Gibbo Has The Game Of His Life, Sixers Win (Review: 36ers vs Breakers 2/11/14)
Not a bad game at all.
Down Mitch Creek and Jamar Wilson against a powerful Breakers unit, this wasn't a game even the most optimistic Sixers fan had down for a win. No one could have predicted the day out the Sixers backcourt would have though and they proved to be the backbone of a memorable Adelaide win.
34 was a career high for Gibbo. He was as aggressive as we've ever seen him, punctuated by nineteen free throw attempts. His highest game tally last year was eight and he had eleven games last year where he didn't even take a free throw. The Captain was everywhere. Getting a hand in the passing lane, taking a charge or finding an open team mate. He was outstanding.
Adelaide's next best was Brendan Teys, who clearly was lifted by simply playing alongside Gibbo. He had a career high 23 points and ignited the crowd with some sweet ball handling and tough D.
The duo kick started Adelaide's offense in the first quarter, combining for 22 of Adelaide's 26 points (11 each). They were both aggressive, looking to attack whenever the chance presented. They weren't ballhogs though, looking for the bigs when they had position. They helped Adelaide to a 26-17 lead at the break.
That lead sure came in handy.
Each quarter from there was within two points, with each team struggling to contain the other.
Webster, Jackson, Ibekwe, Vukona and Abercrombie kept Adelaide honest the rest of the way, with Jackson and Abercrombie in particular threatening to steal the game in the final minutes.
Adelaide's starters (Gibson/Teys/Petrie/Anthony/Schenscher) all had solid games and didn't take a back seat. Montreal (5pts) was the only reserve to score, highlighting how much of the heavy lifting was done by the starters.
The Breakers shot the ball well from outside (45%) but struggled inside, hitting 19/52. They stayed in the game with some great hustle plays and relentless work in the paint.
It was a pretty encouraging win for Adelaide and surely gave Joey Wright some options for the rest of the season.
It was announced earlier in the day the Sixers had signed Brock Motum and would release Daequon Montreal. That's pretty rough on Montreal but Adelaide had to make the move, especially in the light of how strongly some of it's opponents recruited this year. Adelaide wasn't a legitimate title threat with the original ten. It now is.
The performances of Gibson and Teys will surely also have Wright thinking about his starting five. Playing these two gives Adelaide a little more size and flexibility defensively and two guys who can attack the basket or shoot from range. Wilson has been good this year but Adelaide should be far more potent with him as a sixth man.
Motum will be a super fit for this team and rest assured Joey will utilise his full skill set. He also eases some of the burden on the bigs, especially Schensch. "Big Red" has been playing really well and moving better than he has in years but I wasn't comfortable with the workload he was under. I'd now imagine we'll see the following team (when Mitch returns).
Starters- Gibson, Teys, Creek, Petrie, Motum
Bench- Wilson, Schenscher, Crawford, Anthony, Daly
That's a much more balanced group with plenty of flexibility.
Get excited Naptown!