The Sixers roster is complete with the club naming Ebi Ere as it's second import. It was a surprise announcement that didn't quite deliver the excitement import signings have brought to Sydney, Melbourne and even Wollongong in the last few weeks.
Ere was once a star of the league......but that was back in 2009 when Osama Bin Laden was still around, swine flu was going to be the next black plague and Brett Maher, David Cooper, Jacob Holmes and Brad Davidson were running around for Adelaide. Ere went on to some success in Europe but has apparently aged and last played in France, scoring 10 points a game at 38% shooting. So he might be more like Adelaide 36ers Lanard Copeland than the Melbourne Tigers (remember them?) one. He'll be good and have moments but don't expect him to dominate regularly.
Kenyon McNeail will be his import running mate. He performed well for Coach Wright in Vegas and has some skills, including a respectable three point shot. His size concerns me though. The Sixers again will feature a pretty small backcourt and likely face struggles defending the pick and roll. That's a problem with Ogilvy, Jawai and Khazzouh back in the league. Gibbo can handle Kickert, Loughton etc for a play or two but not those other monsters.
I'm guessing Adelaide will trot out Gibson/McNeail/Creek/Petrie/Johnson as it's starters with Ere,Walker and Teys all getting good minutes. Hodgson and Sobey likely will be bit players. That's not a bad team at all on paper but when compared to.....
And so on...you see the league's talent level is as high as it's been in years.
The main challenges I see for this group are....
1/ Gibbo gets his fourth new starting backcourt partner in 4 years (Cadee/Ervin/Wilson before). Gibbo, the ultimate team player, has tended to find it a juggling act balancing taking over versus being Mr Fix It.
2/ Sobey and Teys will be the main ball handlers coming off the bench and Joey, much to my horror, has even touted Lucas Walker might get some point forward opportunities. Gibbo and McNeail figure to play lots of minutes but the backups feel relatively one-dimensional.
1/ DJ looked more rounded after the overseas stint, especially on D. He'll be facing the best group of bigs he's faced in the league though. He's very light on for backup big support, with the untried Matt Hodgson the only other true big.
2/ Peach and Walker will likely split most of the "4" minutes. Both have represented the Boomers and are nice offensive threats. It's critical they both shoot the ball well from outside and hit the boards hard. They'll be challenged defensively as the main options to defend opposition 4's.
Mitch again has to earn his minutes by sharing the 3 spot with an import. Creek deserves to start but Ere didn't come here to mainly clap and wave a towel. Mitch needs to elevate his game another level and stay injury free for Adelaide to have a chance at playoffs.
Our coach is one of the best in the business but he'll be up against it. Keeping everyone happy with minutes and roles will be a challenge and he's not quite got the firepower and size he needs but he'll get all he can from this team. Will it be enough for playoffs?
I don't think so.