The Numbers: 36ers v Cairns 15/12/13

We've talked about it a lot but Adelaide's ability to manage three-pointers has probably been it's major stumbling block this year.

From the season opener against Perth, Adelaide has shown a willingness to let teams take threes. At the other end, Adelaide has been almost gun-shy in taking threes itself. As per lobpasstoabercrombie.com , Adelaide shoots the least amount of threes and gives up the most amount of threes. Adelaide ranks 5th for opposition three-point percentage, showing it's strategy isn't necessarily working. It has the third best opposition field goal percentage rating, showing it defends inside the paint quite well.

On Sunday, Cairns shot 4/24 with Loughton going 0/5 and Wilson 0/1. Gliddon went 2/7, Steindl 1/3 and McCamey 1/5. The fact Cairns only put up 24 (opponents average 26.9 versus Adelaide) indicates Adelaide were more three-pointer aware and Cairns did perhaps throw up a few tougher shots.

At the other end, Adelaide shot a very respectable and efficient 5/12. Creek was 2/2, Gibson 2/5 and Cadee 1/2. Adelaide averages just over 16 three-point attempts a game, so it was even more gun-shy in this one as it went more to it's post players.

Perth has a very different set of numbers on the three ball. Perth takes the most threes a game in the league at 25.6 (yes, 9.5 more than Adelaide) while giving up the second least number of threes per game (second only to the Breakers). It will be interesting to see which game plan works out in the end.

Here's the numbers from the first two games between the teams

Adelaide: 3/25
It's a horrible percentage on a very low number of attempts (12.5 per game). Has Perth focused heavily on Adelaide's perimeter game or has Adelaide neglected it as it goes more to DJ, who has always troubled Perth and Ervin, who is at his best attacking the rim?

The numbers tell us both DJ and Ervin have taken two more field goal attempts on average against Perth than the opposition and Ervin has only taken two three point attempts a game against Perth. It appears Perth is already  good at defending the three and gives Adelaide more trouble than anyone else but Adelaide does certainly take less against them.

Perth: 23/65
The Cats average just under seven more three point attempts against Adelaide than other opponents. Adelaide gives Perth just over five more attempts a game than it has to other teams. Is this a plan or do the Cats just take what they get? The numbers show us that Ennis,Redhage,Beal,Wagstaff and Martin ALL average more threes against Adelaide than other opponents. Oddly in Rd 1 Perth shot 11/35 from range and won. They shot an excellent 12/30 in Rd 2 and lost.

Adelaide looks to have modified it's philosophy defending the three, it will be fascinating to see what happens when the teams next face off.

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