So, the Sixers are outright second on the ladder. After starting the season at the bottom of the Power Rankings and being on the lower half of the entire season, Adelaide is now one of only three teams to be above .500 halfway through the competition. It comes down to a few reasons, but the main one is the ability of Jerome Randle to destroy opponents utterly. 37 points on 15/19 shooting? Get out of town; that’s video game territory.
Question of the week
When was the last time someone has shot nineteen three-pointers in a game like Casper Ware did against Perth?
Points per game: 83.8 (4); points against per game: 80.9 (2); Net: +2.9 (1)
A get out of jail free card was used against the Taipans where they were down by fifteen points at one stage was followed up by a very lacklustre performance against Melbourne. Are the Kings in trouble? They’re still the best team in the league, but that gap is shrinking every round. It seems that Steve Blake wasn’t the problem for Jason Cadee. 3/16 is horrible shooting, especially for someone on the cusp of the elite level.
Points per game: 89.0 (2); points against per game: 86.9 (6); Net: +2.1 (2)
It’s disappointing to see Marvelle Harris struggling after his injury because before he went down, he was an MVP candidate. It’s still only halfway through the season so he could turn it around. The rest of the team is holding the fort, and Rotnei Clarke had another blinder with 24 points in their win against Brisbane. The Hawks are third on the ladder, so if Harris gets back his mojo, then this could be a title contender.
Points per game: 91.1 (1); points against per game: 93.8 (8); Net: -2.7 (8)
It’s been 48 rounds since the Sixers sat in the second spot on the ladder. It was way back in the 2013-14 season where Daniel Johnson led them and made it all the way to the Grand Final series before losing to Perth in three games. Can they do it again? Who knows, but the way this season has gone all over the place it’s not out of the equation.
Points per game: 81.9 (7); points against per game: 82.5 (3); Net: -0.6 (5)
Too bad the defunct Gold Coast team was called the Rollers because right now Perth would have to rename themselves the Roller Coasters after being third, second, seventh and now fourth in the last four rounds. Big shout-out to Casey Prather who is a damn fine player. 39 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists in their win against Melbourne must be one of the best stat lines so far, this season.
Points per game: 82.9 (6); points against per game: 83.2 (5); Net: -0.3 (4)
The Bullets have lost four of their last five and are in freefall, and again it was their backcourt that was the problem. In the loss against New Zealand Jermaine Beal and Adam Gibson shot a woeful 4-19 while wasting 20 points in 21 minutes from Cam Bairstow. The less said about their inexistent defense against Illawarra the better. Beal and Torrey Craig are the imports so they have a spare import spot and it might be time to use it to banish Gibson to the bench.
Points per game: 83.7 (5); points against per game: 82.9 (4); Net: +0.8 (3)
Here comes the United! It’s four wins in the last five games after splitting the two games in the round. Everyone seems to be healthy; Casper Ware has worked out that he’s actually a point guard instead of shooting a three every time he touches the ball and David Barlow is back in the starting five. Unfortunately, he’s in the starting five because David Andersen has gone down with a bad case of injury and for Melbourne’s chances, hopefully it’s not an extended stay on the sidelines.
Points per game: 80.0 (8); points against per game: 80.8 (1); Net: -0.8 (6)
The Taipans are last on the ladder after dropping two games last round. That doesn’t mean much as the team is only one game out of the playoff picture, so it doesn’t really mean much to be last now. Cairns are the polar opposite of the red-hot Sixers, scoring the least amount of points but also giving up the least to be the grindiest team in the league.
Points per game: 85.9 (3); points against per game: 88.0 (7); Net: -2.1 (7)
It may be stating the obvious, but the Breakers have a great home record but a woeful away record. It makes sense as they are really far away from most of the other teams, but they must get better in the Land of Oz if they want to be seen as a contender. David Stockton might be in a funk right now, but he’s still averaging more assists than both Jerome Randle and Casper Ware so don’t count him out yet.