Adelaide 99, Melbourne 94
Adelaide took the season series 3-1 over the Melbourne Tigers yesterday in a preview of their playoff matchup starting Thursday. This game meant so little to the 36ers that Joey Wright didn't even wear a tie.
Adelaide entered the game without injured duo Adam Gibson and Mitch Creek while the Tigers went in full strength. Injuries meant Adelaide started with Cadee/Ervin/Teys/Petrie/Johnson, going up against Melbourne's preferred lineup of Tomlinson/Goulding/Walker/Worthington/Morrison.
It was a high scoring first period with Adelaide leading 29-26 at the end of the first quarter. Adelaide's bigs proved to be Adelaide's best scoring options, with DJ and Schenscher proving to be tough matchups for Melbourne. Adelaide maintained it's lead in the second, winning that quarter 23-22 to lead 52-48 at the half. Both teams had run right through their benches (Adelaide only ran 8 guys) in the first half, with Melbourne giving much more rest to it's stars.
The 36ers took control in the third period as the game started to heat up. Adelaide went on a 15-0 run at one point, taking a 57-51 lead to a 72-51 lead. All of Adelaide's starters scored during the run as Adelaide kept the scoreboard running over while containing the Tigers big guns. It was Adelaide 82-66 going into the fourth.
Both teams started the last period poorly, resulting in a bunch of turnovers. The Tigers started to warm up though as the period went on and a Farrakhan 3 at the 2:01 mark had the visitors within two, 92-90. Aggressive play from guards Jason Cadee and Gary Ervin down the stretch enabled Adelaide to earn some freebies and hold off Melbourne for a 99-94 win.
The game didn't give us much of an insight into what to expect Thursday, except that Melbourne will probably play a little more physically against the Sixers and perhaps give more minutes to Macmillan in particular. Odigie did well with his court time, although we'd expect him to only get rest minutes as coach Chris Anstey has shown he's more than happy to run his stars for 40 minutes if needed.
Adelaide will be pleased it won down two of it's key players but knows Melbourne didn't go for broke. Joey Wright will be buoyed from the strong recent form of Luke Schenscher (pictured) who has the ability to change games at both ends and looms as the x-factor of the upcoming semi's.
Cadee- Tallied 8 assists in an unselfish performance, however Adelaide could really use a boost in his defense and outside shooting in the playoffs.
Ervin- Struggled to finish against a team determined to not let him get anything easy. Needs to adjust his game and keep the Tigers honest by nailing some triples.
Teys- Was busy but couldn't finish a few simple ones. Will be interesting to see how he's used when Gibbo and Creek return.
Petrie- Lead well and had moments at both ends.
Johnson- Tigers, again, struggled to contain him. Looms large over game 1.
Schenscher- 18 and 9 with 2 blocks. If he stays out of foul trouble will cause Melbourne plenty of headaches this series.
Carter- Defensively solid again. His presence ensures Adelaide can harass Goulding for a full 40 minutes while also culling the influence of Tomlinson.
Anthony- Out of sorts and will likely see few minutes over the playoffs.
|Points from Turnovers: 12 Points in the Paint: 46 Second Chance Points: 6 Fast Break Points: 0|
|Coach: Joey Wright Assistant: Kevin Brooks Richard Dickle|