NBL Grand Final Series: Preview and Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for the finals series of the 2017/18 NBL season.

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View the NBL form guide

Friday, March 16

Melbourne United

Melbourne United v Adelaide 36ers
Game 1

7:30pm AEDT
View a detailed form guide for Melbourne v Adelaide

Adelaide 36ers

Here we are, with only the best two teams in Australian Basketball left. Both vying to add yet another Championship to their bulging trophy cabinets. Throughout the history of the game legends such as Andrew Gaze, Lanard Copeland, Kevin Brooks and Brett Maher have suited up for either side and tasted success during their time in the NBL. Which one of these current crop of players will create a lasting legacy and lead their side to ultimate glory? Maybe Casper Ware or Josh Childress perhaps? Only time will tell.

What’s Happened On The Court: With just 3 seconds left on the clock in OT, Josh Boone hit the match-winning 2-point jump-shot that saw Melbourne advance to the Grand Final series in what was a thrilling finish to a tightly contested series. United were kept to only 13 points in Q1 but bounced back by keeping NZ to only 12 in Q2. While they held the Breakers to only 15 in Q4 to crucially push the game into an extra period. Just like Melbourne, Adelaide also won their series against Perth 2-0 to come in untouched to the last round of the finals. They beat the Wildcats by only a point in their last game in what was an 89-88 victory. Anthony Drmic got a key offensive rebound at the end of the match that sealed the win and the series victory for the 36ers. Adelaide were held to only 15 points in Q1, but then proceeded to put up 25, 23 and 26 points over the next three periods to claim the fast finishing win.

In their last match against NZ, Josh Boone absolutely lit the court on fire scoring 33 points on 14-19 shooting while also grabbing a massive 15 boards. He also dished out 2 dimes in addition to stealing the ball twice and getting 2 blocks. While Ware & Goulding combined for a nice 29 points, 4 rebounds, 12 assists and 3 steals. Of the bench Casey Prather had a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards while David Barlow scored 6. For the 36ers their standout performers in their escape victory were Childress, Creek and Sobey. Despite missing 2 FT’s at the end, J-Chill scored 25, got 10 boards and a swat. While Creek scored 22, pulled in 6 boards, dished out 4 assists and got a steal. As for Sobey he got a pretty solid stat-line of 13, 8 and 5.

What Should Occur: A first up Melbourne victory in pursuit of their 5th Championship. They have home-court advantage for Game 1 in addition to having lost only 8 of their 28 games from this campaign. Combined with this they have some absolute stars on their squad including former NBA men Casper Ware and Josh Boone. While they also posses the Aussie version of Klay Thompson in Chris Goulding. While on the more mental side of things, this side will be determined to amend their recent past failures and will know just how much another Championship would mean to the entirety of Melbourne. With all these things in mind and despite how close the game may end up being, you just can’t go past the side that was on absolute fire this season.

Betting tip: Pick United to have a G1 victory at $1.55 (Ladbrokes, William Hill)

Also pick them to have the hotter start and be the first to 10 points at $1.80 (William Hill)


Sunday, March 18

Adelaide 36ers

Adelaide 36ers v Melbourne United
Game 2

3:00pm AEDT
View a detailed form guide for Adelaide v Melbourne

Melbourne United

The stakes will be a hell of a lot higher in this game as one side will only be one game away from winning it all. Regardless of which team and players show up, it’ll be the fourth quarter that decides this one. The last time they met this season, Melbourne came out on top 99-91. While before that the game was tied entering half-time before Melbourne ran away with it in the second-half. This game should prove to be just as good, if not better than the one that will come before it!!!

Key Players:

Josh Childress or J-Chill

Clubs- His previous teams include stints with Atlanta, Brooklyn and New Orleans as well as the Sydney Kings, where despite not much team success, he did have a fair bit of personal success.

He was the Greek Leagues top scorer in 2010 and he has absolutely displayed that vintage form with Adelaide this season as he is currently averaging 11.5ppg on 54.0% shooting from the court. While his other notable stats include 6.3rpg and 1.1spg. He is the ultimate threat both offensively and defensively. While it was his massive 25 points in the 36ers last game that ultimately saw them advance to this series. When the game is late and close, as it inevitably will be. He’ll be a player with or without the ball that will be making his play most definitely felt on the court.

Josh Boone & Casper Ware

Boone hit the match-winning shot to send Melbourne into the GF series. while Ware offensively is similar to Russell Westbrook. They both score and distribute very well for top-tier teams.

Clubs- Boone has previously represented the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets), as well as having played in Hong Kong in the past. While for Ware, he has played for Philly and as well as that, he started his professional career over in Italy.

Boone’s inside game as well as his ability to play close to the rim defence and grab boards will be a crucial part to any potential Melbourne victory. His ability to draw in defenders as well as box out his man inside the paint frees up room for his four other team mates on the court. His 13.0ppg and 9.4rpg will be once piece of the puzzle for United. Likewise what Casper Ware is able to offer offensively in the form of 16.1ppg and 4.7apg will also be of a great help to Melbourne. He attracts upwards of two defenders at a time and teams design plays specifically to stop him. If he gets hot, may he have mercy on Adelaide.

What Should Occur: An Adelaide win. If Melbourne prove to be victors in G1 then the 36ers will come out absolutely firing for G2. They are too good and too talented to go down in a series 2-0. They won 18 of their 28 games they played this campaign and were closely behind Melbourne in 2nd place. They have a fair amount of players that average double-digit points per game. This is led by Johsnon with 16.3 and Creek with 14.5. If some players are off, the fact that the 36ers have so many capable scorers may well see them over the line in what should be another cracker of a game!!!

Betting tip: Pick the 36ers to win G2 when the game odds become available

Also pick them to be the first to 10 points when the game odds become available

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