13)

Adelaide 97, Sydney 84

The 36ers finally got their season rolling with a 97-84 win over the Sydney Kings today. The margin ended up being a little flattering, with Adelaide only leading by 5 with just over a minute left before they demolished Sydney's press to get the lead out to 13.

The first quarter was tight and was all tied up at the end with both teams on 25 a piece. AJ Ogilvy scored Sydney's first 6 points and looked dangerous as Adelaide struggled to keep him off the glass. DJ kicked off Adelaide' early scoring before Mitch Creek entered the game and picked up where he left off Thursday, attacking the basket as often as possible.

Adelaide built a lead in the second thanks largely to a switch to a 2-3 zone anchored by Luke Schenscher. Scores were tied at 33 each when Big Luke entered the game at the 4:53 mark. The team went on a 16-7 run as it contained Ogilvy (0pts) and Schensch's inside presence helped at the other end too, with Adelaide hitting three triples. At the half it was Adelaide 49-40.

Sydney wrestled back control of the game in the third as it got it's outside game going (threes to Sanders, Madgen and Carmouche) while containing Adelaide's. Remarkably, a Gibson three at the end of the quarter was the only contribution from the team's guards/small forwards with Schenscher, Johnson, Petrie and Anthony scoring the rest of the team's points. It was 66-62 going into the last quarter.

To win, Adelaide needed to cull the impact of Madgen, Carmouche and Ogilvy while getting it's points from Ervin and DJ who had looked the most potent to that point. Madgen scored 4 for the period, Ogilvy 6 and Carmouche 10 but Adelaide's trio of Ervin, Johnson and Creek outscored them 23-20 and ensured Adelaide finished with a 2-0 round and a great chance in the next month to cement's it's chances of a playoff spot.

For Sydney, it was largely a 3 man show of Carmouche,Ogilvy and Madgen. It sorely missed veteran James Harvey, getting only 8 points from it's bench. The Kings have the talent but today left too much to too few. Adelaide got 39 from the DJ/Ervin combo and 37 points from it's bench. Import Jarrid Frye scored 0 and Adelaide didn't miss a beat.

There was a lot to like about Adelaide today, including.....

The second unit all contributed and helped give Adelaide a different look at both ends. Schensch in particular was key.

I can't recall an Adelaide team with such an array of plays for out of bounds, low shot clock, full court press scenarios etc. These plays created several easy baskets and shows just how well drilled Adelaide is offensively.

Here's how I saw each player's performance

Gibson (27min, 9pts, 1 reb, 5ast)- Not huge numbers again but doing his job by picking his spots and playing solid D.

Ervin (31min, 19pts, 7 reb, 7 ast)- Continued his great form with more hustle and attack. Shot poorly (6/20) but created plenty of opportunities. Recorded 4 steals.

Frye (13min, 0pts, 3reb, 0 ast)- Killed by foul trouble and had a forgettable day. Luckily his back-up is in career form.

Petrie (27min, 12pts, 7reb, 2 ast)- Really helping the team by just doing his role, which today even included some time defending Ogilvy. Found his outside game today as he continued his return to his 2012-2013 form. Got 3 blocks too.

Johnson (26min, 20pts, 8reb, 1 ast)- Another solid offensive game and did some other good things on D but struggled to contain the stronger Ogilvy. Some good signs in there today though, highlighted by 3 steals.

Cadee (11min, 2pts, 2 reb, 5 ast)- Created some nice opportunities and benefited by the team's switch to zone.

Teys (6min, 3pts, 0 reb, 0 ast)- Got 6 consecutive minutes in the second quarter and played some good D and hit a nice 3.

Schenscher (17min, 10pts, 7 reb, 1 ast)- A key contributor, anchoring the team's zone and also contributing at the other end. Huge influence in a game that Ogilvy threatened to tear apart.

Anthony (13min, 8pts, 4 reb, 1 ast)- More great output from such limited minutes. He and Peach ensuring no let up from the 4 spot for 40 minutes.

Creek (23min, 14pts, 10 reb, 1 ast)- His first double-double in a breakout season. Huge block in the second quarter a highlight. Doubly important performance with Frye being hampered by fouls.

Next up is Melbourne as Adelaide gets a chance to exact revenge for last week's clash


  1. For a guy who is 6'11" and 108 kg, DJ gets out-muscled a lot in defence, but he counters that by being generally quicker and more agile than his opponents at the opposite end of the court (and in the NBL he is often taller than most of the other centres). Rather than put more muscle on him and risk lose that speed and agility the 36ers have decided to just work on his D as much as they can. He is getting better, but right now its a good thing we have Schenscher as a back up. He might not be as mobile as DJ but he adds bulk under the basket and its not many who can get over his height (with no Luke Nevill this year, Big Red is the tallest player currently in the NBL. There are 4 other genuine 7 footers in the league, but Schensch is the only player 7'1" or taller).

  2. We're not expecting him to become Dwight but he needs to go for some blocks and at least have some people thinking about taking it to the rim when he's in there. We generally play man when he's on and he needs to work on his help d.

    Schensch has already shown with certain lineups he can impact at both ends...but can be inefective against stretch 4/5's and some over zealous refereeing.


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