Thursday, October 24
New Zealand Breakers v Illawarra Hawks
The Breakers pushed the Kings hard in both matches last round, but ultimately came up short in both of them. The second and latest loss to Sydney was over in New Zealand where they went down by 10 points, 76-66. The 1st half was a commanding one for them, as they put up 21 points in the opening quarter and outscored the Kings 24-15 in the 2nd one. However, the second two quarters saw them score a collective 21 points and get bashed in the 4th, 19-8. It’s safe to say, they saved their worst for last.
Webster led the way for New Zealand with 14 points, while Hopson posted 13. Loe had 11 and Ashley had eight of the bench. Webster shot just 6/19 and 1/4 from beyond the arc as he had five boards, three dimes, a steal and a swat. Hopson also had a poor shooting performance as he went 5/22. He also got seven rebounds, four assists and two steals next to his name. Loe had eight rebounds and one assist. Ashley got eight rebounds, an assist and three nice blocks on his stat sheet. Hampton also posted seven points.
The Hawks latest effort was a six point, 98-92 defeat to the 36ers in Woolongong. The only quarter Illawarra won was the 3rd, 25-23, as every other one they lost. Q1 was 26-31, Q2 was 25-23 and Q4 was 19-18. The Hawks are now a shaky 1-4 to start the season. Brooks was an absolute beast with 31 points! Ball also backed him up strongly with 15 points. Froling scored 12 and Coenraad had nine. Brooks hit four from deep as he also had five rebounds, three assists and a steal. Ball had five rebounds, seven good dimes and a steal. Froling hit a pretty good 5/7 as his other stats were five boards and a dime. And while it won’t decide the outcome of the ball game, Hampton vs Ball is the battle everyone is coming to see as these elite prospects go head to head for the first time in the NBL.
Friday, October 25
Adelaide 36ers v Cairns Taipans
Adelaide got it done, however just, as they beat the Hawks 98-92 away from home in a game dominated by former NBA Guard Aaron Brooks. He lit the 36ers up for 31 points, but Randle and Moore stood strong as they came back with 15 and 16 points of their own respectively. Adelaide won every single quarter bar the 3rd, there they lost 25-23. Over the other three periods, they scored 31, 25 and 19 points. And they kept Illawarra to just 18 points in the 4th.
Randle also had four rebounds, three assists and a steal as he hit some tough looks. Moore added to his 16 with five boards and four dimes. Johnson was his usual great self with 21 points. And he also got, 10 rebounds, one assist and a block. Of the pine, Froling posted 15 points and McVeigh had 14. Froling also added two rebounds. McVeigh added two rebounds, one assist and two blocks. Adelaide had strong contributions from several players in this one, in what was a good, solid team-effort.
The Taipans shocked Basketball supporters in both Australia and New Zealand as they stunned the Perth Wildcats and handed them a 99-76 point thrashing. Whaaaaat??? Yep, you saw that right, they handed the Wildcats an incredible 23 point loss and their first of the season. It was also Cairns’s first win of the new campaign. They won every quarter bar the 2nd and that ended at 22-22. They won Q1, 24-22, Q3, 28-16 and Q4, 25-16, in the simply dominating performance.
All five starters scored in double-digits for Cairns. Deng and Oliver led the way with 22 points each. Machado had 18 and Koi 13. Newbill also had 11. Deng made three from deep as he also had five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Oliver got nine boards, three dimes, a steal and two swats. Machado went all Harden-like as he had four threes along with, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Koi had three boards and a steal. Newbill’s other stats included, one rebound, three assists and a steal. Griffin vs Oliver will be a key battle here. Both teams can hit the three, but protecting the pain is a whole new ball game. Inside baskets count and these two will have a massive role to play in this game.
Perth Wildcats v S.E. Melbourne Phoenix
Perth was absolutely killed by the Taipans as they lost at home, 99-76, by 23 points! Perth ended the match having the life strangled out of them as they scored just 16 points in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Q1 saw them lose, 24-22 and Q2 was a 22-all draw. This was the Wildcats first loss of the new season. Of all the players for Perth to take at least one shot in this game, only Majok hit 50% of more of what he attempted as he went 2/4 for four points. Cotton went 5/13, Hunt 3/7, Kay 4/10, Martin 0/3, White 3/8, Norton 1/6, Steindl 2/10, Vague 1/3 and Wagstaff 2/5. Creek, Roberson and Madgen will quickly give Perth a 2nd loss if they don’t turn around their shooting woes quickly. And the new expansion team is already on fire early this season, as they have won three/three opening games so far.
White and Kay had 15 points each, whilst Cotton scored 14. This game came just a few days after Cotton hit the clutch, back-board game winner to give his side a tight and close win over arch-rivals Melbourne. And despite his shooting being of this game, he made up for it in other areas. He ended up with six rebounds, four assists and a steal. Even super heroes need a day of. White had two rebounds and an assist. Kay had five rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block as he did a lil bit of everything in this one. The highest scorer of the bench for Perth was Wagstaff, who had seven.
SEM continued their blistering start to their opening campaign as they just edged the Hawks by four points, 106-102 in what was a closely contested affair. SEM won Q1, 26-23. And Q2 as well, 27-23. The 3rd they just lost, 31-26. But they got back to winning ways in the 4th, 27-25. Roberson led the way with 26 points, while Creek had 23. Madgen scored 14 and Pineau had 12. Roberson had five threes as he also got four boards and 10 dimes. Creek had six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Pineau got a double-double with 10 boards and he also had one assist. Madgen had four boards and a dime. Of the pine, Adnam scored eight, to go along with his three rebounds and three assists.
Saturday, October 26
Melbourne United v New Zealand Breakers
Cotton got em, as in the dying seconds of the game he hit the match-winning jump-shot to condemn Melbourne to a two-point loss. Trimble could not make the potential match-winning three, thus continuing his rusty start to life in Melbourne. Over the four quarters, United scored 22, 22, 21 and 28 points respectively. A very high-scoring output from them indeed. However, over the same quarters they leaked, 19, 23, 27 and 26 points. Good enough offensively, but not quite defensively. Trimble scored 21, Long had 19, Goulding had 17 and McCarron 10 points. Coming of the pine, both Barlow and Pledger had eight each. Melo also had one board, five dimes and one steal. Long had a double-double as he pulled in 12 rebounds, along with three assists and two blocks. Goulding had four threes, along with three rebounds, two assists and a steal. United are now 0-3 to start their season and currently reside in 8th position on the table!
The Breakers lost both games to the Kings this round. Their 2nd was by 10 points (already analysed) and their 1st was by just five points. New Zealand did themselves proud as they pushed the Kings all the way in Sydney in the 96-91 defeat. The Breakers won the opening quarter, 28-27 and drew the 4th, 24-all. They, unfortunately for them, tightly lost the middle two. Those scores were 21-19 and 24-20 respectively.
Henry was impressive with 12 points of the bench. Loe also scored 12 points. And leading the way was Hopson with 27 points and Webster with 21. Hampton also scored seven, while Abercrombie had 11 rebounds. Hospon also had three rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Webster’s other stats included two boards, three dimes, a steal and a swat. Loe got two rebounds. Henry had two boards, a dime, a steal and a block. Hampton had three rebounds, an assist, two steals and a block, as he showcased his versatility against the Kings. Hampton is doing just fine for a kid his age in a professional league. However, if NZ want to win games then he’ll have to up his scoring input from 7.0ppg, especially against the Wildcats. He’ll need at least 14-16p for them to be in with a chance of an upset victory.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win at $1.33 (Bet365)
Sydney Kings v Brisbane Bullets
The Kings beat the Breakers in both their matches played last round, the first was a tight one by five points in Sydney. The second one, over in New Zealand was hardly any easier as they had to come from behind in the 76-66 win. The Kings won quarters one and three, as well as four, However, they were thoroughly outplayed in the third as they lost 24-15. The scores of the other quarters were as follows, 25-21, 17-13 and a big 19-8. That strong fourth quarter was huuuuuge for the Kings! Ware had 17 and Tate 15 points. Bogut scored 13 and Didi had 11. Moller also had nine of the pine. Ware hit three from beyond the arc as he had, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Tate had six boards, two dimes and a steal. Bogut was insane as he had 16 rebounds, a dime, two steals and a block. Man is regaining that MVP form. And Didi got two steals among his other stats.
Brisbane couldn’t quite get it done in their latest effort against Adelaide as they lost by six points, 104-98. Q1-4 were as follows. 28-26 to Brisbane. 30-18 to Adelaide. 26-23 to Brisbane. 26-25 to Brisbane. That crucial 2nd quarter cost them in the end. Patterson scored 21, while Hodgson had 16 points. Sobey had 13 as did Cadee of the bench. Braun also scored 11. Cadee had three threes as he also had one rebound, five assists and a steal. Sobey had five rebounds, three assists and a steal. That all happened while the man of the show, former-Hawk Patterson got four boards, six dimes and a steal. Hodgson’s stats included five rebounds, two assists and a steal and a block each. No Kevin Lisch in this one, and as a result, Sobey and Gliddon have to capitalize on the absence of the star Shooting Guard. Doing so will give the Bullets a great chance at a W in this one.
Betting tip: Pick the Kings to win at $1.40 (UniBet)
Sunday, October 27
S.E. Melbourne Phoenix v Adelaide 36ers
SEM are currently 2nd on the ladder in their first season. They are also ahead of/have better records then sides such as Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, all playoffs teams from last season. They have been very, very impressive so far this season to say the least. Both Creek and Roberson are averaging an incredible 25.3ppg. That’s to go along with 8.0rpg and 5.7apg for Creek. And 2.3rpg and 6.3apg for Roberson. The star-duo are absolutely tearing up the NBL so far and both would have their names in the early MVP conversation. They opened their season with a 91-88 win over Melbourne in the Derby. They then whooped Brisbane by 20 points. After that they stood strong in the clutch as they edged the Hawks 106 points to 102. And coming up against the 36ers, they’ll be looking to make it 4/4. However, Randle, Moore, Griffin & Co might have something to say about that. Stay tuned!
Before the 36ers win over the Hawks, they also beat the Bullets in a tight and tense encounter, they won by six, 104-98. The most critical quarter of the game was the 2nd. Adelaide lost every other quarter in this game, but because of their big 30-18 scoreline during that period, they scraped through with the close win. Griffin scored 22 points while both Johnson and McVeigh had 16 each. Outside of them, Randle had 13 and both Moore and Froling got 10. Griffin also had six boards, a dime, one steal and three blocks in the massive effort by him! Johnson added four rebounds and seven assists. McVeigh also had a rebound and a steal. Randle had two rebounds, five assists and three steals added to his stat-sheet. The 36ers are now 2-1 on the season and own a Top Four place.
Betting tip: Pick SEM to be victorious at $1.40 (UniBet)
Illawarra Hawks v Perth Wildcats
The Hawks lost 2/2 this round. Before their close defeat to Adelaide, they also went down 106-102 to SEM in another tight affair. The Hawks lost Q1, 26-23. They also lost Q2, 27-23. They came back to win Q3, 31-26. But couldn’t do quite enough to win Q4 as they lost, 27-25. SEM were the better team, but Illawarra weren’t far of the ball in this one. Brooks had 23 and Coenraad 16. Blanchfield had 15 and Ball 11. Froling scored 10 of the pine. Brooks had four three’s as he had a board, five dimes and a steal. Coenraad had five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Blanchfield got three boards, three dimes and a steal. Melo was chirpy with seven boards, four dimes and a steal. Both Ogilvy and Grida also scored eight points a piece in the close loss. Melo couldn’t get the better of Cotton in their first meeting together. Hopefully, he’ll be able to the second time around?
Bryce Cotton called game. In not the first match-winning shot he’s hit against Melbourne, he made the game-winning shot in the final few seconds of the game to beat his and his sides rivals 95-93. Perth lost the first quarter, 22-19. They won the second. 23-22. They were commanding in the third, winning 27-21 and they lost the fourth 28-26. This was a match that was close all the way through. Cotton scored a big 27 points. White had 19, Kay 15 and Hunt 11. Norton also scored nine points of the pine. Cotton went 2/3 from deep as he also had five boards, two dimes and a steal. White had one rebound and three assists. Kay had eight boards, four dimes and a big four steals. Hunt also had five rebounds, seven assists and the one steal.
Betting tip: Pick Perth to claim the win at $1.60 (UniBet)
Monday, October 28
Cairns Taipans v Melbourne United
Cairns handed the Wildcats a 99-76, 23 point loss in their latest effort. It was the Taipans first victory of the season and it was also the Wildcats first loss of the season. Through quarters 1-4, Cairns scored 24, 22, 28 and 25 points respectively. In the final two quarters of the game they also kept Perth to 16 points and 16 points as they were simply ferocious. Both Oliver and Deng had 22 points each. Machado scored 18 and Koi 13. Newbill had 11. Of the bench, Jawai and Kenny had four points each. Djeric had three and Krslovic had two. Dne shot 7/11, Machado shot 7/10, Newbill went 5/10, Koi went 5/10 and Oliver went 9/11. All the starters shot exceptionally well. And up against a weakened Melbourne side, with that sort of an effort, they might just be able to get the job done, depending on the circumstances.
In United’s close loss to Perth, there was some bad shooting performances that soured the defeat even more then it should have been. Acquil scored just two points. Melo made just 3/7 two’s. Barlow made 2/7. Ili 1/4. McDaniel missed his only shot. Despite all that, they lost to the Wildcats by just two points. Some improved performances could see United absolutely turn on the back burners against Cairns. Key word there being could. United are a deep and talented team, but it hasn’t quite come together yet for them this season. But you just get the feeling that it could all flow against the Taipans. But Cairns smacked the Wildcats, so it won’t be easy by any account of the imagination. This will be a good one to watch.
Betting tip: Pick Melbourne to win at $1.50 (BetEasy)
Best Bet of the Round
Pick the Kings to win at $1.40 (UniBet)