NBL 2014/15 Round 11 Preview: Sixers look to shrug uncomfortable tag with victory over Snakes

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Adelaide 36ers vs. Cairns Taipans

Friday 19th December 2014, Tip-Off 7:30pm

Adelaide Arena

Odds: Adelaide $2.05; Cairns $1.78


Adelaide haven't had the greatest of runs this NBL season, starting off with the departures of arguably last season's two best players on the Sixers squad in Daniel Johnson and Gary Ervin. With the team coming off a Grand Final appearance, the city of Adelaide were on a high, expecting the team to have the potential to go one better in season 2014/15.

However, the two major losses followed by the import signings of Daequon Montreal and Jamar Wilson could quite possibly have shown the writing on the wall from an early stage.

While Brock Motum may have come along at the most opportune time, the Sixers haven't had much success since his arrival.

With the Sixers on the back foot, questions were starting to be asked and answers were required. Is it an in-house capitulation? Bad chemistry between the head coach and a certain player or players? No trust between the playing group?

Adelaide found some answers last week with their strong performance with a victory over the in-form (at the time) Melbourne United. The next step is to knock off Cairns at home to silence some more of those critics.

Key Player

Brendan Teys

With the tension between Jamar Wilson and Adam Gibson somewhat expressed throughout the media, when it comes to game time it is Brendan Teys who will have to steer the Adelaide backcourt to move the ball around on offence to create easy buckets.

With Gibson having a limited effect as of late, while Jamar has found his own when going into isolation plays, Teys will again play the 'glue' factor for the Sixers to take anything from the game.

Going up against the likes of Scottie Wilbekin and Cameron Gliddon, two defenders who can be gone in a flash; Teys will need to find himself increasing his season averages of 8.9ppg and 2apg by hussling on both ends.

What To Watch For

Assist Numbers

The Sixers are known the season for not moving the ball too much unless it's in the hands of captain Adam Gibson. On the flip side, the Taipans didn't engrave a 6-0 without chalking up the assists.

Both teams have valuable guards as mentioned earlier, with Gibson/Wilson and Wilbekin/Gliddon and Shaun Bruce all willing and able to rack up four or more assists in the game.

For both sides, the bigs will need great service inside to put points on the board, which means the teams' leaders will need to step up.

As Adam Gibson (4.5apg) and Scottie Wilbekin (4.2apg) are among the top 5 in the league, it will be interesting to see the end result compared to who finishes with the most team assists.

Final Word

It's an enticing match-up this Friday night, with the two teams looking quite similar in every spot on the floor. With the guards style of play is somewhat different, they both seem to be successful at different times of the season.

The forwards are yet another exciting face-off with Cameron Tragardh, Mitch Young, Stephen Weigh and Alex Loughton taking on Brock Motum, Luke Schenscher, Anthony Petrie and BJ Anthony. This four on four battle could be the difference in who takes the W.

As it stands, the Taipans foursome stand tall and are in the better form as of now.

Taipans by 2