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NBL 2014/15 Round 1 Preview: Crocs and 36ers Battle for First Round Scraps
Townsville Crocodiles vs Adelaide 36ers
Sunday 12th October, 2014 - 4:00 pm local time
Townsville RSL Stadium, Townsville
Odds: Townsville - $1.45, Adelaide - $2.85
Tickets - here
Both teams are coming off opening night losses and will be determined to head away from the opening round at 1-1. Townsville struggled to maintain the diminutive Hawks guard combo of Jahii Carson and Gary Ervin on Friday and they could be in for a long season if they cannot patch-up their defense.
Adelaide battled out a 10 point loss to the Cairns Taipains and also failed to defend Cairns' guards as Scottie Wilbekin and Cameron Gliddon had a field day. Playing away from home is going to be difficult for the 36ers, who will need some solid contributions from their big name players (Jamar Wilson, Adam Gibson, Mitch Creek) to make this one interesting.
A breakthrough player in 2013/2014, Creek has picked up where he left off - scoring 16 points and nabbing 6 rebounds against the Hawks. Creek also flexed an accurate outside jump-shot hitting 3/5 from down town.
Coach Joey Wright wasn't calling many plays for Creek as he only saw 11 shots, a small number for a player who led the team with a +18 efficiency rating. Expect Wright to dial-up a few more plays for his young forward - i'm guessing Creek will rise to the challenge.
His performance will be instrumental in the result.
What To Watch For
Neither team wants to start 0-2 as momentum plays a huge role in this league and a slow start will haunt these "weaker" teams more than others.
On Friday night, U.S import Mickell Gladness had a slow introduction to Aussie basketball, expect him to solidify Townsville's front-court and be a menace on the low-block.
Adelaide were not able to depend on their bench last night scoring only 22 points. It would be surprising to see those numbers replicate, however they must get more production from the likes of B.J Anthony, who was highly ineffective in his 13 minutes.
Home-court advantage is paramount and coming off a back to back, the Crocs should be too strong. However these team's second-units and their production or lack-there-of, will be the deciding factor in the outcome of this match.
It looks as though the match will pan out with a spirited fight from the 36ers led by Mitch Creek, however the Adelaide fallsjust short as Townsville dictates the pace of the game.
Townsville by 9.