1/4/15

Sorry Gibbo (Review: 36ers vs Breakers 4/1/15)

New Zealand 81, Adelaide 74

Adelaide tried to make it a memorable day for Adam Gibson's 300th NBL match but didn't have the skill, smarts and depth to overcome a strong Breakers team in Adelaide today.

The Sixers were back to their full squad, with Wilson returning from injury and Mitch Creek playing despite carrying a shoulder injury sustained only four days ago. Jamar came off the bench and Creek managed to start but as we soon learnt, he was lucky to be on the court, playing a shade under six minutes.

The Breakers jumped to a 12-4 lead before Adelaide made it's first sub. It was a lead New Zealand would keep for large portions of the match. Cedric Jackson set up the win with an outstanding first period, scoring 12 and causing Adelaide headaches at both ends.  Adelaide couldn't get anything going until BJ Anthony got into the game. His start to the second quarter was electric, dragging Adelaide from a 26-20 deficit to a 31-30 deficit on the back of 7 rebounds (5 offensive) and 10 points. When he subbed out, New Zealand went on an 8-2 run to build it's lead back. It led 47-44 at the half.

The third period was a grind, with the teams combining for 26 points (NZ 14, Adelaide 12). Both teams struggled to score outside five feet from the basket and couldn't get to the line either. The Breakers looked better but were hampered by foul trouble to it's key bigs and poor shooting from outside (0/5) and the line (2/6). The Breakers led 61-56 going at the last break.

It took Adelaide over 3 minutes to add to it's score in the fourth as it's offense relied on Wilson solo moves and Motum improvisations under the basket. The two combined for 15 of Adelaide's 18 in the period, seeing Adelaide go down by 7.

It was a rough loss for Adelaide. Beating New Zealand was never going to be easy but it's surprising the team couldn't find more in Gibbo's 300th. The biggest worries from this game are.

-BJ's injury. The burly forward went down with a lower leg injury, likely either an ankle or achilles. Anything serious reduces Adelaide to having only Schenscher as a backup big.

-Creek. Mitch clearly wasn't right and with ongoing injury issues it's unlikely he'll be a major contributor down the stretch.

-Wilson & Gibson. Yes Wilson top scored with 21 but Gibbo had 7 points, 4 assists and 6 turnovers. And Adelaide lost.

-Threes. Adelaide hit 2/10 and it's lack of threats makes the team that much easier to defend.

-Rotations. Injuries and form is making getting rotations a nightmare for Joey and he didn't have his best day on the court today. Pledger should have been shadowed by Schensch far more and Creek probably shouldn't have started.

The positives were the continued good offensive from of Brock Motum, the return of Jamar and BJ's standout performance...although he figures to miss a fair bit of time now.

Adelaide is away for the next two games against Melbourne and Perth. The game against United is critical as they figure to be the only team that could fall from the four. 






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