The Numbers: It Comes In 3's (29/11/13)

Adelaide- you have three pointer issues. I think.

The Sixers on Friday again showed us the one part of the game they are grappling with- how to defend and how to shoot the three ball. Adelaide shot a poor 5/17 on Friday (29%) while Wollongong took 41 three-point shots, hitting on 14 of them at 34%. That made up 42 of their 81 points.

It seems to have been a deliberate ploy this year by coach Joey Wright to let teams live or die by the three. Considering Adelaide's 8-2 record, you'd have to say it's worked.

This excellent graphic by Andrew Price from lobpasstoabercrombie.com shows that all teams except Adelaide, Townsville and Sydney would be better off shooting more threes. New Zealand and Perth on the other hand should be looking for more threes.

That got me thinking that perhaps those numbers were inflated due to the fact Adelaide had played both those teams twice and had given up so many threes. Here's each teams three numbers in those games.

NZ- 5/18 and 10/26  (34%)
PERTH- 12/30 and 11/35 (35.4%)

With most teams averaging around 20 three point attempts a game, it's clear Adelaide gives them up a little more freely. Despite this fact, Adelaide's tactic worked with both teams shooting at a worse percentage versus Adelaide as against the rest of the league. Why? It seems perhaps teams are being forced into taking a few bad ones simply because they are open. You know, like when you're playing on a social team and everyone else is jacking them up so you figure you may as well also chuck one or two up.  In the season opener versus Perth for example, Ennis and Wagstaff went 7/15 but the rest of the team went 4/20. In Adelaide's most recent clash versus New Zealand, Abercrombie shot 3/6 while the rest of the team went 2/12.

Adelaide on the other hand has been somewhere between awful and horrible from "the land of plenty". It's team percentage is second worst in the league behind only Sydney. Have a look at these numbers showing Adelaide's individual 3pt%'s.

Player Name M A %
Jason Cadee 8 21 38.1
Mitch Creek 7 19 36.8
Gary Ervin 15 41 36.6
Adam Gibson 10 33 30.3
Daniel Johnson 2 9 22.2
Anthony Petrie 3 14 21.4
Jarrid Frye 2 10 20.0
Brendan Teys 1 6 16.7
Luke Schenscher 0 0 0.0
BJ Anthony 0 4 0.0
Daniel Sims 0 0 0.0

If Jason Cadee and Mitch Creek are your best  three-point shooters you may have a problem. Coming into the season Adelaide probably did lack a recognised outside shooter from it's bench. This shows us Cadee and Creek are actually doing ok but Gibbo, Frye, DJ and Peach might want to relax on the outside shots.Over the last three games it's a little uglier for our backcourt starters with Gibbo going 1/12 and Ervin 2/11. 

With Adelaide's next four games coming against Cairns and Townsville (two each), expect Adelaide to continue it's matador three-point defense. Both teams aren't having great years from range either so expect Adelaide to give up plenty. Adelaide has yet to play the Crocs and has played the Taipans just once. Cairns shot 6/22 in that one. Loughton hit 2/2, the rest of the team went 4/20. The Sixers should be aiming to play some stellar perimeter defense like this.

Adelaide is coming into a rough stretch, with three of the next four on the road in North Queensland. It's also got a few injury concerns but if it continues to give up the three point shots and can attack the basket through DJ, Ervin and Jason Cadee 2.0, there's no reason Adelaide can't come out with a very respectable 3-1 or even 4-0.

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