NBL 2014/15 Round 20 Preview: Sixers, ‘Cats battle for third spot

Adelaide 36ers vs. Perth Wildcats

Friday, 20th February, 2015 – 7.30pm (local time)

Adelaide Arena

Tickets: Click here

Adelaide and Perth will do battle to likely decide who nabs third spot and who will have to settle for fourth.

The Sixers are the in-form team in the league right now and seem to just keep on keeping on. With weapons at every position, and off the bench as well for that matter, there is little doubt that Adelaide is the team to watch heading into the post-season.

Perth has struggled over the last month but look to be getting back to their brilliant best just in time for the playoffs. A strong win against Cairns at home was followed by the heart-breaking loss to New Zealand at the same venue last week, with Cedric Jackson’s half-court heave at the end of double OT bringing a rare hush over the Perth Arena crowd.

Key Player

Daniel Johnson View image | gettyimages.com The star big man has been coming off the bench for Adelaide so far this season and, while he hasn’t reached the lofty heights we have come to expect, he certainly has a pivotal role to play in the Sixers’ finals campaign.

With Brock Motum firing on all cylinders, DJ hasn’t had to be the focal point of Adelaide’s offense like he was last season, but remains one of the most skilful and gifted offensive players in the NBL.

Having the luxury of bringing in someone of Johnson’s ilk mid-season and then bringing him off the bench is something that Adelaide could use to great effect between now and the grand final series, beginning with this finals-like clash with Perth.

What To Watch For

Finals-like atmosphere

With the playoffs just a week away, both sides will be looking to fine tune their games and head into the post-season with a full head of steam.

What better way to do that than in a match like this, featuring two of the league’s best sides who are both looking to get one up on their potential grand final opponents before the real stuff begins.

Expect high intensity, good quality basketball and a match that is more likely to go down to the wire than not.

Final Word

Both sides make a strong case for a win here, with the Wildcats starting to get back to their dangerous best and Adelaide simply rolling.

There are battles all over the court, with Wilson-Martin, Gibson-Beal and Motum-Redhage just a few to look forward to.

Throw in DeAndre Daniels and Johnson and you will be hard pressed to find two other rosters more stacked with talent and more evenly matched when going at full tilt.

Given this game is in Adelaide the Sixers hold a slight edge, but it would be foolish to write of the machine that is Perth, even if they are a long way from the comforts of Perth Arena.

Adelaide by 2