Mrs Brown's Boys Is Over- Let The Games Begin (Preview: 36ers vs Wildcats 7/4/14)
It's a series that's been over 30 years in the making, with two of the league's fiercest rivals finally facing off in a Grand Final series. Perth has 5 titles, Adelaide 4. A win for each team will mean a lot for different reasons. For Perth, it will make up for two successive losses at the final hurdle. For Adelaide, it would cap a remarkable bottom-to-top turn around in just one year and bring it's first NBL title to Adelaide in 12 years.
With each team winning it's home games in the regular season series, logic says Perth should win as it gets two of the potential three games at home. Logic goes out the window though when it comes to Grand Finals. If Perth wins gGame 1 it can go for broke in Game 2 in Adelaide, knowing it gets to return home if a Game 3 is required. If Adelaide wins Game 1, it will go home confident it can wrap the series up in 2, where it only lost once all year. If it loses game 2, it knows it has good recent form in Perth.
So who wins?
Perth dismantled Wollongong with relative ease and got an extra two days rest while Adelaide was forced to a deciding Game 3.
The Wildcats come home knowing it can again beat Adelaide if it gets great play from James Ennis and again punishes Adelaide from the perimeter. In both home wins Perth averaged 12 threes a game, with 7 of those coming from Beal and Ennis. In those matches, Adelaide averaged three triples, shooting under 20%.
In the games in Adelaide, the Sixers were a mixed bag on offense, going 0/9 in the first clash from range but a scintillating 13/21 in the most recent game. Perth averaged ten threes in those games. The difference? Ennis has been average in both those games.
In the season series Ennis averaged 26 points at home, 14.5 in Adelaide.
Ennis will be fired up in his first game since "trophy gate" but Adelaide's gun import Gary Ervin also has a lot to play for in his first game back since "man parts gate".
Ervin similarly has been night and day on the road versus at home. Against the Cats he's averaged 19.5 at home and just 9.5 on the road. He'll need a big game if Adelaide are to win.
Perth go in a comfortable favourites but I'm expecting Adelaide to go all out for this win. It won't leave anything on the line. It comes in with all ten players in good form of late, with the previously out-of-sorts Jason Cadee and BJ Anthony having big games in Game 3 versus Melbourne. Perth are also in good form but aren't as deep. They still rely heavily on Ennis and Beal and if the Sixers can play the sort of team defense they played on Tuesday, they'll give Perth fits.
It will go down to the wire but I think Adelaide can "shock the world" and win the opener.
My Tip: Adelaide by 7