Despite leading for most of the game last night, the Sixers went down 79-66 to a solid Perth unit. Why? After scoring 28 points in a blistering first quarter, they scored 38 OVER THE NEXT THREE. In the late stages of Adelaide's super first quarter, I was starting to think Joey had stumbled across some new super 10 man offense that would take the league apart. When run properly, Adelaide seems to want to push the ball up very quickly, attack the basket and take the first good available look. While Perth were playing like the Washington Generals that worked brilliantly but when they wrestled back the tempo, it didn't look so good.
With the more compact season and the need to see how players react in different circumstances, expect Adelaide to run all ten guys regularly and for it not to always make sense. The key will be to get to the playoffs and then decided who it's best 7-8 guys are. First they need to get to the playoffs though.
Here's 10 things you need to know if you missed the game.
1) Hodgson's follow up game was not quite as glorious. Two points, one rebound thanks mainly to foul trouble but yeah, Knight/Jawai/Jervis proved harder to handle than Wesley/Vukona. Badly missed with Adelaide losing the boards 50-36.
2) Gibbo took four shots, equal least for any Sixer who played at least 10 minutes. I know he's a sharing and caring guy but he can't continue to be an afterthought on offense. Sobey took 8 shots and Ere 9. They combined to go 3-17.
3) Speaking of Ere...Went 0-4 on threes and finished with 4 points. Didn't look good when being defended by Beal or Prather, who showed 0 respect for him.
3) Jawai looked great, making his presence known at both ends. On defence, the Sixers several times clearly pulled back when they saw big Nate waiting. Threw DJ around a little too but to his credit, DJ tried hard. On offense he's improved as a passer, which worked a treat when Adelaide double teamed him. Assisted the two game breaking threes.
4) Threes again hurt Adelaide, with the team shooting 3-16. DJ was 2-5, Teys 1-1. That means Ere, Gibson,McNeail didn't connect. Not ideal. Perth in the end finished 9-23, with six players connecting. Impressive when you consider only their three centres with no range and Wroe (2:27 of PT) failed to hit one.
5) McNeail again played limited minutes (8:40). Likely being nursed through the double header opening round with only one game in round two. Unsure how bad the injury is but he's not shown much yet and has tallied 2 points and 0 assists across his 14:07 of game time.
6) I rarely mention the refs but this game was not reffed well for either team.
7) Sobey and Walker both bring a lot of energy off the bench but not a lot of great decision making. Sobey is still a kid but Walker needs to show more poise and take some better shots. At least he got 0 fouls last night after getting 5 in 7:39 Wednesday.
8) Props to DJ who pulled down 10 boards against a tough Perth front court. He did rack up 37:40 of court time but battled hard. Only shot 2-9 from the field but did get fouled plenty, hitting 8-9 from the line.
9) Jermaine Beal was huge down the stretch, scoring 9 points in the last 2:45, including a big steal off Ebi Ere that got their lead to 10 when scored were tied just 2 minutes earlier.
10) Casey Prather scored 9 points and had 5 boards in a "meh" performance. Is athletic but game lacks a little polish.
Next up is Melbourne in Melbourne next Friday. Will be a great test and Adelaide will need it's imports and captain to lift big.