Adelaide 92, Townsville 79
It's not easy winning a game when your two imports combine for 6 points, you shoot 0/13 on threes and you only win the rebound count by 1. Yet the 36ers managed to pull off a comfortable win Saturday as they got back to their winning ways.
So how did they do it?
1. ADAM GIBSON
Gibbo had probably his best game in the Sixers blue, scoring 28 points to go with 4 boards and 5 steals. Gibbo often picks his spots but in this game he just continued to pile on the points, scoring 6 in the 1st, 7 in the 2nd, 9 in the 3rd and 6 in the 4th. He was just as dominant at the other end of the floor, harassing his Croc opponents and doing lots of little things that don't show as stats but broke up Townsville's flow. He was superb.
2. MITCH CREEK
He didn't have the four quarter performance of Gibbo but was electric off the bench, especially during the second quarter where Adelaide won the scoreboard battle 31-22 (the only quarter they outscored the Crocs by more than 2). He scored 7 points in the second, including a nice dunk and circus shot that woke up the fans. Creek has had the best year of his career but has had some ineffective games. This was him at his best, playing tough D and looking to run and attack the basket at every chance.
Adelaide's defense was a lot better in this one. The Crocs are hardly high scoring but they do have some dangerous weapons. Adelaide held them to 38% shooting and 32% on threes. Townsville also coughed the ball up 18 times, thanks largely to Adelaide's pressure.
4. POINTS IN THE PAINT
56 of Adelaide's 92 points came from inside the paint. When you take out a large chuck of Gibbo's points (which were mostly mid-range jumpers), it shows just how determined Adelaide was to work Townsville over inside.
It was a great win by Adelaide and was encouraging given how many players were down for this one. Cadee and Ervin, who have both been great this year, struggled on their way to a combined 11 points on 5/18 shooting. Jarrid Frye was also down, scoring 2 on 1/5 shooting .
For the Crocs, it was their two imports and best Aussie (Crawford) who put up the most resistance. The trio combined for 43 points on 19/39 shooting. Their team mates went 10/38 for 36 points. On paper the Crocs have a solid team but lack that one electric offensive player who can turn a game on it's head.
Gibson (33min, 28pts, 4reb, 5ast). See above. Outstanding.
Ervin (27min, 4pts, 1reb, 8ast). Got his starting spot back and moved the ball well but struggled with his shot.
Frye (18min, 2pts, 3reb, 3ast). Resorting to little floaters too often when he just needs to go right at the rack. Looks to be reluctant to get fouled due to his FT shooting woes.
Petrie (27min. 12pts, 6reb, 1ast). Worked hard and came up with some key plays. Important.
Johnson (29min, 16pts, 8reb, 1ast). Stayed close to the basket and proved too much for the Crocs to manage. Very efficient game.
Cadee (18min, 7pts, 1reb, 4ast). Let some bad habits creep in and took a few ill-advised shots but did make some key plays.
Schenscher (17min, 4pts, 12reb, 0ast). Shot 2/8 but hit the boards hard, pulling down 12 in just under 18 minutes.
Anthony (9min, 4pts, 0reb, 0ast). Hit 4/4 from the line but surprisingly no boards. 2 steals handy.
Creek (18min, 15pts, 5reb, 1ast). Huge contribution in such limited time.