Short Changed: Review: 36ers vs United 5/10/17
-Shot the ball better (48% to 44%)
-Smashed United at the line (23/30 vs an horrendous 11/23)
-Had 13 steals/blocks to United's 6
-Led by 9 at quarter time
Yet still lost the game.
The difference was on the boards, where Melbourne out rebounded Adelaide 52-42, leading to 27 second chance points.
Adelaide opened with a DJ/Hodgson combo but regularly had to play Mitch or Drmic at the 4. Despite having the strength to play the 4, Creek regularly saw the opposition out reach or out jump him for offensive boards. On one occasion, he even tipped one in for them. He battled hard but this wasn't the team for him to be playing extended minutes at the 4 against.
Mitch was put in this position due to the game day announcement Ronald Roberts would be taking his talents elsewhere (ie a knee specialist). He denied Adelaide's social media report that he was injured at all. More to come on this but it doesn't ease the doubts that were out there over the state of his knees.
This late change no doubt hurt Adelaide and forced some late rotation changes. For large stretches of the game the rotations looked fine, at least on offense. Adelaide ran all game and regularly attacked the basket. The team did only take 16 threes though, a very low number in the modern era. Drmic and Sobey combined for 6/9 and both looked great. The rest of the team went 0/7.
It will be an interesting season for the team as is undergoes another transformation. To me it now appears to be Sobey's team. He shot 8 of 12 and grabbed 9 rebounds and was excellent at both ends. He played 35 minutes, picking up Casper Ware for the majority of the game full court and then hitting the boards manfully. He,Moore and Drmic look to be our go-to options late in games. DJ figures to see less of the ball this year going off what we saw last night. A terrible DJ push shot and an ill-advised Creek three were not what we needed down the stretch.
Here's some thoughts on each player.
JOHNSON (13pts, 5 reb)
Never really got going and saw far less minutes than he's used to to. Will be an adjustment year for him as he becomes 3rd/4th option regularly on offense. Must turn his attention to defensive work.
CREEK (15pts, 3 reb)
Only recall him taking one shot (that three). The rest of the time he attacked the basket. Battled hard but struggled on defensive boards. Fouled out.
SOBEY (21pts, 9 reb)
21 points on 12 shots. Looked really good early but a little too restrained in the second half. Very solid defensive contribution too. The team now his.
HODGSON (5pts, 6 reb)
Only played 19 minutes and did his part. Must watch fouls and go harder early.
SHORTER (14pts, 5 ast)
Was solid but not spectacular. Main offensive move appears to be a fallback jumper. Works hard on D but regularly hits the floor. Nice having a bigger body on D but a big drop off from JR on offense.
TEYS (1 ast)
9 minutes and did little. Team -11 when he was on the court.
DENG (2pts, 2 reb)
Somehow looks skinnier than last year. Was a bit all over the place but had one nice end to end play that fired up the crowd. Joey clearly didn't trust him against Melbourne's vet bigs.
DRMIC (17pts, 5 reb)
Started the season like he finished the last. Looked good on offense, hit the boards, moved well. Could be a big year for him if he can be aggressive from outside.
MOORE (10pts, 3 reb).
Very versatile at both ends and looked good. Figures to be a key cog.
Editor's Note: Do not try the bbq chicken pizza. It was by far the worst pizza I've ever had, including frozen pizza. It tasted like a mass of soggy dough, cheap cheese and spam. If you take away nothing else from this blog, remember this!