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Off-Season Report: Adelaide

HEAD COACH Joey Wright 2015/16 SIGNED PLAYERS Brock Motum; Daniel Johnson; Mitch Creek FREE AGENTS Adam Gibson (option*); BJ Anthony (option*); Luke Schenscher; Anthony Petrie; Brendan Teys; Peter Crawford; Jamar Wilson; Daequon Montreal (import); Richie Edwards; Tom Daly (option*) off2_14htvyxlt8hs31oynnnaxggqa7 Last season: 17-11, third in regular season, lost to New Zealand in the semi-finals Points For: 88.9ppg, first Points Against: 89.4ppg, eighth Field Goal Percentage: 44.8%, first Defensive Field Goal Percentage: 44.8%, fifth Free Throw Percentage: 71.3%, sixth Three Point Field Goal Percentage: 32.9%, seventh Defensive Three Point Field Goal Percentage: 36.2%, eighth Rebounds: 38.2rpg, fourth Assists: 16.1apg, second Steals: 5.0spg, sixth Blocked Shots: 3.3bpg, fifth Turnovers: 13.2tpg, seventh off1_19lxogyhnkqyo15gu7jtzbyw7u Offence. They led the League in scoring and were arguably the competition’s most entertaining team. As usual, Joey Wright – the great offensive mind that he is – opened the throttle wide open and let his guys flow into a transition game that was unstoppable at times. Team Resilience. It’s hard to believe that just before the midway point of the regular season the 36ers were 4-10 and no one gave them a chance to reach the Finals. But they stayed together, showed some toughness, made a couple of huge signings and by the end of the minor rounds were maybe the hottest team in the competition. Brock Motum. To get someone of that calibre in the league, let alone to a basketball mecca like Adelaide, was a massive coup for both the NBL and the 36ers. He hit a triple with his first touch in the competition and showed why he is NBA-bound. off4_kd8i97pptwqh1kxl81kxci07g Defence. Their pace of play dictates that they are always going to give up more points than the League average. But, last season they were terrible at defending the perimeter, didn’t scare anybody in the paint and allowed way too many cheap buckets. The Finals. It’s easy to say they ran into a buzzsaw in the New Zealand Breakers and we shouldn’t be too hard on them for that reason, but the club would have been bitterly disappointed with the way they finished the 2014/15 season. Perimeter shooting. It was a definite weakness for the group, and they had problems whenever enemy teams forced them into a half-court game, packed the middle and dared the Sixers to beat them from the outside. off5_sxq58v3e2woz15nhrr4tafi5q Import point guard. Jamar Wilson is someone coach Wright would probably like to retain, but if he doesn’t come back, the Sixers need to find a quality floor leader who can mesh well with Adam Gibson. One observation last season was there were a few occasions that ‘Gibbo’ struggled to find the ball alongside a more scoring-oriented point guard, so the philosophy this time might be to recruit someone more suited to spreading the ball around and get other guys quality shots in the offence. Defensive help. They have a couple of excellent individual defenders in Adam Gibson and Anthony Petrie, but could use a role player off the bench that Joey can throw in at times as a designated stopper. Three-point shooting. It’s interesting in that they did have a number of players on the 2014/15 roster who can hit from long distance, but they just weren’t particularly consistent from deep last season. Either improvement from within or recruiting a couple of outside gunners would help. off7_12k3efo0ibh261toxbgh607n5p It’s a big off-season for the 36ers as they try to become that legitimate Championship threat their fans expect them to be. There is a giant question mark as to whether Brock Motum will return, but they have some options regardless. With Daniel Johnson signed, they can now look to sign a big American or maybe go smaller and quicker – albeit they’ve already got a quality three in Mitch Creek. The other must is a quality US import at the point to go alongside Adam Gibson, and you’d expect them to make a couple of tweaks here and there to their bench. They do have flexibility to make more than just cosmetic changes – that said, Cairns and New Zealand have shown that the blueprint for success in this League owes a great deal to stability so the retention of the majority of their squad is something they might consider a priority. *Option not taken By Matt McQuade; NBL.tv commentator. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the NBL.
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