The following are previews with betting tips for Game 2 of the semi-finals series of the 2019/20 NBL season.
Sunday, March 1
Cairns Taipans v Perth Wildcats
Game One Recap- Perth had finished the regular season with a 19-9 record. Cairns had finished the regular campaign with a 16-12 record. The two teams finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively. That meant that they faced off against one another in G1 of the NBL Finals Series at RAC Arena. And boy oh boy, didn’t they put on a show! In ET, Perth prevailed 108-107. They were led by Cotton who exploded for 42PTS. He got that as he made 10 3’s. He also had 3REB and 6AST. Kay also had 23PTS, as he hit 7/12 shots. His other stats included 9REB, 6AST and 3STL. Norton also had 12PTS, 2AST and 1STL. White scored 9PTS and Plumlee 7. Of the bench, Wagstaff had 10PTS, as he hit 4/4 FT’s. He also had 3REB and 2AST to his name. Steindl also posted 5PTS of the pine.
For the Taipans, Machado led the way with 31PTS, Newbill had 25 and Oliver 19. Jawai had 10PTS and both Djeric and Krslovic 6 each. Noi also had 5PTS. Machado hit 5 3’s, as his other stats included 8REB and 9AST. Newbill made 9/12 shots, as he also had a dime. Oliver pulled in a huge 18 boards, as he also had 2 dimes and a block. Jawai shot 55.6% from the court, as he also got 3REB, 1AST and 1BL next to his name. The quarter by quarter scores were as follows. Perth won Q1, 29-20. Cairns smashed it in the 2nd, 34-16. The 3rd ended 23-17 in Perth’s favour. Q4 was also won by them 25-22. And in ET, the Wildcats topped out, winning 15-14 to claim the decisive victory.
Key Players- White is one of them. In over 34 minutes of play against Cairns last match, he shot just 3/9 from the court. He also shot just 20% on 3-pointers throughout the game. He had just 9PTS and that’s simply not good enough from one of their star men who is expected to perform a lot, lot better, then that of what he did last game. It was only 2 played games prior to that, that he had scored 15 against the Kings. That day he also had 4REB, 2AST and 1STL. He needs to revert to that form, if nothing else for the sake of helping his team. Had he played a lil bit better, maybe the Wildcats would have had some breathing room on the Taipans, instead of the game being decided in an extra period.
Kenny. In over 9 minutes of bench play for Cairns, he had just 2 points and a rebound to his name. During that short time span, he also gave away 2 personal fouls. He may as well have not featured in the game. He is one of the bench players who needs to step up better for Cairns in G2 of this finals series. He needs to be able to competently shoot the 3-ball and score better when fellow Guards such as Machado & Co are off. The veteran is a solid player, he needs to show that in this encounter. Especially if he wants his Taipans to bring it to a Game Three.
What Should Happen- Perth finish the series of and advance through to the Grand Final Series. You get the feeling that if Cairns were going to cause an upset, then G1 would’ve been the time to do it. They came oh so close, but ended up losing by a point. Will the mental and physical obstacles be too much for them to overcome? Up until this point in the season they have been simply incredible, but Perth have the experience and the know-how to get it done in games like these. Gleeson will have Perth 100% prepared fully for this encounter. And the experience that he and his side boasts, might just be enough to see them through in this encounter. A raucous Cairns crowd should keep the Taipans in this one. But expect the Wildcats to pull away late on in the 3rd, or early in the 4th quarter, in a game they should win by around 10-15 points. Machado, the Fans MVP, will be absolutely pivotal to Cairns in this clash. On the season he has averages of 16.1PPG and 7.9APG.
Betting Tips: Pick Perth to win at $2.05 (Bet365)
Also pick the 1st quarter total points to be over 44.50 at $1.87 (Bet365)
Monday, March 2
Melbourne United v Sydney Kings
Game One Recap- Sydney entered this G1 matchup with a 28-20 record and in 1st place. Melbourne entered Qudos Bank Arena with a 15-13 record, having finished the regular season in 4th place. As they were the last team to qualify for the playoffs. This game was utter chaos. Sydney were like headless chickens in H1 and Melbourne like that in Q4. Eventually the Kings ruled the King-dome, winning 86-80. The quarter by quarter scores were as follows. United won the 1st, 20-16. They also won Q2, 23-21. Q3 was also theirs, as they were victorious 26-23. But in the 4th, the Kings dug as deep as they could and won, 26-11. That pivotal 4th quarter effort won them the match and potentially the series.
The Kings were led by Tate who had 23PTS, Newley with 17 and Cooks with 13. Didi also had 8PTS and Ware 7. Tate hit 4 from beyond the arc, as he also had 5REB, 1AST and 1STL. Newley hit 10 FT’s, as his other stats included 5REB and 1AST. Cooks made 6/7 2’s, as he got 9REB and 4AST. Didi made a pair of 3’s, while Ware had 5 dimes in what were some of there stats from the 6-point win. Moller also posted 5PTS. For United, Melo was big with 34PTS, while Long had 23. Goulding also had 8PTS and Acuil 6. Melo made 5 from beyond the arc, as he got 4RRB, 5AST and 3STL. Long shot 8/12, as he also had 11REB, 1STL and 1BL. Goulding pulled in a board. And Acuil had 2 boards, as well as a steal and 2 blocks.
Key Players- Ware hit a clutch shot late during the 4th quarter against United, that was one of the three he made throughout the entire game. For a player of his caliber, that simply isn’t good enough and he needs to play better in his former stomping ground in G2. He shot just 3/14 in G1, including 0/9 from beyond the arc. That was good for a grand total of just 7PTS. On the season he has an average of 19.7PPG. He also conceded 3 personal fouls. Not only was he shooting poorly, but he was defending poorly as well. The Kings need the experienced, former NBL Championship winner to turn it up in the next one. Or they’re at a strong risk of heading back to Sydney for a deciding G3. The ball is in Ware’s court and he simply must perform better against his ex-side.
Literally anybody not named Trimble or Long. All the guys for Melbourne who don’t have those names, produced a grand total of 23PTS last game. That’s as many as Long scored alone, by himself. Barlow was 0/4, Goulding 3/12, Ili 1/6, McCarron 1/4, Acuil 3/7, Smith-Milner 0/1 and Kidd 2/6. It’s pretty easy to see that Melbourne’s poor shooting from everyone bar Melo and Shawn is what cost them the match and the chance to head back to Melbourne with a 1-0 lead. Fix that god-awful shooting and they’ve already fixed a lot of their issues. As simple as that.
What Should Happen- Sydney have the momentum after they overturned a 16-point deficit in the 4th quarter into a commanding 6-point victory. And Melo and Long will feel even more pressure now than what they already do, after they produced basically all of United’s attacking output last round and that will definitely work negatively against them. Goulding was rattled by 2 early fouls in the last clash. Expect him to stay out of early foul trouble and catch fire early to keep United in the game. He and Melo should put in HUGEEEEE performances in this one as they attempt to keep their sides season alive by another game. Their shooting will be incredibly crucial to United in this one. But at the end of the day Tate (23PTS last game and 16.4 on the season) and Didi (8PTS and some absolutely clutch, game changing shots last game) still exist. And they will be the two major reasons the Kings win this one and advance into the Grand Final Series. Sorry United, but your season will end in straight-sets.
Betting Tips: Pick Sydney to win at $1.78 (BetEasy)
Also pick them to have a handicap of -1.5 at $1.97 (BetEasy)