1/21/17

Adelaide Are Good (Review: 36ers vs Kings 21/1/17)

Back in the day (around the time Mitch Creek looked like this), I used to write a report on EVERY 36ers game. I had season tix and watched away games on the old NBL.TV (like today's NBL.TV, except the games were generally pretty pixelated and you normally couldn't work out which players were and weren't on your team).

Then life got busy with 4 kids and other commitments and I had to surrender the season tix and found less time to even watch games live or on replay. I didn't want to blog without having a good handle on the team (although many would argue I never had a good handle and that never stopped me).

Tonight was I think the third game I've seen in person this year and was the second time I got to see the Kings. I won some tix on 5AA this week and was glad to see the Kings again who offer much, including...

-getting to see one of my favourite ever 36ers, Jason Cadee
-watching Gaze/Copeland/Vickerman go berserk for 33 minutes
-seeing a former NBA champion mail it in and sulk for 20 minutes

The Kings started ominously, throwing out a different look to the last visit, withe Garlepp starting and having much of the offense go through him. In theory, they should have run Cadee/Garlepp pick and rolls all night when Sobey and DJ were their opponents. After running up a 15-4 lead in under 3 minutes, Adelaide got it's stuff together and outscored the Kings 21-13 the rest of the way thanks largely to some nice outside shooting from JR and Drmic and the hustle of Creek and Jacobsen.

The game was turned on it's head in the second quarter when the Sixers held Sydney to just 9 points while scoring 20 of their own. The Kings started getting frustrated and made some bad errors on both ends. Plus they have a bench with no proven NBL players, just former NBA player Josh Powell who does compete at times but generally gets sucked into silly fouls and personal "priorities".

The game looked all but over at the half but the Kings hung around in the third before collapsing again in the fourth, unable to score with any consistency and defensively not having answers for Adelaide's revolving door of contributors.

Whittington had a bad night but is a worthy import, Cadee and Lisch had moments but were well down and only Garlepp would have gone home feeling he'd had a solid game. The Newley injury obviously kills them but their depth is a major issue. They'd trade any of their bench for any of ours I'd dare say (and yes, that includes JP).

As I've not reviewed many of the players for a while, here's some quick thoughts.

DJ
Made some bad errors on D when switching but was solid overall, again racking up big minutes (35:28)

HODGSON
Started well but again racked up quick fouls and again was rarely sighted after. Guessing he may be injured or being kept in cotton wool for the playoffs. Or just taking one for the team early to get EJ more minutes.

FERGIE
Played just 10 minutes and was -12  for them. Already an elite defender, just not getting enough looks on offense and hasn't shown much when putting the ball on the floor.

SOBEY
Still can't get over how much better his shot looks. Makes some bad mistakes on defense and still gambles too much but enjoy him while he's here, could be NBA bound anytime.

HANDLE
Great numbers (19pts, 11 assists) and yet didn't think he was "great". Fell in love with the dribble a little too much and I'd like to see him more consistent over 40 minutes as he seems to waste some stretches out there while dominating at others.

MITCH
Playing his role to perfection and he clearly loves it. Comes off the bench, plays hard and attacks at both ends. Provides great leadership and balance as needed. Huge.

EJ
Played a great game, scoring 12, grabbing 6 boards and getting two blocks in 23 minutes.  Could be starting but coming off the bench ensures he doesn't get hampered by early foul trouble.

TEYS
Strangely doesn't seem at the level of 2 years ago, especially offensively, but gives Joey another guard to get at it.

DRMIC
11 and 5 in 17 minutes with a whopping +26 when on the court. Liked what he did on the press, hit some triples and starting to look more comfortable.


The team is playing great, clearly loves playing together and players are getting used to their roles. Plenty of teams are still coming together thanks to import changes and injuries but Adelaide is white hot and will be tough to beat in any series.

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