Sixers ready for tough Tassie assignment
Adelaide will be looking to make it two-from-two this round when the 36ers travel to MyState Bank Arena in Hobart for Sunday afternoon’s clash against Tasmania JackJumpers.
The JackJumpers will be buoyed after their crucial 94-86 win in Far North Queensland to open Round 18 of the NBL24 season against Cairns Taipans and are back on home court searching for third spot on the standings.
After Friday night’s stunning 85-78 success in front of another sold out crowd at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, the 36ers will be looking to win their fifth consecutive game less than 48 hours after the success against the Kings.
Adelaide will return to Hobart a totally different side to the one which lost 94-59 to the JackJumpers on December 2.
Tasmania will be looking to build on their victory on Thursday night and have won two of their past three matches, with third spot the carat for their ongoing success.
Jordon Crawford and Milton Doyle have been leading the JackJumpers’ push this season and can both be matchwinners on any given night.
Crawford scored a team-high 25 points to go with five assists as Tasmania defeated the Taipans in Cairns on Thursday night.
The JackJumpers point guard is a triple threat, he can shoot from the perimeter, get to the basket and also find wide open teammates for shots.
Expect Adelaide to throw a trio of defenders at Crawford, including Nick Marshall, captain Mitch McCarron and Sunday Dech.
Doyle nearly had a triple double in Far North Queensland on Thursday night, the 193cm swingman had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists against the Taipans.
Trey Kell looks like as the marquee match-up against Doyle, with both players big reasons to the success to their sides.
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JackJumpers captain Clint Steindl has made a career out of shooting from the outside, and the NBL24 season has been no exception.
Across his 315 NBL games, Steindl has hit the three-point at just over 38 per cent, but so far in NBL24, he has connected on 52 per cent of his shots from downtown.
The 36ers defence must be alert when the Tasmania leader comes into the game, as the 34-year-old can turn a game within a few shots.
As well as Steindl, Sean MacDonald is also another huge threat from beyond the perimeter, hitting on 47 per cent of his three-point tries so far this season.
With most of Adelaide’s defensive strategy target towards Doyle, Crawford and McVeigh, the 36ers must not underestimate the firepower of the JackJumpers’ bench.
PG: Crawford / Macdonald
SG: Doyle / Barker (NRP) / Brown
SF: Drmic / Steindl
PF: McVeigh / Vodanovich / Deng (inj)
C: Magnay / Lee / Krslovic / Bairstow / Majok (NRP)
THE FINAL WORD
The finals have come early for both sides in this Sunday afternoon match-up as the JackJumpers look to lock in a top three spot, while Adelaide are trying to force their way into the NBL’s top six.
Both sides will be full of confidence going into the contest after character-building victories so far in Round 18 and Tasmania will look to use their home court advantage to great effect.
Adelaide are 6-1 so far in 2024 and are on a roll, but the side will return to the scene of their biggest loss this season, which should be a motivating factor.
Both sides have match winners just waiting to take over and the defensive end will be key in this contest with Crawford, Doyle, Kell and Vasiljevic all being key factors.
Expect the Marcus Lee-Will Magnay tandem on Isaac Humphries to play a pivotal role in this contest as the 36ers big man, who will playing his 100th game, will again be a huge focus inside for the 36ers.
There’s no better challenge for Adelaide than to go on the road and prove which has been produced so far in 2024.