The following is the preview with betting tips for the Grand Final series G2 of the 2019/20 NBL season.
Friday, March 13
Perth Wildcats v Sydney Kings
G1 Recap: A cold as hell Ware shot the potentially match-winning three, the thousands of Kings fans that had filled up Qudos Bank Arena, for a slight second had hope that he could redeem himself, but as it became obvious the shot was going awry and Perth would win, that hope turned to despair and anger. Ultimately, the shot missed, a player who was 1/14 and 0/10 from deep, had missed from 3, surprise, surprise! Many questions asked why Tate didn’t take it to the rim or Kickert didn’t get a shot? Ultimately he cost the Kings big time, as Perth prevailed 88-86 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney to clinch G1 and gain the ascendancy in the series. Q1 saw the Kings just win, 26-24. Q2 was all Perth’s, as they won 28-23. The Kings regained their previously stolen advantage heading into Q4, as they won 24-16. But in Q4 Perth showed all their class, talent and experience, to win 20-13 and ultimately claim the two-point victory. Thus giving themselves all the momentum, headed into G2 in Perth @ RAC Arena.
For the winners, Cotton was massive with 32PTS. He hit 11/22 shots, as he also had 6REB, 4AST and 1STL next to his name. Kay shot 5/7, en route to 14PTS, as he did a bit of everything with 6REB, 3AST, 2STL and 3BL. Plumlee scored 10PTS, as he shot 100%. His other stats included 7REB, 3AST and 1STL. To round out the starters, Norton scored 9PTS, shooting 4/7. And White shot just 3/12, scoring only 7PTS. Of the bench, Steindl was big scoring 9PTS, as he hit a pair of 3’s to contribute to that. He also pulled in a board and had a steal next to his name. Martin had 3PTS, 5REB, 2AST and 3STL. And both Majok and Wagstaff scored 2PTS each.
Ware wasn’t able to stand out, as he scored just 5PTS, shooting 7.1% from the floor. However, Bogut did have 18PTS, Lisch 17 and Tate 11. Bogut shot 72.7% from the floor, as he also got 12REB, 3AST and 1BL. Lisch hit 4 from beyond the arc, as he also got 2REB and 1AST. Tate went 1/1 from beyond the arc, as he also had 7REB, 2AST and 1STL. Of the bench, Bruce shot 50%, good for 11PTS. He also had 1AST and 1STL. Cooks had 5PTS, 11REB, 2AST, 1STL and 1BL. Louzada had 9PTS and Kickert 6.
Cotton and Bogut were ultimately the standout players from either side in this clash. Cotton’s scoring ultimately meant that no matter how many points Perth were down by, with Cotton shooting fire, they’d never really be that far of Sydney. And as for Bogut, the way he performed was just like that of his MVP season last year. He was a dominant force inside the pain, constantly altering shots wherever and whenever he could. Both these supremely talented athletes have a lot going for them headed into the second clash.
Key Players: Bryce Jiron Cotton. There are two reasons Sydney lost the last match. Ware played terribly. And the fact that Cotton further etched his name into NBL history as one of the best ever players to grace our beloved shores. He is a 2X NBL Champion for a reason. He has a NBL Finals MVP for a reason. He has 2X regular season NBL MVP’s for a reason. He’s led the NBL 3X in scoring for a reason. He’s played in the NBA for a reason. The reason? Because this dude is an absolute superstar. He will again be tasked with creating the majority of the offence for Perth. He’ll be tasked with having to shoot it from deep. He’ll be tasked with having to get inside and past the likes of Cooks, Didi and Bogut, to get close to the rim. And so, so much more. Will he be able to handle it all? Yep and with ease at that. The Kings need to focus on double teaming him, close/ in around the 3-point line, so that his movement can be greatly restricted and he’ll have no choice but to go backwards, or to pass the ball. How Cotton performs with the ball in hand and how the Kings try to mitigate the impact he has, will go a long, long way to deciding the outcome of the game.
Andrew Michael Bogut. The former Buck, Warrior, Maverick, Cavalier and Laker had a vintage performance last game. And he needs to back it up, this time in Perth. No matter how hard Plumlee and others tried, Bogut could just not be stopped inside the pain last game. He needs more minutes in the 4th and more touches in the paint. And if you have to slow down for him if your the Kings, so be it. Because as he showed last game, He can/ still does produce at the highest level of Basketball there is to offer. As crucial as this as well, is his average of 7.2DR per game. If Cotton, or Kay, or Plumlee, or whoever misses on the off chance, the Kings don’t want to give them a second chance to score points. Bogut’s abilities to get the defensive boards, will help to stop that in a massive way. But it’s so, so crucial that he plays late on in the 4th, so that Kay and Plumlee will struggle to get those rebounds when Bogut is on the floor. By his own standards, Bogut probably wouldn’t be all that happy with how his regular season panned out. But he has a chance to change the narrative in this series. And that’s exactly what he is doing in the most impactful way possible.
What Should Happen: One of two things will happen here;
Either A; Perth will smash the Kings and continue on strongly with the momentum that they gained from their G1 victory.
B; Sydney will realize that the series will be all but over if they were to go down 2-0 to Perth.
B to me is what will happen in this encounter. The Kings have so much riding in/on this game. They’re trying to win their first Championship since 2005 and in the process rid themselves of the dreaded Violet Crumbles tag. They’re too good and too talented to go down 2-0 to Perth. They were 1st all season long for a reason and have a deep and talented squad proudly representing the franchise. It might not be the prettiest of games at times, but at the end of the day, Sydney should get the job done in this encounter to bring the series back to Sydney tied at 1-all. In order for this to happen though, crucially Ware will need to redeem himself from his horrible 1/14 shooting performance in G1. He should be better with his shot selection in this one and also more careful with the ball in this one. That’ll give Sydney the edge they need, with a mentally refreshed and firing Ware to take out this game an result right from under the Wildcats noses.
Ultimate Defining Factors: For Sydney, Ware performing now is as critical and as crucial as it’ll ever be. He’ll have seen the stats, seen the comments, seen the news. He’ll know that the whole of Sydney is riding on him to take this next one out. And for somebody who averaged just under 20.0PPG this season, he’s poised to do exactly that. Man will be on a mission in this one, there’s no doubt about that. Expect a monster game or a monster effort from him as he attempts to see Sydney through. He’ll get 20+ points as he attempts to lead his side to a jubilant victory. For Perth,they need to rid themselves of the defensive presences of the likes of Bogut and Cooks. If they can get them in a little bit of foul trouble early on, then they’ll play a lot more reserved. Then it turn, that makes it a lot easier for Perth to go straight to the rim. If they take them out of the equation, it’ll get a lot better for them paint wise and close-to-the-rim wise. Only time will turn what works and what doesn’t in this should be fiery and closely contested encounter though.
Best Bets for the Game:
Pick Sydney to win the game at $2.64 (SportsBet)
Also pick Sydney to win Q1 at $2.25 (UniBet)
And back Perth to win Q2 at $1.72 (UniBet)