The Big 3 Come Up Big (Review: 36ers v Tigers 16/2/14)

Adelaide 99, Melbourne 82

After suffering two blowouts in their last two games, the 36ers bounced back with a vengeance today, defeating the Tigers by 17 at Hisense Arena. The Big 3 led Adelaide from start to finish with DJ (24 points, 4 threes, 4 blocks, 11 boards) having perhaps his best "both ends" game for his career, Adam Gibson (14 points, 9 boards, 6 assists) controlling the tempo and Gary Ervin (25 points, 8 assists, 2 steals) back to his best.

Adelaide came out strong, jumping to an 8-3 lead on the back of threes by DJ and Petrie. In what become a regular occurrence during the game, Melbourne made a mini-run back before Adelaide again built a buffer. Threes from Farrakhan and Tomlinson pegged it back to 24-20 and the team pretty much traded baskets from there with Adelaide leading by two, 29-27 at quarter time. That lead would have been five had a referee not called a phantom foul on a Petrie lunge at a Farrakhan three that earned the Tiger three free throws.

It remained tight in the second before Adelaide found some run courtesy of Mitch Creek and Gary Ervin, who took a 37-36 lead to 45-36. It was Adelaide 53-41 at the half, led by Gary Ervin, who hit 7/8 shots for 18 points. As opposed to Friday night, plenty of Sixers had made a contribution. Gibson was having an impact with taking a bunch of shots. Creek and Schenscher made important contributions from the bench. Peach was much sharper. DJ was punishing the Tigers from outside and providing some sort of interior presence. The Tigers gave too many easy baskets to Adelaide and struggled to find anyone who was going to take the game by the throat. At the half both teams had taken 32 shots, but Adelaide had hit 19 shots as opposed to Melbourne's 12. Tellingly, 5 of those baskets for Adelaide were threes as they finally started punishing an opponent who gave them way too much room.

Adelaide kept an 8-12 point buffer for most of the third, thanks largely to a big third quarter from Johnson, who had 9 points, 5 rebounds and a block for the quarter. At the 5:29 mark it was Adelaide 66-53 but by the end of the quarter it was 73-66. As we learnt in our home clash against this team, if you have Chris Goulding and Mark Worthington on your roster and a margin under 20, anything can happen. Luckily for Adelaide today was not their day.

Adam Gibson, who'd had a solid game to that point, personally put a win beyond Melbourne's reach in the most important quarter. He scored 12 points, grabbed 3 boards and had an assist and steal. He also ensured Chris Goulding didn't find a hot hand, blanketing him for large parts of the fourth. The Sixers won the quarter 26-16, in the process confirming they are still very much a team to be reckoned with.

For Adelaide, the big 3 were huge and got Adelaide a comfortable win. In Adelaide's  last two losses, the "Big 3" totalled 63 points, 12 boards and 13 assists. Today they combined for 63 points, 22 boards and 16 assists. The Tigers best were Scott Morrison (15 and 8) and Mustapha Farrakhan (19 pts, 3 ast). Mark Worthington and Chris Goulding, who combined for 51 points, 10 boards and 6 assists in the last clash at Adelaide Arena, today joined for 27 points (7/24), 5 boards and 5 assists. 

Adelaide shot the ball at 51% for the game and 45% from range. For the first time in what must be a while, they hit more threes than their opponent.  They smashed the Tigers on the boards too, winning that battle 43-30.

Adelaide should have found some of it's mojo from that win and will head into this week's game against the Breakers at home fully confident. 


Gibson- Huge 4th quarter topped off a very solid game to that point. Stepped up big.

Cadee- Got some decent minutes with 3 guard lineups largely. Looked more for his shot but threw up a few average ones.

Teys- Got the start again and saw few minutes besides that first stretch. 

Ervin- Found his team mates and was hitting from close and far. Sixers very reliant and him and DJ if they are to get a title.

Schenscher- Made a nice first half contribution especially, can't argue with 10 and 4 in 9:44 of PT.

Carter- 3 points and 2 fouls in just over 8 minutes. Not gun shy.

Petrie- A nice weekend for Peach, who had 12 and 8 today after having 15 and 4 Friday. Solid.

Anthony- Aggravated his ankle in warm-ups and played just 5 minutes for 3 fouls.

Johnson- Four threes and four blocks shows how even his contribution was. More aggressive on the boards and gave Adelaide's some presence. One of his best games for Adelaide, if not the best, as far as both ends goes.

Creek- 6 and 6 in 18 minutes. Did some good things without truly stamping his mark. Hoping he gets the start Friday but that isn't looking too likely.

Team totals36/705110/224517/2374103343173414251999250
Points from Turnovers: 16 Points in the Paint: 36 Second Chance Points: 10 Fast Break Points: 2

1 comment:

  1. Those who went missing until the post game on Friday night thankfully showed up ready to play in Melbourne on Sunday. Ervin and DJ were back to their best, with DJ putting in a career best 4 blocks, something we all wish we saw more of from the big guy.

    Luke Schenscher must be just about the most frustrated player in the NBL right now. Sure the 36ers are sitting second on the ladder and there isn't much to be frustrated with in that regard (other than not being on top). But it seems to me that just about every time Luke starts to show that when on the floor he is going to dominate, the refs step in and give him a couple of quick fouls. As I've said previously, some of the fouls called on him seem to be more of the "You're the biggest out there so its obviously on you" type than actually calling what has happened. Hell, even the Ten commentators on both sides of the country have started noting that Schenscher often gets the raw end of the refs calls.

    One thing about Sunday though shone brighter than the sun on a 44 degree day in Adelaide. Like Wollongong and Perth showed when they shut out Ervin and DJ, when teams can reduce Chris Goulding's impact on the game, the Tigers don't look anywhere near as good as they've been made out to be.

    I can't remember who it was or where I read it (might have been on the Adelaidenow website), but someone mentioned that DJ plays his game a lot like Tigers coach Chris Anstey did in his younger days before he morphed into more of a defensive player than someone who is scoring 20+ points most games. This is something I've been saying about DJ for the past 3 years. In his 'youth', Anstey was an inside scoring threat and could also shoot from outside if he wanted to. DJ plays pretty much the same way, only he doesn't yet have Anstey's mean streak. I've heard people (including Andrew Gaze) say he's like the Dirk Nowitzki of the NBL, and while that's a pretty fair observation, I think he plays more like his former Tigers team mate than he plays like Dirk.

    Right now though, the biggest question I have about the 36ers isn't can they beat the Wildcats. Its why is Joey Wright starting Brendan Teys at SF instead of Mitch Creek? The only reason I can come up with is that Joey wants to keep it so that Mitch comes on after a few to provide more energy once the game has started to settle down. Frye wasn't really giving much out there towards the end of his stint with us and maybe Joey feels that with Carter now in the squad he can have Teys take Frye's role and he won't have to totally change the game plan. Unfortunately though, Frye is a far better defender than Teys is so we do lose something there.


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