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R7 Preview: Adelaide v Perth

Who: Adelaide 36ers v Perth Wildcats When: 7.30pm (AEDT), Wednesday 18 November Where: Titanium Security Arena, Adelaide Watch: Fox Sports (Live and in HD); Sky Sports NZ; NBL Live App Last time they met: Perth 79 (Beal 18, Jawai 11, Wagstaff 11) d Adelaide 66 (Johnson 18, Creek 13), Round 1, Titanium Security Arena THE MATCH-UP Jerome Randle v Jermaine Beal – Two of the NBL’s great late-game shot-makers. Randle keys the 36ers’ transition game, Beal makes things happen when Perth’s low-post game breaks down. While they mightn’t match-up directly, the winner of this shoot-out could determine the result.
FULL TIME | A tight contest in Adelaide but the Perth Wildcats took a 79-66 win over the Adelaide 36ers, thanks to some clutch buckets from Jermaine Beal down the stretch! #HardBall Posted by NBL on Saturday, October 10, 2015
THE STATS The Wildcats are holding opponents to 71.3 points per game at Perth Arena, compared to 85.5ppg on the road. Their past three games away from home have cost them 275 points at 91ppg. Adelaide are 4-1 when they restrict teams to 80 points or less, with Perth the only team to beat them in that situation in Round 1 at Titanium Security Arena. THE STORY Perth might have arguably the biggest, baddest frontcourt in league history - with Nate Jawai at centre and Matt Knight manning the four-spot - but Jesse Wagstaff doesn’t have any sympathy for opponents. “Bugger them, we have to go against it every day at practice,” he laughed. With Tom Jervis also in standout form, and Shawn Redhage and Wagstaff more than capable at power forward, the Wildcats have the size to overpower any opponent, provided they can find the tempo to suit their size. That will be a challenge this Wednesday against Adelaide, who play a style similar to some other NBL teams but with an important difference. “It’s more fast-paced,” Wagstaff said. “They're primary goal really is the (fast) break. If you look at their personnel they’ve got some athletic wings, some mobile bigs and point guards who can push it and run out.” Led by Jerome Randle, who leads the NBL in fast-break points and whiplashed opponents, the 36ers feature Daniel Johnson, Lucas Walker, Anthony Petrie, Mitch Creek and Nathan Sobey, who would all be amongst the faster players in the competition in their respective positions. While Perth have shown they can win high-speed games this season, Wagstaff believes doing “the little things” that help control the tempo is the recipe for success against Adelaide and their daunting crowd. “You’ve got to rebound, you’ve got to take care of the ball. You sound like a broken record at practice but it really is the little things that get the job done week-in, week-out,” he said. The 36ers have their own tricks in a half-court battle, however, coach Joey Wright well known for presenting defences that goad teams into taking shots from outside their offence. While Wagstaff said this can be difficult to overcome, it’s not a new challenge for Perth’s experienced group. “Gordie (McLeod) used to do that with Wollongong, Joey will do that too,” he said. “You don’t want them to dictate what shot you take, we want to take the shot we want, so it’s about having the discipline and really executing our offence regardless of what defence they're in.” THE WRAP Perth strangled the 36ers in the second half last time they met, trapping them in the half-court, but Johnson and Walker are now more comfortable in their roles, Anthony Petrie has rediscovered his old form despite injury concerns and Randle has joined the team and done a lot of this: Jarrod Kenny, Casey Prather and Beal need to slow the ball in transition, and the Wildcats’ bigs must defend ball-screens early in the shot clock. In Round 1, Jawai and Knight combined for six o-boards and five assists, suggesting Adelaide can’t double-team and rotate as much as they did in that clash.
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