The following are previews with betting tips for Round 16 of the 2017/18 NBL season.
Wednesday, January 24
Melbourne United v Cairns Taipans
Pre-Game Lead-Up: For Melbourne, this game is all about further cementing themselves in 1st place, while for Cairns, this match represents an absolute must win if they are to have any hope of playing finals Basketball. United in their last game were very leaky defensively as they conceded 98 points on their way to the high-scoring victory. In the four quarters, from 1st to 4th, they gave up 21, 27, 27 and 23 points respectively. However in the 3rd period, they absolutely turned it on, they put up 38 points. Ware scored 22, Goulding 21, Wesley 16 and Felix 14. While coming of the bench, Moller and Smith-Milner put up 12 and 11 respectively. Ware also shot 8-14 and had 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 massive steals. While Wesley got 5 boards, 8 dimes and 2 blocks. Goulding also had a nice game from long-range, hitting 5 3-pointers. For the Taipans, they put the Breakers to the sword, winning 81-71. They kept them to only 15 points in the 1st quarter and 14 during the 4th. However Cairns themselves, only put up 13 during the 3rd. Cam Gliddon shot a very fine 6-8 on his way to 20 points, 7 rebounds and an assist. While Mitch McCarron, despite scoring in double-digits, only shot 3-9. This while Alex Loughton had a well-rounded performance with 6 points, 5 boards, 4 dimes and a steal and a block each. Coming of the bench, Jerry Evans Jr and Dayshon Smith were very strong as they combined for 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block.
What Should Happen: Despite the Taipans utter will and pure desperation to win this match and keep their season alive. Melbourne should just be to good for them. They have 4 more wins then them this season and 6 less losses. While if the starting unit play anything close to what they did last round, then the game might not even be close for the poor old Taipans. Expect Ware & Goulding to again light it up and for a healthy United win to ensure Golden State style, by a fair few points and with lots of 3’s.
Also pick them to be the first to 10 points at $1.58 (William Hill)
Saturday, January 27
Brisbane Bullets v Adelaide 36ers
Pre-Game Lead-Up: For Brisbane the equation for the rest of this season is simple, let the Kings finish in last place and not us. While for Adelaide it’s all about preparing themselves properly for a legitimate run at being the NBL Champions. The Bullets last time out lost a tense and close battle to Melbourne, 105-98. During the 2nd/3rd quarters they put up a combined 54 points and were very hot at shooting the ball. However in the 3rd is where they also gave up a massive 38 points, that period made it extremely hard for them to come back and win the match. Perrin Buford played very well with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. While Adam Gibson also played well with 13 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal. Stephen Holt made his impact felt of the bench hitting 4 baskets, on his way to 10 points, 2 rebounds and a steal. While Bruce and Young both had 7 points a piece also doing their bit as part of Brisbane’s second unit. While for the 36ers, they posted an easy 19 point victory over the Hawks. The 1st period was very high scoring with Adelaide outscoring Illawarra, 39-30. While in the 4th, the 36ers kept the Hawks at bay with only 14 points. Shorter scored 22 points while shooting a perfect 3-3 from deep. While Creek also scored 21 and among his impressive stats were 2 steals. J-Chill put up 20 and had a huge 4 steals. This while Sobey scored 15 and swatted away a shot. And finally, Johnson scored 12 and also pulled in 5 boards.
What Should Happen: Improved D from Adelaide. Last game, despite putting 112 on the Hawks, they also gave up 93. Against most other teams in the NBL, if you give up those kinds of points, on most occasions you won’t be winning. They also gave up the 93 despite Clarke shooting a dismal 3-22 from the court for Illawarra. If he’d shot normally, the game would have been in the balance. And in the small chance the defence hasn’t fixed their issues, Brisbane have a great shot of winning the game. However 93 shouldn’t be given up again by the 36ers.
Betting tip: Pick the 36ers to win at $1.60 (Ladbrokes)
Also pick them to be the first to 10 points at $1.78 (William Hill)
Perth Wildcats v New Zealand Breakers
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Breakers will go first, because Perth need more of an explanation after losing twice within the round to the Sydney Kings. ??? your asking. Yes the Wildcats lost back to back games to the NBL’s worst side. The Breakers lost by 10 to Cairns, but currently sit in 3rd place. DJ Newbill scored 25 and was the best player on the court for NZ. Now onto Perth. Their 1st loss was by 7, the 2nd by a little bit more in 18. Over the two game span, Bryce Cotton shot a very bad 10-27. While he wasn’t alone in that department as Tokoto shot a combined 9-23 and Martin, 2-9. In the 1st game, they also let Kevin Lisch put 13 on them despite it being only his 2nd game back in a Kings uniform after recovering from a very serious injury. In the 2nd game, to go along with all of this, they shot 5-26 from three-point range. The two unforeseen results now leave Perth in 4th spot and the most likely of them, Melbourne, Adelaide and NZ to fall out of a finals position (if any of them actually do). To put it simply, a rebound win is much needed against the Breakers.
What Should Happen: A rebound victory for the reigning champions. Helping their cause is the fact that the Breakers are coming of a loss to the lowly Hawks. But for the Wildcats they’re too good and too talented to lose another must win game, as now they’re in danger of missing out on the finals entirely if something doesn’t change. And Perth’s charge will be led by Bryce Cotton who should play the court lights out with his magic after two shocking efforts against Sydney this past round. He and his team should get the win they strongly desire.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to get a bounce back win at $1.50 (Ladbrokes)
Sunday, January 28
Sydney Kings v Melbourne United
Pre-Game Lead-Up: 2 games and 2 wins against the Perth Wildcats were the results for Sydney over the past round. Game 1 was a tight, 7 point victory, this while Game 2, was an 18 point thrashing. Not only do the 2 wins give Sydney a great chance of avoiding finishing last, it also gives them some shining light in what has been an otherwise dismal campaign. It took only the 1st quarter of the 1st game for Sydney to make their mark as they kept the Wildcats to only 11 points, while also putting up 28 on them in the 4th quarter. In that match, Jerome Randle led the way with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. While Perry Ellis also contributed strongly with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal and 1 block. Lisch also performed strongly of the bench with 13 points and 4 assists among his stats while Pineau was balling as well scoring 11. In the 2nd game, Ellis was again a strong performer with 20 points, 3 rebounds, a steal and a block. While among Randle’s stats were 12 points and 6 dimes. Jason Cadee shot only 3-8 but still had 15 points as well as 6 rebounds, an assist and 3 steals. Newley of the bench had 7.
United might be the best of the best at this point in time, but the bottom-placed Kings will sure as hell give them a run for their money. With names like Randle, Ellis, Ware, Goulding and Felix all set to play a prominent role in this match, it’s a can’t miss!!!
What Should Happen: The Kings keep on rolling. Despite their lowly status this season, the Kings have shown glimpses of their potential throughout the season. One of the recent highlights was when they thrashed Cairns at home or some of Jerome Randle’s super-human efforts this campaign. However up against Melbourne, it’s time for them to show every NBL fan what they’ve been missing out on. Expect Randle and Co to start hot and stay strong to get the win.
Illawarra Hawks v Cairns Taipans
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Illawarra currently have 9 wins for this campaign and this match is like a do or die scenario for them. If they win, then they still have a punchers shot at making the playoffs, but if they lose, it’s onto next season for the Woolongong based side. However there wasn’t much confidence shown in their last-start 112-93 loss to Adelaide. Despite putting up 30 points in both the 1st and 3rd quarters. The Hawks couldn’t get flying at all in the 4th as they again put in a crap performance when it mattered most, scoring only 14 in the quarter. Conger once again led the way for the Hawks with an incredible 13-21 performance, to go along with shooting 4-4 from deep. He had 31 points, 5 boards and 1 dime. Kay also did alright with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. However in arguably the most disappointing aspect of the game, possibly besides the Hawks D. It was Rotnei Clarke’s absolutely sh*t 3-22 performance. He went all Dwight Howard from behind the arc and scored only 8 points in what was an absolutely shocking performance from the ex-MVP. Coenraad unlike Clarke, put in a decent shift of the bench, ending up with 7 points, 3 rebounds and a block.
What Should Happen: A rebound performance from Rotnei Clarke. 3-22 is bad no matter how you look at it. However he’s too good, too strong and too experienced to let it happen again. It was probably one of the worst performances of his long and illustrious career and the only way to from here is up. He’ll go up and shatter the Taipans finals hopes in the process. He’ll be extremely filthy with the way he played last game, no doubt, but expect him to change perceptions very quickly and easily. That’s just the kind of player he is.
Betting tip: Pick Illawarra to win at $1.50 (Ladbrokes)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick SYD to have the hotter start vs MEL and be the first to 10 points at $1.95 (William Hill)