Hungry Jack's NBL
R7 Preview: Adelaide v Illawarra
Who: Adelaide 36ers v Illawarra Hawks When: 7.30pm (AEDT), Saturday 21 November Where: Titanium Security Arena, Adelaide Watch: Fox Sports (Live and in HD); Sky Sports NZ; NBL Live App Last time they met: Adelaide 105 (Wilson 23, Creek 21, Gibson 16) d Illawarra 85 (Martin 14 Carson 13), Round 20, 2014/15, WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong THE MATCH-UP
De'Lisch #HardBall @illawarrahawks @Perthwildcats https://t.co/JQC4HAHrkt — NBL (@NBL) November 11, 2015THE STATS In their six losses, the 36ers have been outscored 162-109 in fourth quarters, giving up an average of 27 points in the final 10 minutes of defeats compared to 16.2 points in their five victories. Illawarra have won just one fourth quarter this season, giving up an average of 27.4 points in the final periods of their five losses. THE STORY Illawarra have played some of the best basketball seen this NBL season, but on more than one occasion they’ve undone their good work late in the contest. “We have to finish games out,” coach Rob Beveridge said after they nearly surrendered a 19-point lead to Cairns in Round 5. That message didn’t reach his players, however, who coughed up an 11-point three-quarter-time edge to Perth five days later, the second time they had capitulated against the Wildcats at home. While the Hawks have blown teams away with their three-point shooting, those open looks often arise from their ability to find centre AJ Ogilvy under the basket, something that seems to go missing late in games. “At times we just blaze away too much from the perimeter, but we have to get the ball inside to AJ,” Beveridge said. “He doesn’t always have to go one-on-one, he’s a great passer, he got a lot of his points through second efforts, tip-ins and rebounding”
Follow up slam from Walker #HardBall #nbl16 @SydneyKings @Adelaide36ers https://t.co/JVhXa3lvjd — NBL (@NBL) October 23, 2015Yet while some teams have used a rebounding advantage to slow the 36ers down, Beveridge has been preaching the exact opposite so far this season. “We’ve got the potential to be that 100-point team every game and that’s what we’re aiming for,” he said. THE WRAP Both teams can compete with the best, but at business time they’ve come up short. Both love to play free-wheeling basketball, but in the crunch Adelaide need Randle to make smart decisions and the Hawks need Lisch getting the ball inside before looking for his three-point marksmen. The 36ers’ defence is at its best when scrambling and helping as one, with Petrie leading the charge, but Illawarra have the line-up to spread them out. Illawarra’s pressing defence has been a strength, and Adelaide must make intelligent reads and make the most of their advantage close to the hoop.