Round 13 CABL
Up a day early due to some other commitments.
Big round of Hoops! My usual disclaimer - I am simply providing my opinion on the upcoming round of games, as a way of generating some interest and discussion, and hoping that someone enjoys the read. I am not trying to emulate Jack Toft, and I do not have his wit or ability with words.
Round 13 CABL
North (5th 8-4) v Norwood (1st 12-0)
Simon's army (or is it Brentons) are steam rolling this season, disposing of every opponent more ruthful than U10 zone defence when you’re up 80-0. Last time out Norwood cruised to a 20 point victory, with North’s only standout being Jo Hill putting up 21 and 11; however this was nullified by Foley putting up the same numbers. Hill and Peris both average season double doubles, but need more help if they are going to feature in any meaningful August Action. Meanwhile Norwood has 4 players averaging double figures for points. The rockets will be struck by lightning this week, and Norwood will look to record win number 13 by 20. North to slump to 8-5, but in no danger of either losing or gaining on 5th place.
South (10th 0-12) v Southern (8th 3-9)
I am almost tempted to list this game at MOTR. Not for the importance of the game. Not for the quality of the game. But simply for emotion. Have South Adelaide gotten inside Southern's head? Have they derailed them? Will social media light up the Southern skies, and will mobile phones be banned from entry into the stadium to stop those in game SMS's? I feel like Bruce Mcavaney calling the 100m freestyle final - I’m excited. The sounds of a catfight will awaken the old folks village next door, and I’m sure BSA will get in trouble for breaking noise restrictions. Passion Pop for the winners, and Fruitilexia for the losers, and a whole lot of bragging rights about nothing. Southern by 10.
Sturt (2nd 10-2) v Forestville (3rd 9-3)
Now onto the proper hoops. MOTR. Last time out Sturt got the win by 15. Don’t let the score line fool you though. The difference was 3 balls - Sturt hitting 5 more at 20% better, and turnovers, 6 less for Sturt. The ever reliable Fergus had an off night and with only Thompson and Newley firing Forestville had a hard time on offense. Sturt had 4 players in double figures with Lewis the best with 18, 7 and 5. The key to this game lies in ball distribution from the Eagles veteran PG, if Sturt can shut down the passing lanes and pressure Fergus into tough looks, it will go a long way to helping them win the game. For Forestville, they need limit the turnovers, get into their sets, and play a team game to expose Sturt. Ball movement is paramount. Expect a lot of off ball contact and hardnosed on ball defense. Going to need some experienced whistles on this game to ensure the better team on the night wins. Sturt are a perfect 6-0 at home and on a 4 game streak, however the Eagles at 5-1 on the road and on a 3 game streak. The Feagles will want revenge. And I think they will get revenge, however they won't get the split. Eagles by 4.
West (6th 5-7) v Woodville (7th 3-9)
Usually the ladder positions indicate equality. This game will feature as much equality as same sex marriage in the Libs. Last time out West trounced Woodville by 32. In an ugly game that saw 58 turnovers, 50 fouls and Woodville shoot the rock at a team record season low 22%. For this game, West have undergone chemotherapy since round in Round 4, which will reduce the margin, but even if every player on the Woodville list scored their average points for the season, they still would have fallen 2 points short. Unfortunately the difference between the 6th placed side and every team below, is noticeable, and the same for the 4 teams above them. West are in no-woman’s land, and if they play that way they may well be surprised by the Warriors, but it’s hard to imagine that they will be overly tested. West by 17.
Centrals (9th 1-11) v Eastern (4th 9-3)
Two words. Tess Madgen. Just have a look at this Stat line. Averaging 32.9ppg, 12.7rpg, 8.0apg, shooting at 51% from the field and 44% from 3. Her production is up from the last two seasons, scoring 40+ three times this season, 30+ six times, and only one game under 20, which was against the Lightning. Surprisingly Centrals restricted her to her second worst ppg of the season, but she had her best apg the same game at 14. Last time out Eastern ran away winners 100-55 in the Hills, with Eastern having a huge team game with 4 players in double figures and getting good looks shooting 45% from the field. Turnovers hurt Centrals, throwing it away 30 times, however Centrals shining light for Season 2013, Tamika Dukes, shot 12/23 for 28pts, and 11 boards. Centrals are winless at home going 0-6, and it won't change after this round. Eastern to win by 37, and force a three way tie for 2nd spot on the ladder.
North (5th 7-5) v Norwood (8th 5-7)
Norwood is staring down the barrel of no finals action, in what would be uncharacteristic of recent times for this club. With a 5-7 record, the flames have a steep hill to climb to see any August action, and it must start this week with the 5th placed Rockets, to build momentum for what is a brutal last month of hoops for them (facing 4 top 5 sides). North on the other hand are now a game clear in 5th, however a loss here may say Southern level with them. Last time out Norwood showed what they are capable of with a 20 point win over a Petrie less North. Pero had his usual 26 and 8, but not enough contributors helping. Norwood had 4 players in double figures with Millard dropping 28 and 7 with 5 steals at 52%. In this game it was Norwood’s 2nd quarter that set them apart, with a 32-13 period and 10/17 first half threes. Norwood aren’t a bad side, and their record does not do them justice, but I think North will want to consolidate in the 5, and will end the flames season early. Look for Norwood to make some off season moves, to return to play off action next year. North by 11.
South (9th 1-11) v Southern (7th 6-6)
What a huge danger game for Rashads tigers. Round 12 v Centrals saw an insipid performance that had Tuck pacing the sidelines. Southern are now 1 game back from the pack after what most would consider a surprising and promising year, and this is do or die. Drop this game and there is a big chance that you fall 2 behind, and with 5 games left, that’s a tough equation especially with their run home. South will be inspired to get a win here, and make some impact on the league this season, and by spoiling Southern’s finals hopes, seems like a great way for this rivalry to continue. Last time out Southern won by 10, but had a hard time containing Boal, McKenzie and Robertson. Southern simply had too many options on offense, and South shot the ball at 31% compared to the tigers 46%. Look for Sam McDaniel to continue his impressive form with a number of back to back double doubles (averaging 15.8ppg and 9.6rpg). No Johns hurts Southern on offense, and if South can pressure the ball carrier and clog the lanes, Southern get stale quicker than a pack of arnotts (not Paul) out of the jar. Such a tough game to pick, and I really am in two minds here. But I have to go with Southern by 10 again.
Sturt (6th 6-6) v Forestville (3rd 8-4)
Forestville are rolling, and Sturt are laboring. Sturt are in the same position as Southern, in a must win game to keep their finals hopes alive. If they drop this game and fall 2 back, with their run home they won't play finals, the Angelakis brothers will have too many prawns in storage, and S.Daly will have a full swear jar. Last time round the Eagles soared by 17, after being up 30 at the last change and this was without Gibbo. Rios is solid with 21.8ppg at 40% from the 2 and 3, Doyle 20.6ppg, 4.2apg at 48% from 2 and 44% from 3. Add Gibson to the mix with 18.5ppg, 8apg, and 6rpg, and the Eagles look dangerous all of a sudden. Andy and his charges would be giving Belly and his boy’s night sweats, after thinking the season was all but locked up. Sturt are in a definitive rebuilding faze, and lacking any real depth at all spots, however playing some reasonable ball. The difference last time round was FG%, with Sturt taking 16 extra shots thanks to 12 additional O Boards (cue Andy rage), but shooting the rock at 29% compared to 48% is not going to win you games. It is always a danger playing teams with their backs to the wall, but Forestville’s experience, plus ball distribution, and shooting ability, sees them run away with this one and end Sturts finals hopes. Eagles by 22.
West (1st 10-2) v Woodville (2nd 10-2)
MOTR. What a heavyweight title fight this will be. For top spot on the ladder, and some post season security, sees this game be of utmost importance. Both teams play 2 of their last 5 against top 5 sides, but I would say that Woodville have the slightly tougher draw, facing the Eagles in Round 17. Last time round West got up by 8. It was a roller coaster ride. West led by 14 at the half, but the score line did not reflect the closeness of the game. Turnovers hurt the warriors, with 11 at the half. Woodville then rallied in the third period outscoring West 26-7, the Bearcats shooting 14% for the term and throwing the ball away 6 times. This lit a fire under Belly, and after he got his trademark angry on, his charges rallied back with a 24-11 last quarter, with the D getting, quote pop 'Nasty', forcing 10 turnovers, getting to the line 15 times, and shooting at 46% from the field. Johnson was West's best, with 22 and 16, however shot the rock at a frustrated 36ers fan 31%. Woodville had multiple contributors, however no standouts. Wyatt with 20 at 35%, Ng with 19 @ 46% (2/7 3's), and Stanbridge had 15 and 9. The keys to this game for both teams are, Turnovers (22-11), and Free throws (37-20), last time both in favour of west. What does this mean? Defense. Woodville need to clog the lane, and force DJ off the block, and settle with him shooting jumpers. This game deserves and needs the two best referees this season. Woodville are on a 5 game tear, West are on the rebound with only the 1. I'm going with the Warriors, by 1.
Centrals (4th 7-5) v Eastern 10th (0-12)
Eastern are in the bomb shelter, and the Lions seem due to play some finals ball. This will not change after this round. Eastern lack depth, and experience, and probably some ability, but fight gallantly each game. Centrals took care of Southern comfortably last round in what was an ugly game, but effective nonetheless. Last time round the Lions got up by 19, and pulled an extra 20 boards, and area that Eastern clearly struggle. A lot of free throws last game too with the teams shooting a combined 67. It’s hard to see the result going the Mavs way; however this doesn’t mean the Lions will want to take it easy. Only 1 game clear of 6th and 7th, a loss here could drastically change the landscape of their season. Enough to give Scott a heart attack. The reduced effectiveness of Kyle Miller is an interesting prospect; however the addition of Clausen has made all the difference for them, adding 17.9ppg and 8rpg. Look for Millers output to increase leading into the finals, where the Lions are a dangerous outfit. Did I mention season over for the Mavs? Lions by 16.