Sydney 102, Adelaide 89
In my preview yesterday , I predicted Adelaide would win this battle in a cakewalk. The Sixers had Sydney's measure last time and the Kings have gone 1-5 since bringing in Sam Young. Picking a 14 point margin might seem disrespectful but I just couldn't see Sydney winning.
Preseason, I'd picked Sydney for a Top 4 finish. Their imports looked good, Ogilvy seemed headed for an MVP-type season and they had plenty of depth. It's hard to say Sydney were panicked at 3-3 but they probably figured their team could be good but not great and when a guy with an NBA resume like Sam Young becomes available, you have to take it. NBA guys bring in the fans, create some buzz and often can win games off their own hand.
Young has shown glimpses but has struggled to get all parts of his game clicking at once. At times his shot selection has been poor and that gets exacerbated when you have guys like Ben Madgen, AJ Ogilvy and Charles Carmouche standing around watching. Ogilvy's form fell off a cliff when Young arrived and Madgen and Carmouche have also had some struggles.
Here's some numbers that show just how bad Sydney has been over the last 6 games....
66.5- Sydney's average PPG
83- The Kings best score in this stretch against the New Zealan Breakers (yes the D is missing. That's the joke, albeit a weak one.)
36.76%- Madgen's FG% with Young as a team mate
6- Carmouche's PPG average over the last 3 games
10- Most points Ogilvy has scored since Young's arrival (achieved twice)
So if I told you today.....
-Sydney scored 102 points
-Madgen shot 46% for 19points
-Ogilvy scored 18
You probably would have guessed the Kings won.
So why today?
Adelaide started out surprisingly with Cadee at the 1 and Ervin on the bench. The Sixers got out to a 22-19 lead in the first quarter before Sydney closed with a 9-2 run to close the quarter with a 28-24 lead. Sam Young had 10 for the period and Ogilvy racked up 8. The Kings were handling Adelaide's press and were getting a good mix of shots.
Adelaide won the second quarter 22-21 but were struggling to contain the Kings. Sydney was aggressive on the boards and were getting lots of uncontested shots. The Sixers played some man and some 2-3 but often got caught on switches or were too slow getting to outside shots. Twice the Kings had their lead out to 9 but a 16-10 run to end the half saw Adelaide within 3, 46-49 at the half. Petrie had 6 for Adelaide and Ervin 5.
The Kings came out hard in the second half and built a lead that Adelaide kept bringing back but then just as quickly saw evaporate. It was 77-66 when Mitch Creek fouled Cody Ellis on a three point attempt late in the third. Ellis calmly sank all three free throws and it was Sydney 80-68 going into the final quarter. Despite the lead, no-one in the building figured this was over.
Adelaide opened with a 12-3 run, capped by an Adam Gibson 2 with 6:55 still remaining. A mini 6-0 run by the Kings though quickly had it out to 89-78. 7 points was as close as it got from there as Adelaide's radar was well off and on defense they resorted to quick fouls to see if Sydney could hold their nerve from the line. Young and Harvey combined to hit 7/7 down the stretch with Madgen going 2/6. It was enough though as the Kings "shocked the world" with a big away win, in the process giving Adelaide it's first home loss for the season.
Young was solid without being spectacular, tallying 24 points, 5 boards and 4 assists. He looks very disinterested out there and often settles for jumpers but him playing within himself allowed Ogilvy and Madgen to shine. "Madge" had a 19/5/4 game and hit some key baskets, including 3/6 from three-point land. Sydney's best though was AJ Ogilvy, who had an 18/14 double-double (on 8/9 FG). He also grabbed 2 steals and 3 blocks as he manhandled DJ and Schensch when they were near the basket. Sydney's bench stepped up big time for this one too, led by James Harvey (15pts on 5/6 shooting in 21 minutes) and Cody Ellis (13pts on 4/6 shooting in 18 minutes).
Adelaide's best was Adam Gibson with 21/6/3. He carried a lot of the load at times offensively while being asked to play a lot of minutes defending at the 3. DJ had 21 points and wisely went to his outside game when it was clear AJ had his measure down low. He only pulled down 5 boards. Petrie (11pts, 6reb) did his job and Cadee (12pts) hit some nice inside buckets.
It's not panic stations for Adelaide but they won't be happy with giving up 102 points, the failure of their trap and 2-3 this time around, losing the boards 39-33 and losing despite having 14 more field goal attempts. It must be said that Shane Heal, who was probably starting to feel the heat, put in a great performance from the sidelines. Wright didn't have his best day, perhaps playing too much of Cadee,Ervin and Gibson together but his players were a touch late on a lot of their defensive moves, something he can't be blamed for.
Gibson (37min, 21pts, 6reb, 3ast). Carried the offense at times while playing almost 38 minutes and also having to guard the 3 spot.
Cadee (30min, 12pts, 4reb, 5ast). Hits some nice floaters and made some nice passes but defense wasn't great and turned the ball over 5 times. 1/7 from three-point range.
Frye (18min, 6pts, 4reb, 1ast). Looked good guarding Young when he got the chance but had little other influence. Should have played more minutes.
Petrie (33min, 11pts, 6reb, 2ast). Also had 3 steals and 2 blocks. Not the reason we lost. Given plenty of minutes on Ogilvy and did his best to "tame the great beast".
Johnson (29min, 21pts, 5reb, 0ast). Shot the ball well (9/15) but was pounded on the boards and didn't provide enough resistance.
Ervin (23min, 9pts, 2reb, 5ast). Shot 4/17, thanks largely to getting blocked or having shots deflected when he tried to take it up to Sydney's big frontcourt. Good to have him back but the balance of minutes between the guards could throw up some problems. Small ball will only work against selected teams.
Teys (2min, Donuts). Nothing to see here. Move on.
Schenscher (8min, 0pts, 5reb, 1ast). Limited minutes due to fouls (3 in 8 minutes) but surprisingly didn't even get onto the court in the second half.
Anthony (5min, 4pts, 1 reb, 1 ast). 4/4 from the line! Just not the right matchups for him in this game but good output for 5 minutes.
Creek (9min, 5pts, 0reb, 1ast). Surprisingly he and Frye only combined for just over 28 minutes. Would have liked to have seen him get some minutes at the 2 on Madgen or Harvey but often largely plays at the 3 and rarely with Frye.