Back To Earth (Review: 36ers v Taipans 7/12/13)

Joey Wright won't just have to go back to the drawing board this week. He'll probably have to smash his current drawing board and get a new one. A fortnight ago his 36ers were the new favourites for the title. Since then his team has struggled, barely escaping with a win at home against the Hawks and went 0-2 on it FNQ road trip.

The biggest issues are..........

Townsville and Cairns went 23/45 from three point range against Adelaide. That's pretty good shooting. Adelaide doesn't mind giving them up but teams are now more than aware of  this and are finding ways to get their best shooters open.

Markovic and Wilson scored a combined 61 points against Adelaide's guards. Offensively Adam Gibson had a great weekend. Defensively...not so much. It doesn't all lean on him though and Adelaide could be better served by at times running Creek or Frye against some opposing guards.

Wright tinkered with his starting lineups in both games. Townsville got out to a 23-16 start against Ervin/Gibson/Creek/Petrie/Johnson and Cairns got out to a 12-8 lead against Ervin/Gibson/Petrie/Johnson/Schenscher. It's unclear why Wright made the changes but it seemed odd considering how well the team had been going. Creek may have started to give Frye more rest but that seems unlikely as Frye played more minutes than Creek. Against Cairns the thought was likely to trouble them with some size but it worked against them at the other end.

I'd imagine this week Adelaide will look to go back to it's regular starters and to focus on it's defensive options. Offensively the team is ok but at times it's offense looked more like last year's team. It seemed like very few plays were well executed and relied more on individual brilliance.

As far as a report on the game, I feel a little in the dark as the NBL Tv link died about halfway through the last quarter but I'll do my best.

Cairns jumped Adelaide early, getting to a 12-8 before Jarrid Frye entered the game for DJ. The Sixers went on a 7-0 run to get the lead and held it to lead 27-24 at quarter time. It was an ominous start with Loughton hitting a 3 to start proceedings. He hit two threes for the quarter but was matched by Jason Cadee, who hit two of his own on the way to a 9 point quarter.

An early Steve Weigh 3 in the second quarter got the game back square. Cairns hit four triples for the quarter (2 for Weigh) while Adelaide only took one- a Creek miss. It was a low scoring 18-16 quarter. Cairns was only troubling Adelaide from the perimeter while Adelaide was only finding success within 10ft of the basket. 7 of Adelaide's 16 points came from the line for the quarter.

In the third it was Jamar versus Gibbo, with the Cairns import scoring 11 to Gibbo's 10. Incredibly, they were the only players from each team to score more than one field goal for the quarter. The Taipans finished the quarter with a 7-2 run and looked to be gaining some momentum. Adelaide was not out of it but looked nothing like the team we been watching in November.

It was Cairns 76-71 near the halfway mark of the last quarter when my link went out. Social media confirmed it was a national issue. Going by how Adelaide was playing I figured it could be a blessing in disguise. It was. Cairns went on a 22-7 from there with Loughton and Wilson continuing to torment the Sixers.

Adelaide gets a shot at redemption next weekend. To turn it around it will need to fix it's perimeter defense and rely on Peach and Gibbo to shut down Loughton and Wilson.


Gibson (36min, 20pts, 2 reb, 2 ast). Solid scoring night but it came at the cost of his stellar defense and other parts of the game. Our best for the night but we're better when he's not the focal point on offense.

Ervin (22min, 6pts, 4 reb, 2 ast). Shot 2/11 in a pretty forgettable performance.

Petrie (33min, 8pts, 7 reb, 0 ast). Struggled offensively and didn't have his normal influence.

Johnson (23min, 12pts, 5 reb, 0 ast). Minimal output but only played 23 minutes. Should be going to town against teams like Cairns. Did get 2 blocks though.

Schenscher (14min, 7pts, 6 reb, 0 ast). Good output for the minutes but was exposed at the other end.

Cadee (18min, 11pts, 1 reb, 1 ast). Another solid offensive game. A couple of bad decisions but the aggression can't be questioned.

Teys (4min, donuts).  Another game without stats. Needs to provide something if he wants more minutes.

Frye (16min, 4pts, 3 reb, 2 ast). Not a heap of minutes due to the team often going big but had minimal influence.

Anthony (17min, 8pts, 8 reb, 0 ast). A good weekend and is beating down Wright's door for more minutes. Difficult though with 2 Boomers playing in front of him. Didn't put a foot wrong when on the court and bothered Cairns with his tenacity.

Creek (11min, 2pts, 3 reb, 1 ast). Quiet and unfortunately this year his improved outside shot is coming at the cost of some of hustle work.

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