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Sixers aim to end season on high against NZ

13 Feb
4 mins read

Written By

Dale Fletcher

Sunday afternoon showdown looms as Adelaide 36ers look to conclude NBL24 season with victory

Adelaide 36ers will face a New Zealand Breakers side on Sunday afternoon at the Entertainment Centre fighting to keep their NBL24 season alive.

The Breakers face a tough double header to finish the regular season, hosting Brisbane Bullets at Spark Arena on Friday night before the Sunday afternoon assignment on Brett Maher Court.

A victory against the Bullets on Friday night will put the Breakers into the top six, but other results on Saturday could lead to Sunday being a must-win for last season’s grand finalists.

Either way, New Zealand will be out to finish their regular season with a win but will run into an Adelaide side eager to finish their NBL24 campaign on a high.

After all but being eliminated from the playoff race after last Friday night’s 102-84 loss to the Bullets in Brisbane, Adelaide will be keen to end the NBL24 season with a 12-16 record.

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THE KEY
Parker Jackson-Cartwright has arguably the best recruit in the NBL has seen this season.

The dynamic point guard has been outstanding for the Breakers so far this NBL24 season, running the Breakers’ offense while averaging just under 20 points and six assists per game.

Jackson-Cartwright creates a dynamic backcourt with Will McDowell-White and gives Breakers head coach Mody Maor the luxury of having a true point guard on the court for the entire 40 minutes.

The 180cm point guard can attack the basket, find open teammates on the regular while also having the ability to pull up for jump shots and he will be at the top of the whiteboard for Scott Ninnis and his coaching staff.

Both Jackson-Cartwright and McDowell-White were huge in Breakers’ loss to Melbourne United last round, combining for 43 points between them, but both fouled out.

Also well as the backcourt depth, the Breakers also have import power forward Zylan Cheatham back at full fitness and ready to fire towards the playoffs.

Cheatham broke his foot during Adelaide’s 97-85 win over the Breakers in New Zealand way back on October 26, but now he is back to his match winning best.

The 203cm power forward has averaged 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per night across his 15 games so far in the NBL24 season.

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THE SECRET
After losing star import Anthony Lamb to a season-ending achilles injury earlier this month, the Breakers have been playing shorthanded, basically for the entire season.

Returning forward Finn Delany has just comeback from his injury concerns and while he is not a like-for-like replacement for Lamb, he is a proven star of the league.

Delany, along with Next Star Mantas Rubstavicius, will get the extra minutes to cover the loss of Lamb and both can take over a win a game by themselves.

Rubstavicius has had some breakout games in NBL24, and the Lithuanian swingman can hit the three-point shot, while also being a threat attacking the basket.

Auction

DEPTH CHART
PG: Jackson-Cartwright / McNaught
SG: McDowell-White / Le’Afa / Gliddon
SF: Rubstavicius / Abercrombie
PF: Cheatham / Delany / Darling
C: Mathiang / Pineau

 

THE FINAL WORD
Pride is on the line for the 36ers, and Adelaide would love to finish off their season in style in front of a seventh straight home crowd.

Adelaide will be facing a Breakers side playing for their season regardless of their result against the Bullets in New Zealand on Friday night.

New Zealand will need victory to assure themselves of a playoff spot, so expect a fired up Breakers outfit to run out on the Entertainment Centre.

The 36ers have performed on home court during the back half of the season and Adelaide will be out to kickstart their NBL25 campaign with another big win in front of another huge crowd.

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