NBL 2014/15 Round 5 Preview: Motum to debut against Kings

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Sydney Kings vs. Adelaide 36ers

Sunday 9th November, 2014- 2.00pm (local time)

Qantas Credit Union Arena

Tickets: click here

Odds: Sydney $1.75, Adelaide $2.08

Sydney are back at home for the first time since Round 2, following a defensive clinic against Wollongong on Friday night. They kept the Hawks to 53 points, a season low for any side in the competition, while the 29 point margin was Sydney’s largest ever over Wollongong. In his return from a one game suspension, Josh Childress was dominant with 18 points and 13 rebounds while Kendrick Perry top-scored with 23. The Kings have had the easiest start to the season of any team, playing just one match per week for the first four rounds but their roster is about to get a lot tougher. They are scheduled to play another five games before the end of November and by month’s end, we will have a very good idea of where this Kings side is headed.

Injuries continue to hamper the 36ers but their resolve remains steadfast as they recorded a 7 point win over New Zealand last weekend in the absence of their two best scorers. Adam Gibson (34 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 6 steals) played out of his skin to lead the side and has put together an All-Star type start to the season in very quiet fashion. Mitch Creek is still unavailable this week while Jamar Wilson will test his hamstring prior to tip-off. Although they currently sit second on the ladder, the victory over the Breakers was the first time the 36ers have put together a win streak and once their list is healthy, consistent performances will help settle their team. Capping off a very good weekend for Adelaide, news broke that the club has been boosted by the signing of Brock Motum.

Key Player

Brock Motum

Leading up to the start of the 2014/15 NBA season, it looked as if Motum had found a spot on the Utah Jazz roster alongside Dante Exum but despite impressive stints across the last two NBA Summer League’s, the power forward was unable to crack into the big time. While he awaits another opportunity which is sure to come, Motum has elevated Adelaide’s status as a title contender by improving their already sturdy forward stocks. His inclusion has unfortunately pushed Daequon Montreal out of the line-up but the move was a no-brainer for 36ers management. At just 24 years of age and 6’10”, Motum will have received experience tutelage from the Jazz staff while his production at the 2014 FIBA World Cup showed signs of a player who could easily take over the NBL competition.

What to Watch For

Three Point Battle

The three point shot can be a deadly weapon but throughout the league, teams are often too content to settle for the long range jumper without looking for options inside. Across all eight teams, there are an average of 21 attempts made from beyond the arc in a game but Sydney (20 attempts) and Adelaide (14.4) rank seventh and eight respectively. Their offensives styles are more suited to the grit and grind of front court clashes but while the big bodies battle inside, the door will be left open for the guards to unleash from distance. Gibson’s superb recent form could see him light it up from the three point line while Ben Madgen and Perry for the Kings have the green light when open. It won’t be a tactic used often on Sunday afternoon but the side that makes the most of the three point line will have a big advantage.

Final Word

Due to its injury list, Adelaide are a difficult side to read but the toughness they have shown over the past fortnight means they do not deserve to be counted out of any contest. Motum is a huge addition but it will take him some time to learn the 36ers system while Childress’ return has Sydney at full strength. Taking confidence from their shutdown performance on Friday night, the Kings should sweep the round and move equal with Adelaide on the ladder at 3-3.

Sydney by 3