MATCH PREVIEW – ADELAIDE LIGHTNING VS FLYERS
Match Preview – Adelaide Lightning vs FLYERS
When: Saturday, 19 March at 7:00 PM
Where: The Lights Community and Sports Centre
Last time they met:
WNBL 21-22: SOUTHSIDE FLYERS 72 (Cole 17, Whittle-Harmon 13, M Rocci, Blicavs 12, A Rocci 7) DEFEATED BY ADELAIDE LIGHTNING 85 (Smith 23, Williams 16, Shook 14, Talbot 12, Wehrung 10, Brook 7) at Dandenong Stadium
Southside has dominated Adelaide in recent meetings winning four of the five past meetings.
The Connotations of the Final Four
The WNBL Ladder will be decided via the following criteria:
- Should two or more teams be tied with the same win/loss percentage during the regular season they shall be ranked by head to head results between the tied teams.
- If 2 or more teams have the same win-loss record of all games at the end of the season, the game(s) between these 2 or more teams shall decide the final placings. If these 2 or more teams have the same win-loss record of the games between them
Scenario #1 (Based on previous results and ladder position)
- Perth Lynx 12-4 (75% – Win against Townsville Fire, have split over Boomers 1-1 with a margin of 2 points)
- Melbourne Boomers 12-5 (71% – Win over UC Capitals)
- Adelaide Lightning 11-6 (65% – Win over Southside Flyers, have split on Capitals 2-1)
- UC Capitals 11-6 (65% – Loss to Melbourne Boomers, Lightning have split over Capitals 2-1)
That would result in an away semi-final series against the Melbourne Boomers and the UC Capitals heading to Perth for their semi-final series.
- UC Capitals 12-5 (71% – Win over Melbourne Boomers)
- Perth Lynx 11-5 (69% – Loss against Townsville Fire, have split over Boomers)
- Melbourne Boomers 11-6 (65% – Loss to UC Capitals, have split on Lightning 1-1 with a margin of 11 points)
- Adelaide Lightning 11-6 (65% – Win over Southside Flyers)
That would result in an away semi-final series against the UC Capitals and the Melbourne Boomers would head to Perth for their semi-final series. However with the unknown of Sunday’s result between Townsville Fire and Perth Lynx (which could be close considering last night’s game 68-75 in favour of the Lynx) unless everything fell perfectly; relying on two results to get this scenario would be an interesting outcome.
So, two key things affect the path we’ll be dealt for the finals
- Melbourne win tonight (2nd), Perth (1st) need to win against Fire, Lightning finishes in 3rd
- UC Capitals win tonight (1st), Perth (2nd) needs to lose to Fire, Lightning finish in 4th
Based on the league rules, these are the most likely outcomes above but as we know anything can happen if it comes down to splits and results by the end of the regular season Sunday night…
The Players View
Speaking to Kylee Shook postgame Thursday night, the Lightning will be keen to limit their travel across the finals series and even though a win or loss may not make the ultimate difference if the cards fall the wrong way it could be a repeat of last week. Shook however shared that there did need to be a change of mentality so that the team was ready for any scenario. “Four games in eight days was a lot, especially with travelling, the time change and all that stuff, it was hard to come out but our mental game needed to be better.”
Whether the team and coach Chris Lucas will be keeping an eye on the Boomers/Capitals result to know what may be ahead, will be anyone’s guess. “Maybe we’ll see if he does or whether we just come out and play regardless of the result, we need to win to give us the best chance of finishing as high as we can most likely anyway.” Shook summarised what parts Lightning could control this weekend.
The Last Strike
The number of scenarios is incredible to consider with three games across just under forty-eight hours deciding the path of the top four and yes while the elephant in the room is who would make the trip to Perth (Who regardless have sealed a home-semi-final series), knowing what to do makes this weekend a tight, fun, but nail-biting finish as to which terminal the Lightning will be boarding come early this coming week.