NBL Wrap Round 22: A tale of spooning

The Adelaide 36ers now have 2 consecutive wooden spoons to help them paddle down River Torrens

Hawks defeat Blaze, 80 – 68
In a battle for most likely to take out fourth spot the Hawks flew north for the end of summer to the Gold Coast, sunny one day, got Wortho for another three years the next
The Blaze had us fooled at half time thinking that we had an exciting game on our hands. Or was it the fact that the Blaze didn’t get worse, the Hawks got better? Wollongong increased their shooting percentage in every quarter as they ran away with the 12 point win. Surely the Blaze didn’t get tired, they hadn’t played in a little over 2 weeks, maybe they lost match fitness or maybe it is just the hot and cold nature of the boys in blue? Either way it makes their quest for a playoff position about as likely as the sporting press caring about basketball now that AFL is back on (much to our displeasure mind you). 
Wollongong finally cracked the GCCEC and notched up their first win on the Gold Coast. Glen Saville still showed there are signs of life in his over-ripened body, Glen looked like the skinny teen he was 56 years ago and scored a game high 21 points. Gary Ervin not only out ran the opposition, he ran rings around the Blaze on his way to 18 points and 5 assists whilst Larry Davidson scored 16 points and hauled in 12 boards.
Whilst James Harvey and Chris Goulding had nothing to salute about, Adam Gibson stood to attention scoring 14 points and dropping 4 dimes. The four assists was a marathon effort given the lousy shots the Blaze were putting up. Ira Clark was the only other Blaze looking like he was playing basketball and had 14 points.
Cairns 79, Melbourne 63
Cairns finally gave their home fans something to cheer about, a win. Mind you, Melbourne did themselves no favours by posting their lowest total all year. 
Melbourne have become boring on the court and we believe part of them know it. Maybe that is why they have upped the TV appearances, t-shirts and social media commentary?
Phill Jones was refreshed after his week off. After a quick start Phill finished with a frisky 14 points off dead eye shooting. Ayinde Ubaka scored 16 points and grabbed 2 steals whilst Ron Dorsey had 13 and 8. Cairns have been absolutely terrible on the road this season but they have been great at home. Lucky for them two of their last three games are at home. It is going to make that push for the playoffs a little more relaxed. 
Matty Burston was Melbourne’s biggest beast with 18 points and 11 rebounds whilst Yusuf Qaafow had one turnover and one foul in four minutes of action. Can you believe that the Tigers shot 9 free throws stemming from 14 Cairns fouls? Does a Taipan foul often in its natural habitat?
Townsville Crocs defeat New Zealand Breakers, 100 – 92
The top of the table clash became a battle of the big reds. Unlucky for Gary Wilkinson, he won the battle but lost the war.  Wilkinson’s 22 points weren’t enough as the Crocs ran away with the 8 point victory. 
 After a blistering start the Breakers points dried up allowing Townsville to gain control then momentum and come storming home. New Zealand still got decent performances from their usual suspects (Gary’s 22, Penney’s 13, Bruton’s 12 and Brasswell’s 10) but outside of Wilkinson none of these guys were efficient. Thomas Abercrombie added 18 but as usual offence is not the Breaker’s Achilles’ heel. Through players like Boucher and Vukona people talk about the Breakers’ defence but in reality they have allowed the most points scored against them this season. To put it in comparison they have given up almost 200 more points more than the second placed Wildcats so far this season.
This win gives the Crocs a decent crack at taking out second spot on the ladder and netting the vital home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Crocs fans love their team and will cheer them all the way none the less. Peter Crawford lead the way with a sure fire 20 points whilst Lukey Schenscher added 16 points, 7 boards and three blocks. Nathan Crosswell put in a great cameo with 15 and high fives were a plenty at the Townsville Entertainment Centre.
Hawks smash 36ers, 87 – 60
No matter what, you have to feel for the 36ers and their second straight wooden spoon in as many years. While they have decent personnel, and a legit star, they just can’t seem to put it all together.
The Hawks are making their run.
Some a little quicker than others.
Not Pictured Dave Gruber

The 36ers could only manage 2 players in double figures, and none of them managed to crack the 20 point mark, not the type of performance you want for a pro team. Adam Ballinger has been the only shining light for the 36ers and their 2 years of darkness, Balls had another workmanlike performance with 18pts and 8reb, the only other player to even bother the stat guys was Eddie Shannon with 13pts.

The Hawks are wanting to challenge for the last remaining playoff spot, trying to claw their way back into the top 4 and are playing like a team that made last year’s grand final. The feisty team from “The Gong” managed 5 players in double figures, the 2 wily vets in Saville and Campbell who had 14 and 11 a piece, a former front runner for league MVP in Gary Ervin who had 15pts, candidate for most improved player of the year Oscar Forman who continues to produce with 16pts and Grizzly Adams impersonator Larry Davidson who had 10pts 9reb and a shave.
The Hawks are making their run and are coming into good form at the right time, is there anyone who can stop the Hawks right now, it doesn’t seem likely, beware to those hoping to beat them for a playoff spot.
Wildcats douse Blaze playoff hopes, 102 – 81
The Blaze were hoping for a win to help them in their playoff run, even though it really is just a mathematical possibility, problem is, they ran into the defending champion Wildcats looking to look in a 25th year of playoff’s and a chance to help them keep second spot.
The Blaze were in the game for most of the first half, even the ribbing of players from the fans didn’t seem to faze the Blaze, Gibbo was hitting 3’s, Harvey was like a modern day Leyland Brother and travelling all over the countryside and the Cat’s court, he was getting it done, albeit at the free throw line.
But it all went sour like a ripe lemon from there, the Blaze gave up a 17-0 run to the Cats and let the game slip from their fingers, Ira Clarke was effective in the first half but seemed to disappear from there on, he finished with 10pts and 8reb, Harvey, Gibbo and Garlepp were the other players putting up the scores, Harvey having 25pts including 9/9 from the free throw line, Gibbo having 12pts 5ast and 4turnovers and Garlepp had 13pts and 5reb.
The Cats were again led by the resurgent Matt Knight just going about his business quietly had 21pts and 7reb along with Andre Brown who played solid defensively on the low block and had 13pts and 5reb of his own.
The tempo of the game was controlled by 3 players, first off Cam Tovey who hit some big 3pt bombs early on in the game and was pushing the Cats notoriously potent fast break offence off the defensive glass, Topsy Tovey had 8 pts 6reb and 4ast but was hampered by foul trouble through the game and could not get into a rhythm for the game. Kevin Lisch was the other player to dictate the offensive tempo but also played smothering “D” on Harvey and Hudson, limiting their scoring, Lisch cut loose for 16pts and shot 50% from the 3pt line.
But the main man of the night was the one player referred to simply as “Marto” who seemed to dominate every aspect of the game, he was the team’s leading rebounder with 11 and was 2assists and 3 steals off a magical statistical figure for any baller, a quadruple double.
Marto had 11pts 11reb 8ast and 7st in a statistical anomaly of a game, playing smothering defence including trying to block and steal anything that came in his vicinity, rebounding the ball like a 7 footer and taking good shots within the offence, as mentioned by the great one Andrew Gaze on “Overtime” during the week, Marto has to be one of the top point guards in the league, import or local, after a game like this, few can doubt or question the Gaze on that, and we dare anyone to try.
Kings hand 36ers a loss and the wooden spoon, 76 – 72
Normally once is enough, twice just has to hurt more than regular prostate examinations, and the 36ers are fresh out of lube and any hint of hope of not being the recipients of their 2nd wooden spoon. 
The 36ers failed again by a narrow margin but proved that a wooden spoon full of sugar doesn’t help the losing go down.
Lead again by Adam Ballinger with 13pts and 6reb, Balls just had a shocker of a shooting night, and as we have seen many times before, if Balls fails, the team fails, Daniel Johnson with 12pts and Brad Hill with 10 were the only other players to muster anything that resembled a concerted effort.
The Kings however were again guided home by their star big man Julian Khazzouh who had 20pts and 16reb, Trey Gilder also scored well and had 20pts of his own and Patrick Sanders also had 13pts.
If it wasn’t for the Kings record, Khazzouh could legitimately be in the MVP race, but being a big fish in a small pond doesn’t make you the league MVP.
Can’t Buy a Damn Thing Award
About time we can actually have a money themed topic on a money themed blog. On Wednesday it was revealed that current Blazer and former Wildcat Ater Majok owes a number of his former teammate’s money.
Whilst the total amount Majok apparently owes is unknown what we do know is that if this is the case then it is a sure fire way to put your (then) teammate’s noses out of joint and ultimately yours. 
Gimme My Change Award
Even though there were players who put up big numbers this round, the award cannot be given to anyone other than the Perth Wildcat’s floor general Damian Martin.
Martin had 11pts 11reb 8ast and 7st in a monumental game that lead the Wildcats to their record 25th straight playoff appearance and a chance to secure 2nd place on the ladder heading into the playoffs.

Take the time to in in our 2011 CBAB annual awards. Voting is open till the end of the regular season. 


About Author

Leave A Reply