NBL 2014/15 Round 20 Preview: Adelaide to keep momentum rolling in Wollongong
Wollongong Hawks (6-21) vs. Adelaide 36ers (16-11)
Sunday, 22nd February, 5:00pm (local)
WIN Entertainment Centre
Odds: Wollongong $2.44, Adelaide $1.56
The Adelaide 36ers are on a roll heading into finals and will not want to lose any momentum as the finish off the regular season against the Hawks.
After a hard-fought win over Perth on Friday for third spot, Adelaide come into this game upbeat and full of energy. Currently the team to beat in the competition, they will be a tough team to beat.
After having a disappointing year Wollongong have fought out every game and pulled out a couple of upsets in the latter rounds.
The Hawks have been showing some promising signs recently but took a heavy loss to the hands of the seventh placed Townsville Crocs on Friday night. Coach Gordie McLeod would not be impressed by that effort and be demanding more from his team in this clash.
In terms of the ladder and previous results, this does not look like a close game but the fighting Hawks would have other ideas.
Wilson has been in outstanding form and has led the 36ers in their push for the finals. After his season was interrupted by injury, Wilson is averaging 19.6 points for the season.
As the season continues, more and more people have talked about his chances for the MVP award. His coach Joey Wright has already tipped him to take home the trophy come awards night.
Wilson has been back from injury for nine games and has scored 15 or more points in each one of those matches, including many 20 points or more performances.
For a point guard, Wilson rebounds the ball at a very high level. On the season he average five rebounds a game only 0.4 less then Adelaide centre Luke Schenscher.
Wilson is an important piece in the puzzle of success for the 36ers, both in their clash with the Hawks and in their finals campaign.
What To Watch For
Battle of the guards
Two of the better back courts in the league will face off in what could be the battle that decides the match.
Jamar Wilson and Adam Gibson go up against Gary Ervin and Rhys Martin, with all players having the ability to have large scoring nights. These players have all shown that if they get away from opposition teams, the result can be catastrophic.
Not only will the offence of the guards be on show but the defence of each one of them tested as the match up on each other.
Look out for some fancy dribble moves and a lot of pace as each duo tries to get on top of the other.
It will not effect Wollongong's effort that this game means nothing in terms of the finals and the ladder, they will be wanting to put on a show for their fans who have had a tough year.
The momentum that Adelaide has built up over recent rounds will be ever so valuable in the finals, so they will not want to lose it in this clash.
The 36ers have one of the deepest rosters in the league due to some mid-season acquisitions and will be very hard to beat. The combination of Motum and Wilson is a tough task for any defence, throw in the likes of Gibson and Johnson and it makes for an uphill battle.
Expect Wollongong to fight all night and be valiant but the Adelaide force is too strong.
Adelaide by 10