Fri, Mar 25, 10:56am by Kevin Pitstock
Current Ladder Positions:
Gold Coast – 6th (12-14), Adelaide – 9th (8-18)
Gold Coast’s Last Five Games:
Round 23 – defeated Melbourne (82-81)
Round 22 – lost to Perth (102-81)
Round 22 – lost to Wollongong (80-68)
Round 20 – defeated New Zealand (94-91)
Round 19 – lost to New Zealand (123-115)
Adelaide’s Last Five Games:
Round 23 – lost to Melbourne (79-76)
Round 22 – lost to Sydney (76-72)
Round 22 – lost to Wollongong (87-60)
Round 21 – lost to Cairns (75-70)
Round 19 – lost to Perth (82-62)
Head-To-Head Encounters In 2011:
Round 14 – Adelaide defeated Gold Coast (90-83)
Round 18 – Gold Coast defeated Adelaide (95-79)
Gold Coast will be desperate to keep Ira Clark on its roster for the 2011/12 season. He may be 36-years-old, but the big centre has been outstanding for the Blaze this year and is a hot favourite to win the club’s MVP award. The star import was again his team’s standout last weekend, with a 23-point and seven-rebound performance against the Tigers. Clark is invaluable to the side and if he stays on for next season, the Blaze will be a force to reckon with.
Daniel Johnson announced himself against the Tigers last week with perhaps his finest performance in a 36ers jumper. With star centre Adam Ballinger limping off the court with an ankle injury just minutes into the game, the 22-year-old stepped up to score 31 points and grab 13 rebounds – including seven from the offensive glass. Unfortunately his individual heroics weren’t enough to get the 36ers over the line, but if he produces those kinds of numbers against the Blaze tonight, Adelaide should be competitive.
Gold Coast’s Possible Starting Five:
PG – Adam Gibson
SG – James Harvey
SF – Chris Goulding
PF – Stephen Hoare
C – Ira Clark
Adelaide’s Possible Starting Five:
PG – Eddie Shannon
SG – Rhys Carter
SF – Brad Hill
PF – Jacob Holmes
C – Daniel Johnson
Round 24 of the NBL seasons kicks off in the ‘Sunshine State’ tonight with a clash between two underachievers – Gold Coast and Adelaide.
We must cut the Blaze a little bit of slack though. They have had an incredible injury list, headed by the big loss of star forward Mark Worthington as well as Adam Petrie, but have done a great job in keeping up with the rest of the competition. And who knows – if Worthington and Petrie had played the majority of the season, would the Blaze be pushing for finals selection right now?
For such a proud basketball club, Adelaide has been mighty disappointing. After starting the season with so much promise, the 36ers have lost their past eight games. They had a golden opportunity to stop that embarrassing streak last week against the Tigers, but a Ben Lewis three-pointer right on the final buzzer meant the losses rolled on.
The last time these two teams met was in Round 18 and Gold Coast comprehensively won by 16 points. That game ended the 36ers’ playoff hopes and was also the last time the Blaze won a game at home. Seems like so long ago.
Despite Johnson’s dominance, Adelaide simply doesn’t have the firepower at the offensive end of the court to match it with the Blaze. Expect Clark, Adam Gibson and James Harvey to tear it up and give the 36ers – who are currently at the lowest point in their proud history – a lesson.
Gold Coast Points -12.0 ($2.11 – Centrebet)
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