36ers' plans to quell Crawford, Doyle influence
Adelaide 36ers will confront a hard-nosed Tasmania JackJumpers line-up this Saturday night desperate to get back into the NBL top six race.
After falling on the road 99-88 to Perth Wildcats at RAC Arena last round, the 36ers are keen to rebound against Tasmania, who survived a late Brisbane fightback to hold on to a two-point win on Saturday.
The JackJumpers have been known for their tough, hard, defensive structures since entering the competition in NBL22, where they made the grand final in their debut season.
But the NBL24 version of Tasmania has a lot more offensive weapons, and Adelaide must be locked in at the defensive end, or the JackJumpers could rack up the points quickly.
- Kell expects 36ers to bounce back against Tassie
- PRESS CALL: 'Alex came in and sparked us': Bruton
- Saab, 36ers join forces for Remembrance Day
Tasmania has an import duo in Jordon Crawford and Milton Doyle who can both win a game on their own and haven proven to do so this NBL24 season.
Crawford has been a revelation for the JackJumpers this season since being recruited from Turkey in the off-season, averaging 18.3 points per game.
The 168cm point guard is a dynamic scorer who can get to the rim and also find his teammates, he’s averaging five assists per game and has shown he can shoot from the perimeter.
In his second NBL season, Doyle has shown on numerous occasions why he is in the conversation to be the league MVP.
Across 40 games so far, Doyle has averaged 17.2 points per game, while this season he has increased his assists per game from 3.8 to 4.2, as sides look to take the ball out of his hands.
The 193cm swingman can put his side on his back and lead from the front down the stretch, and combining with Crawford, can create a dangerous one-two punch when it comes to crunch time.
Now the JackJumpers have a great duo in Doyle and Crawford, but Adelaide shouldn’t forget about the impact their third import, Marcus Lee, can have on any basketball game.
The 210cm centre plays a vital part for the JackJumpers, especially with Tasmania missing marquee man Will Magnay through injury.
Lee can get into and has been in foul trouble on several occasions this season and Adelaide must try to exploit that to take away his rim protection presence.
Adelaide big man Isaac Humphries is the perfect match-up for Lee and the pair have been former teammates in the past, during NBL23 at Melbourne United and during their college career at Kentucky.
PG: Crawford / Macdonald
SG: Doyle / Madut
SF: Drmic / Steindl
PF: McVeigh / Deng
C: Lee / Krslovic / Bairstow
Saturday’s ADF Appreciation Round game looms as another ‘must win’ contest for the 36ers, who currently hold a 3-6 win-loss record.
Adelaide has won three of their past five matches since the inclusion of two-time NBL champion DJ Vasiljevic and were on a two-game winning streak before last round’s loss in Perth.
Tasmania hold no fear, especially on the road and Adelaide must limit in-game lapses that has caused some concerns so far this season.
Expect Adelaide to come out firing with a point to prove and the 36ers have shown than can match with Tasmania after an 86-82 loss at the NBL Blitz where the side was without Trey Kell, Jacob Wiley, Jason Cadee and Vasiljevic.
The JackJumpers are a little undersized with Magnay missing, but Lee poses as a big threat and expect former 36ers Jack McVeigh, Anthony Drmic and Majok Deng to have a spring in their step.