The following are previews with betting tips for Round 1 of the 2019/20 NBL season.
Thursday, October 3
Melbourne United v S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
Melbourne in their latest trial game put a score-line on the Hawks as they beat them by 17 points, 108-91. United scored 31, 25, 29 and 23 points through quarters 1-4 respectively. They also kept Illawarra to just 17 points in the second period. That as well as 23 points in the fourth period. This match was of the back of their shock 97-76 defeat to the Breakers in their earlier pre-season game. The fourth quarter was where they blew it in that one as they got outscored 25 points to 10. They also put up just 17 in the first quarter. Back to the Hawks match and Prather led the way with 23 points. He also had one board and three dimes. Barlow put up 20 points to go along with four rebounds and two blocks. Long had 13 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and a steal. Of the bench, Lual-Acuil scored 17 and Ili had 10 points. Disappointingly however, star of-season acquisition Trimble scored just four points from 2-4 shooting in just over 11 minutes of action.
South East Melbourne opened their pre-season account with a spectacular nine point, 96-87 win over Sydney. The Phoenix scored 26 points in both Q1 and Q3. They also kept the Kings to just the 18 points in the second quarter. And they restricted them to 21 points in the first quarter. Roberson was insane that game with 30 points, while Wesley had 20. Their latest match-up saw them beat New Zealand 102-95 in a tight and tense seven point win. South East Melbourne put up 23, 32, 23 and 24 points through all four periods respectively. And they allowed the Breakers to score only 20 points in the final quarter. Several players scored in double-digit figures as Wesley had 23, Adnam 17, both Madgen and Roberson 16 and Stephens 10. Wesley went a perfect 4/4 from beyond the arc as he also ended up with one rebound and three assists. Adnam hit 5/8 as he also had an assist and a steal. Madgen did a bit of everything as he also had nine boards and three dimes. Roberson too was like that with four rebounds, seven assists and a crazy six steals!
So, so, so many stories heading into what should be an intense and frantic first ever Derby. It’s the first ever clash between these two sides and one that should produce some fiery results given that early bragging rights are on the line. It also happens to be the opener for this new and exciting NBL campaign. Putting that aside, all eyes will be on Melo Trimble for United and how he performs for his new club after his much maligned departure from Cairns in the off-season. He will be under a lot of pressure to perform right away. Meanwhile Ben Madgen is back in the NBL after the former MVP took some time away from Australia, while Kyle Adnam returns back home to Melbourne after a successful stint with the Kings. They’ll be looking to put in a solid shift for the new NBL franchise and to perform in their club debuts. So many players to watch and so many intriguing stories to share, this should be a great, great game to open the new season with.
Friday, October 4
Cairns Taipans v Sydney Kings
Cairns opened their pre-season with an extremely tight 100-99 victory over the 36ers. And it was a late, clutch, Nate Jawai layup with three seconds left that delivered last years worst team the best possible finish. In the 2nd and 3rd quarters Cairns were electric as they put up 27 and 34 points respectively. But they let Adelaide back into it as the 36ers outscored them 30-20 in the 4th quarter. Newbill led the way that game with 18 points. Oliver also had 14 and Koi 10. Coming of the pine, Fisher had 13, Jawai 12 and Djeric 11. It was a real, cohesive, team-effort that one for the underdogs. And their latest game saw them dispose of the NBL1 All-Stars with relative ease, 87-68. The Taipans scored 23, 25, 19 and 20 points through each stanza respectively. And they kept the opposition to just 16, 10 and 15 points in the 1st, 2nd and 4th quarter. Although they slipped up a bit in the 3rd as they leaked 27 points. Deng was a beast as he hit 8/11 shots, good for 18 points. He also had 10 boards, one dime, a steal and a swat. Koi scored 17 points, as he pulled in 10 boards, dished out two dimes and had a steal and a block next to his name. Newbill also scored 12 points and Oliver 10.
Sydney bounced back from a nine point loss to South East Melbourne to thrash Perth, 103-71. Sydney were simply ruthless offensively as they scored 29, 28, 21 and 25 points through each quarter. They also kept the Wildcats to just 15 points in the 1st and 11 in the 3rd. New Brazilian signing Louzada was unstoppable as he hit eight threes that game and scored 29 huuuuuge points! New signing Tate also put up 15 points. And now most recently the Kings thrashed the Breakers 81-64. Ware had 23 points while several other Kings impressed as well. But back to the crazy victory against Perth, Louzada also had four rebounds and three assists. Tate had four rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block. Lisch scored 12 as he ended up with three boards and two dimes. Hunter was impressive with 10 rebounds. And of the bench Kickert was pure gold as he went 4/5 from beyond the arc for 14 points. He also ended up with two boards and a dime. Walker unfortunately shot 0/3 and Ware scored only nine points from 2/11 shooting. And he shot a terrible 12.5% from three-point range, 1/8. He did however get three boards and four dimes in what was an ever so slight boost from Sydney’s marquee man.
Ware and Bogut, Bogut and Ware!!! This should quite quickly become one of the deadliest two man combinations in the entire league. The alley oops for Bogut, the open threes for ware, the utter look of horror from opposing defences. Sydney are aiming for glory this season and it’ll be due to the former 76er Ware and the former Golden State Warrior Bogut getting them there. Both players are considered among the best in their positions in the NBL and both have won MVP awards playing at the highest level. Cairns are by no means an easy first up game for Will Weaver’s men. But if the Kings can get their duo on fire early and playing to their strengths, then you can expect them to lead Sydney to a run away victory such is their pure, decisive, talent and skill. Newbill and Jawai ain’t got nothing on these guys, sorry fellas.
Betting tip: Pick Sydney to be victorious at $1.35 (Bet365)
Saturday, October 5
Perth Wildcats v Melbourne United
Bryce Cotton, yep Bryce Cotton, I mean who else could it really be??? The former Utah Jazz player hit the game winning dagger to deliver Perth the game victory over Melbourne in this just past pre-season. Perth had only 19 and 18 points in the first two quarters. But they turned it on in the second half scoring 30 and then 25 points to steal the victory of United. For Melbourne, they were the better of the two teams in the first half as they scored 23 and 20 points respectively. And they even had 30 points in the third. But they just lost it in the fourth and final quarter as they put up just 17 points. Cotton ironically only scored eight points, but it didn’t really matter as the man did what he is paid best to do! Kay had 21 points, two rebounds and three assists. Steindl had an impressive 19 points, six boards and two dimes. Of the bench, Pozoglou was pretty chill with 13 points as he made two threes. He ended up with six rebounds and two assists as well. Hunt did a bit of everything with nine points, seven rebounds, six assists and a swat. For the losing side, Trimble posted 17 points while both Goulding and Prather had 16 each. Melo also added to next to his name, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Barlow made just 3/10 bucket attempts and Long 3/9. They ended up with a paltry nine and eight points respectively. Prather also had four rebounds, two assists and a steal for United.
Melbourne have had a pretty shaky pre-season, their loss to Perth aside. They lost to a no name side by a point. They then beat a no name side by 20. They won against another no name side, 111-66. They beat Cairns by only nine. They got smashed by Brisbane to the tune of 22 big points. They beat the Hawks with relative ease and then suffered a big loss to New Zealand, New Zealand!!! They beat the Hawks again and that’s that. Not exactly a great picture painted so far for last campaigns runner ups. For the Wildcats its been a hell of a lot better for them as they lost to Adelaide, then beat Adelaide. They then lost to the 36ers again before pushing the Hawks all the way in an insane OT match. One where Cotton lit up the floor for 27 points. They then lost to Sydney, before beating Melbourne. And keep in mind that the Wildcats losses to Adelaide were all close games decided by only a small margin of points.
Trimble is the name that has every Melbourne fan jumping for joy. Whilst Bryce Cotton is the obvious candidate for Perth in that regard. Trimble was an absolute baller for the Taipans last season as he showed the NBL whats up and made his name known globally throughout Australia and New Zealand. Even Europe noticed him as some clubs wanted him to sign up. And he has big, big, big shoes to fill replacing the recently departed Casper Ware. Him, the star player, will be the key to Melbourne either winning or wallowing in defeat this game. He is the key to their hopes given his superstar status. And for Perth it’s Cotton, duh, obviously. He hit shot after shot after shot for the Wildcats in last seasons Grand Final series against Melbourne. The 2X champ and 2X various NBL MVP awards recipient is arguably the NBL’s best and most talented player heading into the new season. Anything and everything he does this match will have massive implications as to whether or not they’re able to steal the match away. Melo vs Cotton is defining this match and rightfully so!
Betting tip: Pick the Wildcats to get the victory at $1.58 (BetEasy)
Sunday, October 6
Illawarra Hawks v Brisbane Bullets
Lamelo Ball, wow, just wow! The projected NO.1 pick elected to play for the Hawks before next seasons draft in what was an awesome move for Australian Basketball and the NBL. And so far, so good as he’s shown poise and skill way above his youthful age to show the whole world that he is for real. And the Hawks signing former NBA guard Aaron Brooks is pretty awesome as well. The best indication yet that the Hawks are a transformed side came in the form of their hectic and tight 122-119 OT win over Perth in an earlier trial match. The Hawks scored just 20 points in the first quarter. But they went on to score 34, 25 and 29 points over the next three periods respectively. That was before they outscored Perth 14-11 in OT to claim the unexpected victory. Helping Illawarra’s cause was the fact that they kept Perth to 22 points in both Q2 and Q3. Lamelo was mad as he made four threes en route to 19 points. He also had 13 boards and seven dimes. Brooks scored 20 points as he also had two rebounds and an assist. Blanchfield scored 23 points as he had four boards, three dimes and a steal next to his name. Coenraad scored 13, Boone 11 and Grida 10. This was just excellent stuff from Illawarra.
One of Brisbane’s latest trial matches was a simply smashing win of the NBL1 All-Stars. Brisbane nearly doubled their score in the 106-57 victory. Brisbane kept them to just 13, 14, 12 and 18 points through each quarter. While the Bullets themselves were firing offensively putting up 27, 27, 29 and 23 points. So, so many players scored in double-figures for the Bullets. Singler led the way with 19 points. Magnay had 17, Hodgson had 16. Harrison had 12 and Braun 11. While both Te Rangi and Wigness had 10 points a piece. Magnay also had six rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. Hodgson had seven boards and three blocks. Singler had four boards, four dimes and two steals, Harrison shot 6/8 as he also ended up with five rebounds, an assists, two steals and two swats. Te Rangi had five boards and Wigness four. And one of their most recent matches against NBL opposition saw them topple Adelaide, 92-85. That was a close game that saw both sides fight hard for the W.
BB, Ball & Brooks show. One is a player who could very well be the top pick in next years NBA Draft. And the other is an NBA veteran with years and years of international experience behind him. They are two top players that complement each other nicely. And even if Brooks starts of the bench, well what a 6th man to have! The fire, the skills and the intensity that these two extremely talented and sacred players bring should suffocate the Bullets alone. And that’s without factoring in the rest of the Hawks squad! When you throw in manes like Grida and Boone as well it becomes very, very difficult to see how Brisbane can win this match. The Hawks should be too strong and too good, led by their two star players. Welcome to a new era of Basketball long suffering Hawks fans!
Betting tip: Pick the Hawks to win at $1.68 (Bet365)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick Sydney to be victorious at $1.35 (Bet365)
Also pick Melbourne to win the Minor Premiership at $3.50 (BetEasy)