Adelaide Minus Key Guard

Image courtesy of Wilkins
Adelaide's Gary Ervin will miss the deciding semi-final. Image courtesy of Wilkins

Handed a one match suspension and fined $7,500 on matche eve, guard Gary Ervin will sit-out Adelaide’s third and deciding semi-final against the Melbourne Tigers at the Adelaide Arena tonight. Ervin was referred straight to the tribunal after three charges were levelled against him over a kneeing incident involving Chris Goulding in Game 2 of the play-offs.

Ervin pleaded guilty to a striking charge and was found guilty of ‘Unduly Rough Play and Misconduct’. He’s also been given a suspended two-game ban and a suspended $10,000 fine, should he re-offend in the next two years.

With Ervin gone, the hosts will require more from fellow guards Adam Gibson, Jason Cadee, Rhys Carter and Brendan Teys. At home in Game 1, Ervin scored a game-high 27 points in the 36ers 101-85 victory.

In Game 2, Melbourne’s ability to slow the 36ers in transition worked perfectly and the Tigers then unleashed a fast, but controlled, offensive game that had their opponents scrambling. With Goulding’s golden haul of 37 points, the Tigers squared the series 98-87.

For the decider, both teams have athletic line-ups which can rotate hard and still control the glass, if their defence is set. The 36ers will be looking for ways to get Daniel Johnson and Luke Schenscher the ball in a more organised fashion in the halfcourt, creating regulation offence that negates Melbourne’s ability to run. The Tigers have struggled this season when their offence is disrupted and they are forced to run quick hitters.

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