NBL 2014/15 Round 18 Preview: Sixers fight for third on Schenscher's 200th

Adelaide 36ers (13-11) vs. Sydney Kings (9-14)

Friday February 6, 7:30pm (local)

Adelaide Arena

Odds: Adelaide $1.13, Sydney $6.00


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As we enter round 18 and teams are solidifying their positions on the table, Adelaide are still looking to continue to build chemistry within their squad as their roster has seen a shake-up throughout the year.

The Sixers still gets a majority of its scoring from its starting five and the addition of Daniel Johnson is yet to yield the expected results, despite Adelaide having a successful month which was rewarded with Brock Motum and Joey Wright receiving Player and Coach of the Month honours.

When these two teams meet a fortnight ago, Adelaide was able to control the tempo and force the Kings into a number of turnovers. With Josh Childress now out for the rest of the season Sydney suddenly become a lot smaller and run 3 guards in their starting lineup.

With Adelaide just one game behind Perth on the ladder, that third place spot is well within their sites. A win tonight would certainly help their chances of attempting to snatch that spot from the up and down 'Cats.

Brock Motum will need to be big in this game, as he will spend time matched up against Josh Duinker. The Kings big man has done an admirable job since Angus Brandt went down however Brock is a different kind of beast.

The 36ers big man has been surging back to his expected production levels and tonight should be no different. Look for him to have close to 20 points and 10 rebounds, whilst giving the home crowd something to cheer about.

Key Player

Jamar Wilson

The 36ers guard has been on a tear recently, humiliating opposing guards. The import guard went off for 25 points last week against the Townsville Crocodiles, and had 17 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds last time the Kings and Adelaide met. He has been hitting his stride at just the right time, with the playoffs right around the corner the 36ers will need him to continue his strong play if they want to repeat their run to the finals again this year.

Tonight he will be matched up with Kendrick Perry, assuming Ben Madgen spends time facing Gibson. Perry has yet to really show everyone in Sydney that he is anything more than an uber athletic point guard who provides the occasional highlight reel play. Tonight is a chance for Wilson to prove he belongs in that conversation for the best import in league. JaMarvelous!

What to Watch For

Turnovers, turnover and more turnovers

Adelaide did a great job of forcing the Kings to cough the ball up and managed to limit them to under 90 points. Adelaide will look to do the same tonight, as without Childress, the Kings have one less ball handler on the floor.

Gibson should make life difficult for Madgen all night, and Perry hasn’t shown a consistent ability to handle tough 'in your face' defensive pressure. With the Kings out of the playoff hunt, they are playing for nothing but their pride.

Adelaide is at home and will want to ensure as much support for the club moving into the playoffs. I expect Adelaide to pressure the Kings early and force them into turnovers and run up the scoreboard and give the home crowd a good show.

Final Word

If JChill was playing in this game, it might be a close one. However it would take a mammoth effort from Madgen (think Klay Thompson 52 point game effort), for the Kings to pull off the surprise victory against this 36ers squad.

The Sixers are too big and too strong on the inside for Sydney to compete consistently on the boards and inside tonight.

As much as a shooter Madgen is, that 50-point game needed probably isn't on the cards. Look for another Adelaide victory as the South Australian surge continues to put the NBL on notice.

Adelaide by 8