The Numbers: 36ers vs Tigers Semi-Finals
When we look back on the recent Tigers vs Sixers series in 10 years time, we'll remember little besides "the man parts attack" and the relentless booing of Chris Goulding in the Game 3 blowout. One of my highlights though will be the Game 3 performance of BJ Anthony.
Anthony started the season strong and looked like one of the early recruits of the year. Then foul troubles became prevalent, he got an ankle injury and his form consequently fell off a cliff. His +/_ was a horrible -86 for the year, far worse than any of his team mates.
In the Tigers series though, BJ looks to be building towards some form which could be very handy against the Wildcats.
In Game 3, BJ had 8 points and 7 boards in just 13:37 of court time. He registered an astonishing +29 for the game in those minutes, second best for the game behind Gibbo. He was on during strong finishes to the first, second and third quarters which all gave Adelaide important momentum. He hit the boards (and the floor) and played some of the best perimeter defense we've seen him play. That could be handy against Redhage,Knight and Wagstaff who all like to venture outside.
Like Melbourne, Perth plays a lot with an undersized "4" which suits BJ. He won't get big minutes backing up DJ, Peach and Schensch but provides very handy big man depth. Adelaide's bench is superior to Perth's, with an array of guards the Wildcats don't have. Big man wise though the Cats probably have the edge, with Rookie Of The Year Tom Jervis and Boomer representative Jesse Wagstaff. If Schensch can avoid foul trouble and BJ can continue his improved from, the Sixers will be an absolute handful.
Most would expect Gary Ervin to step right in and take back his starters spot from Creek. I'd say "not so fast Joey.......".
Wright pulled off a surprise Tuesday by starting Creek when most of Adelaide would have guessed Cadee would simply slot in. Starting Creek though allowed Adelaide to switch as much as they liked on Goulding, knowing they were just as happy with Gibbo,Teys,Creek or Petrie being stuck on Goulding. This ploy ensured Goulding didn't get off to a fast start and had his confidence drained quickly.
Perth is the best perimeter team in the league and starts 5 guys who are all happy bombing from distance. If Perth drain a bunch of early threes it could be a very long night. While all Perth's players have to be respected from outside, James Ennis has proven to be the difference between winning and losing. He's a beast at home, especially when playing Adelaide. We've slowed him at home but must do it on the road.
The Gibson/Teys/Creek/Petrie/Johnson lineup registered +14 in 14:19 of time Tuesday. Incredibly, that unit only spent 1:36 of time on court together during the regular season.
I'd love to see that five open the game Monday and throw all we can at Perth defensively. Offensively, just go to DJ every time until it stops working. We could then throw Ervin and a rejuvinated Jason Cadee at them for Teys and Creek. The Cadee/Ervin/Gibson/Petrie/Johnson lineup has registered +18 in 12:36 of time together during the regular season. Even then, we've still got Carter and Schensch on the shelf.
I don't know if Joey reads the blog but I sure hope he sees this. The numbers are compelling.