The following are previews with betting tips for Round 6 of the 2017/18 NBL season.
Thursday, November 9
New Zealand Breakers v Perth Wildcats
Notable Stat: Despite being in 1st place, the Breakers have scored the third least amount of points in the NBL, (602). In this department they are ahead of only Perth (their opponents) and Brisbane. However their defence is very stringy as they are the 2nd best in points against them, (570).
Pre-game Lead-up: New Zealand’s last game was a very tight, 73-70 victory over Cairns. With only around four seconds left on the clock, DJ Newbill assisted Edgar Sosa’s three pointer to give the Breakers a pulsating victory. The fourth quarter was also a very crucial one for the Breakers as they kept their opponents to only twelve points during the most important period of the game, Sosa himself shot very poorly from behind the arc during the game, converting only 2 of 7, but he nailed the one that counted the most. Sosa however did bag four assists and his partner in crime, Newbill, five. For the Wildcats their encounter with the Kings was like a training run for them as they came up huge in their twenty-four point victory. Perth were very tight on the defensive end as they kept Sydney to only sixty-nine points. Lucas Walker led Perth with seventeen points while Derek Cooke JR had ten of the bench. A very weird, unusual statistic from this game is that their was not a single block.
What To Look Out For: Defence, defence and more defence. These two clubs are among the best, if not the best in the league at it and it’s one of the major contributors as to why they are first and second on the ladder. Perth have conceded 467 points this season, the next best is their opponents with 570. Tom Abercrombie will be critical to New Zealand on the less glamorous end with his 1.6 blocks per game. While for Perth their defensive hopes will be with among others, Angus Brandt and Damian Martin with their combined 6.8 defensive rebounds per game.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to be the first to 10 points at $1.90 (William Hill)
Cairns Taipans v Melbourne United
Notable Stat: Melbourne’s well-known back-court of Casper Ware and Chris Goulding combined this campaign are averaging a disappointing 28.5ppg along with 7.9apg. However United’s leading scorer is Casey Prather and he is averaging a very solid 18.4ppg.
Pre-game Lead-up: An Edgar Sosa three-pointer is all that separated Cairns against New Zealand. He made it with around four seconds left in the match to sink the hearts of all the Taipans players. As well as this, a twelve point effort in the fourth quarter also proved to be costly for Cairns. When the game is that close, down the stretch, scoring that amount of points just won’t cut it, no matter what league your playing in. However Michael Carrera did score sixteen points while Alex Loughton had thirteen of the bench. For Melbourne they had an easy seventeen point win over Adelaide and in the process bagged one-hundred and one points. The third frame proved to be the deciding quarter for United as they outscored the 36ers 29-13, pretty much deciding the result of the game. Casper Ware and Casey Prather combined for fourty-six points, going 18-32 from the court.
What To Look Out For: It only seems like yesterday that Casper Ware was in a slump and actually hurting his side. Well in his last game he bagged twenty-one points to go along with three three’s from behind the arc. He also grabbed four rebounds, dished out seven assists and got a steal as well. He is well and truly back to form and in what should be a more offensive orientated game, his form will be big in getting Melbourne a win. Expect him to show up again like he did last round against the 36ers.
Saturday, November 11
Adelaide 36ers v Illawarra Hawks
Notable Stat: Of the 137 three-point attempts Adelaide have attempted this season, they have converted a somewhat disappointing 56 of them. Nathan Sobey has shot thirteen from behind the arc this campaign while Anthony Drmic is shooting 46% on threes.
Pre-game Lead-up: The 36ers were very disappointing in their 101-84 loss against Melbourne. Their third quarter was absolutely horrible as they got outscored 29-13. That quarter pretty much decided the outcome of the game as before that period it was 47-all. Mitchell Creek and Daniel Johnson however did combine for fifteen rebounds in a small positive for the losing side. While ‘J-Chill’ and Anthony Drmic combined for seventeen points of the pine. As for the Hawks they claimed only their third win of the campaign with a ten point victory over Sydney (their first in three attempts this season). At the end of the third quarter the Kings led 65-64 before a 29-18 fourth quarter sealed the deal for Illawarra. Rontei Clarke lit up the court with twenty-nine points, going 7-11 as well as making all 10 of his FT’s. Nicholas Kay also chipped in with a very solid seventeen points.
What To Look Out For: Former NBL MVP Rotnei Clarke. He is averaging 19.3 points per game this season and is on absolute fire form three-point range, shooting a lights out 46%. Their opponents certainly know how to score a basket or two having scored 97 against Melbourne, 105 against Sydney, 96 against Cairns, 114 against Sydney and 88 against New Zealand. If the Hawks want the victory, Clarke will be crucial to helping them keep pace with the 36ers offensive firepower.
Betting tip: Tip the Hawks to upset the 36ers and win at $3.55 (CrownBet)
Melbourne United v Sydney Kings
Notable Stat: Dating back to last season, Sydney have won only a pathetic four of their past fifteen games. While this season their defence has been absolutely horrible. The least amount of points they’ve conceded in a game is 87.
Pre-game Lead-up: Melbourne’s comfortable victory over Adelaide put them into outright third spot, behind only Perth and New Zealand. Every starter bar David Barlow went for double figures in the blowout win. This while David Andersen went for thirteen points and seven rebounds of the pine for United. It was an impressive all-round win for Melbourne while Majok Majok also had a nice four points and six rebounds of the bench. For the Kings (they are anything but this season), they conceded their sixth loss in eight games for this campaign. They went down to the Hawks 93-83 in what was another below-par effort from the Sydney based side. Perry Ellis and Brad Newley combined for thirty-seven points but that was about all the success Sydney had in this game. Jason Cadee shot only 2-6 while Travis Leslie shot a much worse 2-11. Of the bench Jeremy Kendle shot a poor 3-9 as well. While yet again in a mind boggling decision from Andrew Gaze, Tom Garlepp didn’t get a single second of action.
What To Look Out For: Another loss for Sydney and who knows what will happen. How will Andrew Gaze justify it in the press conference? Will their again be fan protests? Will major changes be made to the squad? Look to see if Sydney can play more cohesively as a team rather than that of their dysfunctional effort against Illawarra last round. In particular look to see if Jason Cadee can bounce back on the offensive end and help lead the Kings while look to see if Todd Blanchfield can do the same on the defensive end.
Also pick them to be the first to 10 points at $1.58 (William Hill)
Sunday, November 12
Brisbane Bullets v Cairns Taipans
Notable Stat: Perrin Bufford is the Bullets leading scorer and rebounder this campaign. He is averaging an impressive 18.2ppg on 63% shooting and 57.0% three point shooting as well as 6.3rpg.
Pre-game Lead-up: For the Bullets they were very poor in their loss to the Hawks. They lost by thirty-one points and in the process conceded one-hundred and twelve. In an absolutely embarrassing statistic for the QLD side. More than half of the players that stepped out onto the court for Illawarra scored in double figures. Everybody wanted a turn in hurting one of the leagues doormat teams (although that title officially belongs to Sydney). For Brisbane themselves they were led by Perrin Bufford who had eighteen points, six rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks, in a very impressive effort for the losing side. Meanwhile Edgar Sosa was the villian as he hit the match winning three with only a couple of seconds left on the clock to kill of the Taipans hopes of wininng the match. Cameron Gliddon’s shooting was absolutely horrible for Cairns as in around eighteen minutes of play, he went only 1-10. While Damon Heuir of the bench went only 1-4.
What To Look Out For: The play of Perrin Bufford along with the likes of Daniel Kickert and Travis Trice. Cairns know how to score through the hoop while Brisbane are one of the more shocking defensive sides in the NBL. This means that in order to compete with the Taipans, they’ll have to score a fair bit, it’ll be up to those three to lead the charge. Trice converted only 5-12 last game meaning he’ll have to improve. While Kickert made 6-9, if he plays like that against the Taipans and he gets some help, the Bullets will be well within a shot at stealing this match.
However despite this Brisbane should still get of to a hotter start and be the first to 10 points at $1.83 (William Hill)
Perth Wildcats v New Zealand Breakers
Notable Stat: Perth have a very impressive eight championships in their history and are the current NBL champions for two seasons running. The Breakers have an also very good four championships and were the last team to win it before Perth’s run of dominance started again. New Zealand are currently 1st with six wins and a loss while the Wildcats are 2nd with only a win less.
Pre-game Lead-up: Perth made themselves the latest side to make Sydney look like a very bad high-school team on their way to an easy twenty-four point victory against the leagues strugglers. Every one of Perth’s starters scored in double-figures bar Damian Martin who still ended up with three points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals. Meanwhile Jean-Pierre Tokoto and Lucas Walker combined for thirty-two points, going 11-19. Meanwhile for New Zealand they killed in in their three point victory over the Taipans, with DJ Newbill assisting on an Edgar Sosa three with not long left in the match to steal it away from Cairns. They kept their opponents to only fifteen points in the third and twelve points in the fourth, in what were two match definitive winning periods for the Breakers. Tom Abercrombie shot a cool 3-4 from behind the arc, strongly contributing to the close New Zealand win.
What To Look Out For: We as Australian Basketball fans are extremely privileged to be able to within a couple of days see the two greatest teams play each other twice. Despite this game possessing a little bit of tiredness to it, it should still be a great spectacle. Unlike the last game between these two, expect this one to be more free-flowing and a bit more offensively cool. This is where the likes of Bryce Cotton and DJ Newbill will be able to show what they are really made of. The battle of the guards will be a major piece in deciding the result of this game.
Best Bet of the Round
In the first installment of the Wildcats vs the Breakers, tip New Zealand to win by 1-10 points at $2.80 (William Hill)