Adelaide 36ers vs. Illawarra Hawks
MATCH UP STATS
Adelaide 36ers vs. Illawarra Hawks
Season record:Adelaide 36ers: 11-7Illawarra Hawks: 10-9
Last 5 results:Adelaide 36ers: LWWWWIllawarra Hawks: LWWLW
Line betting:Adelaide 36ers: -2.5 ($1.90 @ WilliamHill)Illawarra Hawks: +2.5 ($1.90 @ WilliamHill)
Thursday, January 5, 2016, 7.30pm AEDT, Titanium Security Arena, Adelaide.
AFTER leaving their game in Adelaide before taking on Melbourne on New Year’s Day, the top of the table Adelaide 36ers look to get back on track against the Illawarra Hawks on Thursday night.
And what a match up it is set to be, with two of the NBL’s best teams going head to head.
The 36ers were completely dismantled by Melbourne United on New Year’s Day, falling to their biggest lost of the year – a monstrous 31 points – in a 104-73 shellacking.
The Sixers were 10 points down after the opening term and it just got worse from there. They managed a miserable eight points in the third term in the blow out.
Jerome Randle, as is so often the case, was the only Sixer who could hold his head high, dropping 21 points on nine of 14 shooting to go with seven assists. But even he was outclassed by his opposite number, United import Casper Ware, who had 30 points and matched his assist total.
You would have been hard pressed to find a winner in the Sixers’ line up as they succumbed to the United three point barrage, the Melbourne team dropping 13 from down town to just five from Adelaide.
And Sixers coach Joey Wright lamented the long break between games for the Sixers and was scathing of his charges, but hoped they would turn things around on Thursday night.
“Obviously the 10-day lay-off wasn’t kind to us. I think it took us out of rhythm a bit,” Wright said.
“We’re a young team. We play with a lot of speed. We want to play up-tempo.
“Our guys are built to get out and run, but we had no resistance, none.
“We didn’t do most of the little things.
“We didn’t get up and deny, (had) a lot of unforced turnovers, just throwing the ball away.
“We didn’t play with any passion.
“Our response to them making big plays or making any plays was just pretty much neutral body language.
“We didn’t pick up the ball fullcourt, we didn’t deny inbounds, we didn’t yell on split lines, we didn’t deny one pass away.
“All the little things that make your team a good basketball team, we didn’t do those things.
“Nor did we hit our free throws, nor did we control the ball — pretty much every facet of the game we were poor.”
The Hawks were also on the receiving end last week, falling to a surprise home defeat at the hands of the then bottom of the table Perth Wildcats, 95-87.
The starting line up gave the Hawks almost nothing, not one player reaching double figures, but Oscar Forman and Rotnei Clarke saved their blushes with 20 and 17 points respectively, the pair nailing nine three pointers between them.
Interestingly, the Hawks have actually defeated the Sixers in Adelaide this year, 85-74, although that was in the midst of Adelaide’s bottom of the table mire. They subsequently lost to the Brisbane Bullets and then went on an eight game winning streak that was snapped by United on the weekend.
Matt Hodgson dropped 18 points for the Sixers and Nathan Sobey 16. They were the two best scorers on the court, but it didn’t translate to a win, with five Hawks in double figures led by Clarke and Mitch Norton with 13 points each.
If the Hawks are to get close on this occasion, they need more out of import Marvelle Harris, and coach Rob Beverage has laid down the gauntlet to the high paid star.
“He’s just got to work his arse off, simple as that,” Beveridge said.
“Confidence is something in the rubbish bin, where you go, put it in there, take it out, whatever else.
“If you’re doing the work, you’ve got to work your arse off and right now, he’s a real young guy that’s been a big fish in a small pond (in college basketball) over in the (United) States.
“Now this is a damn good league and it’s not as easy as what he probably thinks it is, and that happens with a lot of first-year imports.”
Match result: Adelaide 36ers to win ($1.67 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Line betting tip: Adelaide 36ers -2.5 ($1.90 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Both teams suffered losses last time out, but the 36ers were absolutely rolling before that. One thing the Hawks have been able to is win on the road, a key to their place in the top four. But a trip to the Sixers – who will be champing at the bit after a massive loss – looks a bridge too far. Yes, we know the Hawks have won in Adelaide already this season, but that was when Adelaide was a complete shell of itself. The United loss will do one of two things – it will either completely decimate the Sixers or, as we suspect, it will steel them to go on another run and secure top of the table. Whatever happens, this game is going to have plenty, with AJ Ogilvy and company going up against Daniel Johnson and Randle in a rip snorting clash.
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