Mitch Creek wants Adelaide to get tough. (AAP Image/Hamish Blair)
Mitch Creek wants Adelaide to get tough. (AAP Image/Hamish Blair)

Creek: We’ve got to grow some balls

ADELAIDE playmaker Mitch Creek is confident the Sixers can level the NBL grand final series at Adelaide Arena on Sunday - but the players must grow some balls.

Both Creek and coach Joey Wright were filthy about the 11-point loss in the first match against the Melbourne United and didn't mince words when reviewing the first match of the best-of-five finals series.

The Sixers hadn't played hard enough when it mattered, leading to their fifth straight loss to Melbourne this year.

"We've got to grow some balls, to be honest," Creek said. "We really have to.

"(Josh) Boone kicked our a. e. He had seven offensive rebounds and no defensive.

"Realistically we've got to man up and take that challenge personally.

"We understand that we let that one slip," Creek said. "We had control of that game in the third quarter.

"Momentum was in our favour - we had a seven or eight-point lead. We just dropped a ball a bit.

"But we take a lot of positives out of that game. We feel they played probably as they can against us. They hit some big threes at big times from guys who don't normally hit big shots.

"We've just got to box out. We've got a lot of room to improve - that's the best part of it."

Creek believes Adelaide can still take Melbourne. (AAP Image/Hamish Blair)
Creek believes Adelaide can still take Melbourne. (AAP Image/Hamish Blair)

But Creek was confident that the 36ers had the game to turn the series around despite history suggesting the odds are now firmly with Melbourne.

Not since 2008 - when the Melbourne Tigers beat Sydney - has a team lost the first game of the grand finals series and gone on to win the championship.

But Creek suggested the Sixers had it in them to buck the trend.

"One stat that one team has done that in the last 20-something years," Creek said. "I'm happy to be number two.

"We believe that we're playing our best basketball at the end of the year. We dropped game one and we had control of it.

"It wasn't like they were up 20 and we just kind of dragged it back. We were up nearly 10 points on their home court late in the third.

"We need to tidy up a few areas and I think we'll be fine."

Wright was brutal in his assessment of the first game.

He didn't take issue with mistakes but wouldn't cop the players not putting in enough effort in the biggest game of the year.

"I think I woke up at 3am and thought, 'Why'," Wright said. "Why are these guys not playing harder?

"It's a grand final game, it's on the road, the stage is set ... you just play hard if nothing else.

"You might not play good ... but not playing hard in a final game?

"If it doesn't (change) I hope our 8000 fans throw everything they can at us and boo because if we can't get up and play with more effort we've let our fans down."