NBL 2014/15 Round 17 Preview: Adelaide to keep up late run at finals against Townsville
Townsville Crocodiles (8-15) vs. Adelaide 36ers (12-11)
Sunday, February 1st, 1:30pm (local)
Adelaide Arena, Adelaide
Odds: Adelaide $1.30, Townsville $3.50
The red-hot Adelaide 36ers will battle with Townsville in an attempt to keep their playoff hopes reality.
After some mid-season recruitment, Adelaide have a very dangerous roster adding the likes of Brock Motum and now Daniel Johnson.
The 36ers have been very impressive as of late, with their latest victory coming in a big win over Sydney. Once again, having their star players impact heavily on the game. Motum had the best night of the team, having 18 points in the game.
Townsville head into this round 17 clash full of confidence after a second half demolition of Melbourne last week. Todd Blanchfield led the way that afternoon with 27 points and 13 rebounds.
Both Perth and Melbourne will be keeping a close eye on this game, hoping that the Crocodiles can get away with the win and aid their quest to play in the post season.
The leader of the Townsville team is in some fine form and can dominate any side in the competition.
After an impressive stat line of 24 points and eight rebounds against Melbourne, he will be in for a much tougher matchup this week. With Brock Motum, Anthony Petrie and Daniel Johnson all rotating through the power forward position, Conklin will have to be smart and work hard if he wants a similar output.
Know as 'King Conk' by fans around the league, Conklin will have to be the king of this particular game if he wants his team to have an unexpected win in enemy territory.
What to watch for
Daniel Johnson's continual improvement
In the two games that Johnson has played since he joined the team in Adelaide, he has played a total of 34 minutes. As he starts to gel with the team better and secure his role that number will grow.
Johnson was part of the All NBL Team and averaged 19.6 points and seven rebounds a game last season showing how much of an asset he can be to any team.
As we saw when Brock Motum joined the team, it took some time for him to start playing to his potential. Expect the same from Johnson, although coach Joey Wright does know about Johnson and his style of play. He might be able to fit in quicker having previous 36er and NBL experience.
Johnson is a weapon and has many incredible aspects to his game and could fire up any game, including this clash with the Crocs.
Townsville looked very impressive in their second half against Melbourne and their better players all fired. They will be looking to repeat that effort in Adelaide but might find it a little tougher as the 36ers continue to excite their fans. Gladness will be doing his best to keep the likes of Motum and Wilson out of the paint with his shot blocking abilities but it might not be enough.
Adelaide are going from strength to strength and really pushing hard for a playoff berth. They have some many options to score with Wilson, Motum and Creek all in good form. Add Gibson and Petrie to the list with their mountain of experience, they will be too much for the seventh placed Crocodiles to handle.
Adelaide by 8