The following are previews with betting tips for Round 11 of the 2017/18 NBL season.
Thursday, December 21
Sydney Kings v New Zealand Breakers
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Finally the Kings got another win last round, and boy was it a big one, at home they beat Cairns 88-69. Down 18-4 early in the 1st quarter they looked like they were already beaten. This before they bounced back in the 2nd period, winning 26-15. Then in the 3rd they sealed the deal, winning that quarter by a 30 points to 14 margin. The win was only the Kings 4th of the campaign and while they are still last, it keeps their season alive for another round or two. Jerome Randle scored 17, dished out 6 assists and got 2 steals. While Jeremy Tyler again channeled his inner Demarcus Cousins and finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 combined steals/ blocks. Brad Newley also scored in double-figures. While coming of the pine Jason Cadee had 15 and Isaac Humphries 14. Perry Ellis also performed strongly for the Kings despite coming out of the game with a minor ‘head injury’ and then returning. His notable stats include 6 rebounds and 2 combined steals/ blocks. As for their opponents, their last game was a 15 point loss to the 36ers which pushes them to 2nd place on the ladder. They outscored Adelaide in the opening 3 quarters of the game but absolutely imploded in the 4th. They got absolutely thrashed that period 34-11. Thomas Abercrombie and Edgar Sosa combined to shoot a miserable 4-16 from the court. While DJ Newbill shot only 3-12 and made a pathetic 1-6 from behind the arc. None of the starters shot above 50% from the court with the highest being Mika Vukona (40%). Alex Pledger scored 12 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, got an assist and also got both a steal and a block. Of the bench both Finn Delany and Kirk Penney scored 11 points a piece. Robert Loe also grabbed 7 boards of the pine.
What To Look Out For: Some consistency from the Puprle & Gold. The only consistency that Sydney have displayed this season is in the losers column. But now they are coming of their biggest win of the campaign and with their season on the line. The fact that it’s at Qudos Bank Arena and not away also massively helps them. Look for the Kings to play like they mean it in what is another all-important game for them in the context of their season. While expect players like Newley and Cadee to continue their bounce back performances.
Betting tip: Sydney were down 18-4 against Cairns last round. Expect the poor starts to have been eradicated and for the Kings to have the hotter start and be the first to 10 points against NZ at $1.90 (William Hill)
Friday, December 22
Melbourne United v Adelaide 36ers
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Melbourne are only 2 wins of 1st place as are Adelaide. This match pits 3rd against 4th on the ladder and it should deliver on it’s billing. For Melbourne their last game was a 6 point victory against Illawarra. In the 2nd period, defensively they were great keeping the Hawks to a meager 11 points. But in the 3rd quarter, Melbourne bettered Illawarra only scoring 10 during the period. However it didn’t matter as they held on for the tight victory. Josh Boone scored 20 points, along with grabbing 9 boards and a steal. While Tai Wesley was an absolute beast scoring 17, grabbing 6 rebounds, dishing out 6 assists and getting 4 combined steals/ blocks. He also shot a perfect 6-6 from the court. United’s back-court duo of Casper Ware and Chris Goulding combined for 28 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists in a bellow par effort from the pair. As for the 36ers, the big news coming out of their camp is that Anthony Drmic hurt himself last round as is now out for 3 weeks with an MCL sprain. He got injured during Adelaide’s comprehensive 15 point victory over NZ last week. Given he’s come of the bench this campaign it’s not all that bad, but it will be if another bench player can’t cover his minutes or if some of Adelaide’s stars aren’t able to cope with a heavier work-load. Best wishes to him in what should be a speedy recovery.
What To Look Out For: Last round in their 90-75 victory over NZ, Adelaide won it through their 4th quarter smashing of the Breakers. Before that period they were down by 8 but came back to win the period 34-11. Joey Wright will now have his men trying to emulate that style and ferocious type of play through all four periods against United, and not just one. If they can do it for the whole game then expect an easy 36ers victory. But if not, it should be a close game decided by only a couple of shots. It just depends on which 36ers come to play.
Betting tip: Pick the 36ers to continue on from their beating of NZ and beat Melbourne at $2.60 (UniBet)
Saturday, December 23
Brisbane Bullets v Sydney Kings
Pre-Game Lead-Up: The Bullets are shooting their way up the NBL ladder (no pun intended) after their last start victory over Perth, which now sees them in 5th place, only a win out of a finals spot. They won the 1st quarter 33-24 setting the tone for the rest of the game. Then in the 3rd period they kept the Wildcats to an insanely impressive 13 points. The victory was absolutely huge for Brisbane and they now appear to be a completely different team to that of what started the campaign. Perrin Bufford scored 24 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and got a steal for his efforts. While Travis Trice had an off-game shooting only 3 of 10 from the court. However he grabbed 3 rebounds, dished out 7 assists and got 3 steals to try and make up for his poor shooting effort. Tom Jervis scored 14 while of the bench Reuben Te Rangi scored 9. Jervis also grabbed 6 rebounds and shot a very impressive 7-9 from the court (77.8%). As for the Kings, Perry Ellis took some time out from his Basketball duties to have a visit to the zoo and see some animals. He said it was something he wanted to do while he was in Australia. And not only did he get to meet some cute and cuddly animals of the court, he also encountered some more dangerous ones on it. So dangerous that after his and one opportunity he was bleeding from the head and had to go of before he came back on again. However none of that mattered to him as he took all the venom out of the Taipans on his way to a stat-line of 4 points, 6 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block.
What To Look Out For: Perry Ellis, a tourist of the court and an absolute monster on it. For the season he has converted on 94 of his 184 fg attempts (16.5 points per game). While he has also been Kyrie Irving like from three shooting 52% from behind the arc this season. He is also averaging 5.6 rebounds per game as well as 1.3 assists. He’s also getting just under a steal/ block each match as well. He showed his toughness and strong style of play last week despite his minor injury. Expect him to keep up his strong form and have an awesome game in an attempt to land Sydney another win.
Betting tip: Pick the Kings to claim the win at $2.30 (William Hill)
Illawarra Hawks v Perth Wildcats
Pre-Game Lead-Up: What a difference a round can make. Before the start of last week, the Hawks were only a spot or two of a finals spot, they could almost sniff it. As for Perth their personal battle with NZ to be the best of the best continues as they are now back in 1st spot again. However coming back to the Hawks, it’s almost like their wings have been cut off as they were once flying high, now they’re 2nd last. The Hawks last match saw them lose a tight one to Melbourne, 84-78. They put up only 11 points in the 3rd quarter in what was a pretty dismal effort for the period. However they bounced back in the 3rd as they kept Melbourne to only 10 in a pretty stern defensive effort from the Woolongong based side. However it wasn’t enough as they slumped to their 9th loss of the season. Meanwhile Perth also couldn’t get a W as they suffered an upset loss at the hands of Brisbane, going down 82-76. At the end of the 1st quarter Brisbane had already shown them they meant business as they led 33-24. The 3rd period was crucial for Perth as had they taken advantage of Brisbane scoring only 12 points, they might have won. However the Wildcats themselves could only score 13, pretty much summing up the night for them. They were also kept to only 16 points in the final period of the game. The star men for Illawarra in their loss were Demitrius Conger who put up 20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. While Rotnei Clarke scored 18, grabbed 2 boards and assisted on a basket. Andrew Ogilvy also got 2 blocks. While of the bench Rhys Martin scored 7 points, got 6 combined rebounds/ assists (3 of each) and got a massive 5 steals. Cody Ellis also scored 12 of the pine. While for Perth, their best in a losing bunch were Bryce Cotton with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. While Angus Brandt scored 16, Jean-Pierre Tokoto 12 and Jarrod Kenny 10. Of the bench Jesse Wagstaff scored 6 points while Derek Cooke JR grabbed double-digit boards (10).
What To Look Out For: Starters wise, the Hawks should have just enough in the tank to match up to Perth. However when it comes to both sides benches, the Wildcats have Illawarra covered for days. As a result of this, electrifying bench player Derek Cooke JR should really make his impact felt in this game and it presents the perfect opportunity for him to do so. Coming of the pine this campaign he’s averaging 6.1ppg, 4.6rpg and 0.4apg on an impressive 67% shooting from the court. In this match he’ll be terrorizing the Hawks reserves, no doubt.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to win at $1.75 (William Hill)
Also pick them to be the first to 10 points when the odds for this market become available
Sunday, December 24
Adelaide 36ers v Cairns Taipans
Pre-Game Lead-Up: Mitch Creek has around 2 weeks left before he will be able to return to playing again due to his unfortunate hamstring injury. He tore it during the 36ers recent pre-game warmup against the Wildcats. Hopefully he returns to action quickly, but this spells great news for a Cairns side coming of a humiliating 19 point loss to the last placed Kings. They were leading the game 18-4 and on their way to an emphatic victory before things turned on their heads for the Taipans. Sydney came back strongly to win the 2nd quarter 26-15 and the 3rd 30-14. Cairns also lost the 4th by a point as well. They weren’t able to stop Randle and Tyler going of for 32 combined points on 11-21 shooting nor could they stop the strong bench play of Cadee and Humphries. Cairns best men were Mitch McCarron and Cam Gliddon who scored 11 points each. McCarron also got 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 combined steals/ blocks. While Gliddon pulled in 5 boards, got 3 assists and stole the ball from the opposition twice. Coming of the bench, Jarrad Weeks had 14 points while Jerry Evans Jr scored 6, pulled in 6 and got 3 combined steals/ blocks.
What To Look Out For: A comprehensive 36ers victory. They’re currently in 4th place and quickly gunning for 1st as evident through their recent beat-up of the Breakers. They also have high points per game scorers all across the court, a department that the Taipans lack in a little bit. Anyone of their go to guys from Daniel Johnson through to J-Chill are capable of touching up Cairns a bit. That’ll probably be what happens on Sunday afternoon. And with his 16.7 points per game, coming up against what appears to be a fragile Taipans defence, Johnson should have a pretty solid outing as should the rest of the 36ers ‘high-scorers’ gang.
Best Bet of the Round
Pick Melbourne to reach 10 points first before Adelaide at $1.78 (William Hill)