Fast Five – Perth Wildcats vs Adelaide 36ers

In the 100th game played between two of the league’s most decorated teams it was Adelaide who picked up the upset win though they clearly were the better team on the night. Adam Ballinger in his 250th NBL game led his team in a very physical outing that erupted towards the end of the first half with former Perth boy Stephen Weigh shoving Shawn Redhage after the whistle. Weigh to his credit played a significant role in the downfall of his former team.

The biggest realisation to come out of the ‘Cats’ first loss of the season is that alarmingly, without Damien Martin, it seems the team lost their ball handling skills. Maybe they were just having a bad night, but it was during the first quarter, early on when Brad Robbins threw a pass out to nowhere that I thought to myself, “it’s going to be a long night.”

Chris Warren after an underwhelming introduction to the league via the Martin-led Perth guards seemed to relish a Martin-less game. Without that dogged defensive pressure there were many times during the game when he’d just pop out of nowhere and drive through an empty key for the easy basket. The guy is lightning fast, and is shaping up to be one of Adelaide’s better import choices over the last few years. He reminds me of Nate Robinson with miles less attitude and with the face of James Harden, hope he sticks around for a while.

James Harden
Chris Warren. Uncanny

Brad Robbins is a defensive beast, but there were times when you could see he was missing his back court partner in crime. He led from the front most of the game however as a good captain should, and I actually enjoyed watching him offensively last night. He has Warren-like speed of his own, and can barrel through guys twice his size on the way to a lay-up. He should definitely do this more, and shoot from three way less. As in never.

To the couple who sit in the row behind me (specifically in block 110 row H seats 281 and 282), if you are coming to a basketball game and have been going for a full season before this, do your seat neighbours a favour and learn about the game you are watching before spouting off nonsense about the rules. Three seconds was called on Luke Nevill in the third quarter and the woman was raging about “what just happened, what kind of call was that” and it took so much willpower not to turn around and brusquely let her know what was up. The week before I actually did turn around and educate them about the shot clock resetting to 14 seconds when play stops after the man went on a “hey they just put on time on the clock, what rot” rant. Maybe I’m overreacting, having been a religious follower of the game and understanding intricate rules forever, but they just unnecessarily loud and annoying!

I can understand management wanting to make the games more family friendly, but a hotline to message your seat number to security if there is unruly behaviour around you? And while the dancers have much improved routines than last season, their family friendly outfits in the Melbourne game made some of the girls look like they were wearing maternity clothes. This week was remarkably better, but I don’t understand why their pants have to have slits in the middle. I’m pretty sure it’s becoming a hazard, I saw at least three girls almost stack it from stepping on their open pants (Sidenote, the delightful man who sits behind me also yells “get off” to the dancers whenever they step onto the court. Why I have no clue).

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