Winning Time! (Review: Sixers vs United 12/12/14)

Adelaide 90, Melbourne 77

Adelaide finally got the win it's been looking for, coming back for an ugly 90-77 win against Melbourne.

The Sixers switched up the starting 5 again, throwing out Wilson/Gibson/Teys/Petrie/Motum. United also rang some changes, starting Dennis/Corletto/Barlow/Walker/Kickert. That couldn't have gone better for Adelaide, who played a textbook full court press, thriving on Melbourne missing Worthington's skills against a press (plus the fact they had four guys on who aren't good at dribbling a basketball). By the time he got in it was Adelaide 7-0. Adelaide's press, which has been off all year, finally was clicking. On one memorable play, Wright yelled at Motum to move up  15 feet. He did and intercepted a pass that led to some free throws.

The Sixers kept Melbourne in check even with Wortho in, getting the lead to 16-2. Melbourne though countered with Adelaide bringing in the subs, going on a 17-7 run. The Sixers press collapsed and they committed three turnovers in the final 2 minutes. It was Adelaide 23-19 at quarter time.

Melbourne was self-destructing though. 

Import Jordy McRae was in his own world and ignoring and talking back to his coaching staff. When he came in for the quarter time break he pushed off one of the assistants and remonstrated with D-Mac, who pushed McRae out of the way. He sat down for a while after all of that.

The Sixers held Melbourne to 19 again in the second, benefiting by McRae's benching and growing foul troubles. The officiating was over zealous and hurt both teams. I haven't seen that many confused faces at Adelaide Arena since Craig Winder was a Sixer. Adelaide led 48-38 at the half and would have gained confidence from the fact it had held Melbourne to 38.

The Sixers kept their lead for the first four minutes until Melbourne went on a 12-2 run to trail Adelaide by just 2, 65-63 at the last break. Melbourne was hitting from outside and Adelaide's offense was just awful, committing 7 turnovers over the last 5 minutes. Suddenly, things looked bad.

Dave Barlow opened the fourth with a 3 and the crowd was restless. At the 7:26 mark, Joey brought in Schensch and BJ for Petrie and Motum. It hardly seemed like a great move but it turned the game around. 

BJ scored Adelaide's next 6 points and gave Adelaide a target inside. Schensch did what he does best- get in the way. He had 11 boards in just 19 minutes but most importantly drew two key fouls on Daniel Kickert. He'd been dangerous on offense and when he fouled out with 4:10 left it gave Adelaide a key advantage.

Mitch Creek was also massive down the stretch. He scored 6 points, grabbed 4 boards and also registered a steal, block and assist.

Melbourne were pretty bad and Adelaide had plenty of problems too.  They shot 21/32 from the line and 3/12 from range. They turned the ball over 23 times. That basketball won't beat a lot of form teams.

The positives were the press, improved defense, bench play, rebounding and inside scoring Their press with 2 agile bigs can be brutal. When their bench brings energy they are so much more damaging. When they win the rebound count 45-24, teams will struggle to score! 

Next up is Perth in Perth. Enjoy that win Naptown. Sunday will be much tougher.

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