The Sixers head home today after taking down the Kings in Sydney 91-80. I'll be guessing the team will be pretty buoyant on the way home, it's confidence restored and thinking how much better they'll be once they get more time with their new point guard and some new wrinkles to the playbook.
Jerome Randle has certainly made a huge difference. He's averaging 20 points a game and three triples a game. He creates shots for others and keep the defence honest with some creative moves off the dribble. He hasn't done it own his own though and these factors have also been important.
Randle has certainly helped foster an environment of shooting the three. I wrote in a recent article that Adelaide needed to shoot more threes (after the Melbourne beat down). Here's what's happened since.
First 3 Games: 19 threes from 54 shots (Avg 6.3/18)
Last 2 Games: 23 threes from 53 attempts (Avg 11.5/26.5)
Randle hit 6/13 over the round, the rest of the team helping with 17 of 40. As a team they've shot the three at 43.4%. That's really good.
Gibbo has been more aggressive and has been in hot form. He's adjusted to Randle well. They are splitting the ball handling role but Gibbo isn't just playing the facilitator role for 90% of the game. In the two wins he averaged 14.5pts, 6 reb and 9.5 ast.
Walker has started the last 2 games. He was lousy in the first two but really good against Sydney. Peach though has been really good off the bench. He's still playing around 25 minutes but has been important to the second unit. He averaged 8 and 8 for the round.
The Teys injury is hardly good news but it forced Joey to basically go to a seven man rotation. Hodgson and Sobey have had moments but probably should be playing around 5-10mins a game at this stage. No word yet on when Teys will be back but it will be interesting to see if Randle starts next round after he's had time to recover from jet lag, two games in 24hrs and barely any time to learn things like plays, what Farmers Union Iced Coffee is and why Adelaide drivers don't use indicators etc.
I'd like to see Wright trot our Randle/Gibson/Creek/Walker/Johnson next week against Cairns Saturday. One thing is for sure now though- Adelaide has a real contender.