The Adelaide 36ers are rolling toward the NBL playoffs next month, playing a stifling defense that has made it difficult for opponents to find breathing space on the court.
Two key components of that defense are pivot men Eric Jacobsen and Matt Hodgson, who are making the lives of opposing scorers less than idyllic. About the only thing giving the duo any short of issue is the sometimes head-scratching decision-making of the officials, who at times call fouls on imaginary contact, whilst at others, ignore muggings that would on the street outside the arena be cause for law enforcement involvement.
Jacobsen managed quite well to stay out of foul trouble and on the court against the Sydney Kings at TS Arena on Saturday. He played 23 minutes, doing the job for which he was hired, hauling in six rebounds, blocking two shots, causing numerous other shots to be changed for the worse, and threw 12 points into the bargain, making six of eight attempts.
The impressive defensive effort by the 36ers against the Kings versatile scoring attack reduced the Kings to playing one-on-one basketball, which is definitely their strongest suit.
The 36ers are a much different team that will face Wollongong next weekend, where they were belted by 34 points in round one.