Your Move (Review: 36ers vs Tigers 27/3/14)

Adelaide 101, Melbourne 85

After a troubling start, the Adelaide 36ers recovered to take Game 1 of their semi-final clash against Melbourne, 101-85. They didn't just win, they showed the league what a handful they'll be for anyone who has championship aspirations (yes, I'm looking at you Perth Wildcats).

The Sixers for some reason started with a zone defense, which allowed Chris Goulding to get hot and lead his team to a 20-13 lead. Luckily, Melbourne's defense was just as shaky and it was unable to truly put Adelaide away. The Sixers went back to man and then brought on Rhys Carter for the hobbled Adam Gibson. We knew Carter would play solid D on Goulding but no one would expect the three point barrage that would follow. Carter subbed on with his team trailing 22-15 but would spark a run on the back of four three pointers and some feisty defense that would see his team leading 36-32 when he next took a break. There was 15-0 run in that stretch as Adelaide bamboozled the Tigers with a variety of scorers while closing off it's main scoring avenue- Chris Goulding. Adelaide closed the half strongly to lead 53-46 at the main break.

Adelaide opened the scoring in the third but when Daniel Johnson picked up an early foul to take him to three personal fouls, Adelaide had to call on Luke Schenscher for some big minutes. "Big Red" played the next 17:48 of the game and was vital to the Sixers holding off and then putting away the Tigers. Schensch
only tallied 4 points (on 2 shots) and 7 boards for the game but registered a +17 for the game (second best on the team). With DJ out, the Sixers other key scorer, Gary Ervin, simply took it up a level. He scored 11 points in between DJ's rest and reappearance. When DJ checked back in at the 9:24 mark of the last period, Adelaide went on a 10-1 to put the game out of Melbourne's reach.

1-0 Adelaide

Melbourne will be deflated after that loss, knowing it had plenty of contributors but no-one able to impose themselves on the game like Goulding can. The Sixers have the right mix of defenders to slow Goulding and Melbourne struggles when he and Worthington aren't both on their game. Farrakhan and Walker are both hobbled and consequently under performing. Morrison is solid but the Sixers have the bigs to cover him. Ballinger does his job but rarely plays more than half the game.

The wild card they have for Game 2 will be Auryn MacMillan. He won't score 20 but he can put a body on Adelaide's bigs and should be able to rack up some offensive boards. He only played one minute last night despite having some moments in previous games versus Adelaide. He must be given a go. The Tigers will be happy to be back in Melbourne but have hardly made Hisense a fortress.

Adelaide will go to Melbourne with a full head of steam, knowing it has too many weapons for the Tigers to handle. Gibson is struggling but Carter covered for him pretty nicely last night. Creek and Schenscher made important contributions.  And Ervin seems to have adjusted to playoff basketball.

Hopefully Adelaide pulls off a sweep Sunday and the Sixers get a little more rest before preparing for the Pussycats.


Gibson- Hobbled but presence and leadership important.

Ervin- Had a big night out, balancing his offensive game beautifully inside and outside. Hit the boards, dished some assists and stole the ball twice. +19 for the game

Teys- Played more minutes than I expected but had some good moments and is growing in confidence. Doing more and more work under the basket.

Petrie- Did his job and provides so much more than just points and boards.

Johnson- Got into some foul trouble but played his part, highlighted by three daggers from outside.

Schenscher- Wasn't the X-Factor as predicted but was pretty damn handy.

Carter- Was excellent at both ends. Let's hope he's hitting a purple patch with his outside shot.

Cadee- Just got spot rest minutes and contributed little, registering the only negative +/- for Adelaide (-4)

Creek- Only got 12 minutes but did his job and was part of that big first quarter recovery.

Anthony- Only stat was a turnover but Sixers registered +6 when he was on, so there's that!

Team totals37/705315/314812/1486630362362122019101262
Points from Turnovers: 8 Points in the Paint: 36 Second Chance Points: 7 Fast Break Points: 0
Coach: Joey Wright Assistant: Kevin Brooks  Richard Dickie

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