Thursday, February 14
New Zealand Breakers v Illawarra Hwks
The Breakers were victorious to the tune of 15 points last time out against the Hawks. NZ won every single quarter in their emphatic performance. They put up 26, 23, 24 and 23 points respectively as they ended one of their final games of the season on a big high. Long was a monster as he hit 10/15 shots en route to 24 points. He also pulled in 11 boards, had one assist, one steal and five swats! Wesley also hit 10/14 shots as he scored 23 points to go along with his seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. And Ili also had a nice game with 12 points, three boards, three dimes and a block. Of the bench, Weeks was the Breakers leading scorer with six points although he made only 1/5 shots for 20% shooting.
For the Hawks last round they lost 96-81 to the Breakers. The Hawks lost every single period as they managed to put up only 18, 21, 21 and 21 points through each quarter respectively. For the starters, Conklin led the way with 20 points and Blanchfield 10. And of the bench, it was Jett with 14 and Coenraad with 10. Conklin made 58.3% of his shots as he also had four rebounds, one assist and one steal and block each. Blanchfield also had three boards and a dime. Jett made half of his two-point attempts as he got six boards, one dime and three steals. And Coenraad also had four rebounds and a swat.
Betting tip: Pick NZ to win at $1.49 (TopBetta)
Melbourne United v Cairns Taipans
United lost every single quarter bar the 4th as they escaped their match with Adelaide with a two-point victory. The 4th ended 25-17 in Melbourne’s favour and that greatly contributed to them getting the close W. As it stands United are 2nd with 1st place to play for in this final, upcoming round. Goulding was huge as he had 16 points of the bench, however, he was a poor 1/6 from beyond the arc. Ware also scored 20, Barlow had 13 and all of McCarron, Boone and Kennedy had 10. Ware hit four three-pointers as he also ended up with four boards, six dimes and three steals. Barlow hit 5/7 shots as he also had an assist and a steal. And Goulding’s other stats included three boards, one dime and a steal.
Cairns won only their 5th game of the season as they put Brisbane to the sword by 11 points in a dominating performance from the NBL’s bottom placed side. They showed out and showed everybody that they are slowly building a nice team. Cairns didn’t lose a single quarter in their solid victory. The middle two quarters were draws, while in Q1 they won 18-11 and Q4 they won 27-23. Melo led the way as usual with 23 points. Backing him up was Loughton with 11 points and Newbill with 10. Melo hit two from deep as he also had four boards and a dime. Loughton made 50% of his shots as he also had five rebounds and one assist. DJ also had five boards, one dime and two steals. And both Walker and Hall each scored eight points ocming of the pine.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win at $1.32 (UniBet)
Friday, February 15
Perth Wildcats v Adelaide 36ers
Perth struggled early on, but in the end they got it done as they prevailed by nine in OT against the Kings. Perth were outscored 26-12 in Q1 but bounced back to win every quarter after that as they regained top spot on the NBL ladder. They are looking to be a real, legitimate threat to win another Grand Final Series. Every other Top Four side better watch out! Cause Cotton & Co are coming. Speaking of the devil he had 27 points to go along with his three boards, three dimes and one steal in an MVP like performance from him. Brandt also had 19 and Martin 15. Brandt hit 8/13 shots as he also had nine rebounds and one dime. And Martin also had seven boards, four dimes and three steals. Perth came back hard in this one, there’s simply no other way to put it.
A late Moore three wasn’t enough as Adelaide went down to Melbourne 89-87 in what was a tightly contested affair. The 36ers won every period bar the 4th, but unfortunately for them, that is where the game was lost. They went down 25-17 to United in what was a literal game defining/changing period. As it so happens Adelaide may well need to win this game to be in the finals. Drmic scored 20, Johnson 15, Sobey 11 and Moore 10. Drmic shot 50% as he had nine boards and two dimes. Johnson had a double-double as he also had 11 rebounds to go along with his three assists. Sobey shot not so well as he went 4/14 to accompany his solid eight rebounds and five assists. As it stands, Brisbane are only one win of the 36ers for 4th spot.
Sydney Kings v Cairns
Sydney fought and fought and fought right until they couldn’t any longer as they lost 95-86 to the Wildcats in Perth in OT. And some trashy calls definitely did not help the Kings cause either. Sydney won the opening quarter, 26-12. However, they lost every quarter after that including their capitulation in OT where they went down 18 points to nine. Randle was on absolute fire as he hit clutch shot after clutch shot to keep the Kings in the game. He ended up with 25 points along with three boards and nine dimes! Bogut also had 16, Lisch 14 and Newley 10. Bogut also had a huge 15 boards, two dimes and two steals. A win for Sydney here and two losses each to Perth and Melbourne would see the Kings finish 1st. However, given that that’s a fairly unlikely scenario, the more realistic one is Sydney winning here and finishing the regular season in 3rd place.
At the end of Round 16, it was the Taipans who went down by 15 points to the Hawks. They won only one quarter and that was the 2nd one where they prevailed 30-24. And in the 3rd the Taipans completely and utterly lost momentum again as they scored only 14 points and conceded a big 28! That game every starter scored in double-digits for the Taipans as Newbill had 20, Loe 16, Melo and Kenny 13 each and Loughton 10. DJ shot 50% as he also had three boards, three dimes and a steal. Loe went 2/3 from deep along with his eight rebounds, two assists and one swat. It wasn’t the greatest shooting performance from Melo as he shot 30.8%. However, he was strong in other areas with four boards, 11 dimes and two steals.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to win at $1.34 (UniBet)
Saturday, February 16
Brisbane Bullets v New Zealand Breakers
The Bullets last time out, lost a game they desperately needed to win as they went down 79-68 against the Taipans. As it stands, the Bullets need to win here and hope that the 36ers drop their game against Perth so that they (Brisbane) can feature in the finals. Brisbane couldn’t win a single quarter and their opening period effort was just plain embarrassing as they put up only 11 points. And in the 4th they also went down 27-23. The Taipans just wanted it more, despite the Bullets having the lure of Finals Basketball on the line. Kendle led the way with 17 points, while Patterson scored 16 points. Kendle also had two boards, two dimes and a steal. And as for Patterson, a man who will be tasked with delivering Brisbane a Top Four spot in this game, his other stats included six boards, a dime and a steal. It’s do or die for Brisbane right here!
NZ did indeed beat the Hawks by 15 points in their last played game. However, in Round 17 they played two matches and the first one they lost by seven points to Adelaide. The Breakers only managed to win one quarter this game and that was the 4th. They won 32-26 there. However in the opening two quarters they leaked 30 and 32 points. Ouch! Long scored 28, Richard 24, Delany 16, Weeks 12 and Abercrombie 11. Long also had 12 boards, two dimes and two steals. Richard had two boards and a dime as he went all Klay Thompson from deep with six threes! And Delany shot 5/8 as he also had six boards, five dimes and a swat. NZ put up 107 points in this match, not a bad effort at all from a losing side!
Betting tip: Pick Brisbane to win at $1.58 (TopBetta)
Sunday, February 17
Melbourne United v Perth Wildcats
Before Melbourne’s tight win over Adelaide, they went down by 12 points to the Kings. United didn’t win a single quarter in the comprehensive defeat. And despite drawing the 1st quarter 21-all, Melbourne lost completed control of it in the 2nd as they were outscored 25-18. Ware scored 17 points, Goulding 16, Kennedy 13 and Barlow 12. However, Ware only went 7/19 to go along with his two boards and five dimes. Goulding had three from deep as he also got two boards, three dimes and two steals. And Kennedy also had a nice game with his eight boards, two dimes and one steal. Depending on how other results have already played out, this game could quite literally decide who finishes 1st and who finishes 2nd. It’s gonna be a huge one!!!
Perth’s last game before their strong victory over Sydney was their equally as strong win over the Hawks in Round 16 where they prevailed by 14 points. Perth only won two quarters, but boy oh boy didn’t they make them count. Q1 saw Perth win 36-27. Q4 also saw them win 22-15. They weren’t always as commanding as they would’ve liked to have been, but they got stuff done when they needed to get it done! Cotton had 27 points, White 26, Kay 17 and Steindl 13. Cotton also had five boards, seven dimes and a steal. White had as well as his huge points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Kay also had a double-double with 12 boards, five dimes and a steal.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to win at $2.40 (Bet365)
Best Bet of the Round
My favourite/best bet of the round is for Sydney to beat Cairns at $1.34 (UniBet), they’ll be determined to being going strong and in form into the finals!