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Adelaide are missing Creek, admits Wright

Adelaide coach Joey Wright believes the off-season departure of reigning club MVP Mitch Creek is hurting his NBL team.

Adelaide are missing Creek, admits Wright

Adelaide coach Joey Wright believes the off-season departure of reigning club MVP Mitch Creek is hurting his NBL team.

Coach JOEY WRIGHT during the NBL match between the Brisbane Bullets and the Adelaide 36ers at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia.
Coach JOEY WRIGHT during the NBL match between the Brisbane Bullets and the Adelaide 36ers at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia. Picture:Photo by Jason O'Brien/Getty Images

Adelaide coach Joey Wright believes the off-season departure of reigning club MVP Mitch Creek could hurt the 36ers well beyond the raw numbers the former captain produced.

Creek, the Sixers' 2016-17 skipper and long-time spiritual leader, was renowned for his abrasive competitiveness and willingness to confront and challenge teammates in key moments, an area Adelaide appeared lacking in Thursday's 99-91 season-opening defeat to Perth.


Creek left the club following last season's grand final series and vowed never to return after 36ers lawyers last month filed an injunction to stop Basketball Australia from approving his clearance to the NBA.

His absence is already being felt.

"As corny or cliche as it may have been, even abrupt or rude, with Creeky (gone), we're missing that drive, that one person who will get in someone's face and yell and challenge," Wright said.

"He'll say 'boys, this is not good enough. You've got to challenge each other to be better.'

"We didn't challenge each other enough defensively.

"Right now there's not enough peer pressure to be a great defender."

The Wildcats repeatedly found holes in the Sixers' defence in the second quarter while in the fourth, after Adelaide had eradicated a 15-point third-quarter deficit, the home side descended into what Wright described as 'hero ball' on offence.

The 36ers were thoroughly outplayed in the clutch, restricted to just 32 per cent from the floor in the final term and allowing star Wildcats import Bryce Cotton to get completely off the chain.

"Too much hero basketball and we broke down too many times," was Wright's summation of the fourth quarter.

"He (Cotton) had some pretty big shots, (but) we gave him too many opportunities to get the ball."

AAP


AAP




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