The following are selected previews with betting tips for Round 21 of the 2021 NBL season.
Tuesday, June 01
Illawarra Hawks vs Perth Wildcats
WIN Entertainment Centre
This final round matchup sees the Hawks who are on the verge of the finals face the Bryce Cotton-less Wildcats. The WIN Entertainment Centre should see the most passionate and the most loyal Illawarra supporters turn out in droves as they attempt to soar far higher than any critic expected them to this campaign. While for Perth it’s all about maintaining momentum for them as they head into yet another end-of-season-campaign.
Illawarra’s last round matchup saw them leave home with a well-deserved but also hard-fought 97-83 victory over Adelaide. Whist for Perth at the RAC Arena they completed their clean sweep of the Kings this season with an 81-67 win. A match in which they kept opposing star G Casper Ware to just a single point on 0/11 shooting!!!
The key Q for the 19-15 Hawks was the 2nd where they won 21-13, overall this helped give them a 14-point lead headed into HT. While for the Wildcats it was Q4 where they may have only put up 9 points themselves, but they also kept the Kings to that exact same amount.
In the 14-point victory vs the 36ers, Coenraad and Grida had 12 and 10PTS off the bench respectively, while Harvey once again exploded for the Hawks with 23PTS. Coenraad shot 4/6 as he also pulled in 2 boards. Grida also shot 4/6 as he additionally had 1REB and 1ST. And for Harvey he made 3 3’s from beyond the arc as he also got 6REB and 5AS. And in Perth’s 14-point win Blanchfield produced 23PTS, Mooney 19, while Travers was exceptional with 16. Blanchfield hit a pair from deep to go along with his 2REB, 1AS and 2ST. As for Mooney he shot 50.0% from the floor along with his 10REB and 1AS. While for 19-year-old Travers he shot 70.0% along with his 8REB, 1AS and 2ST.
Illawarra have featured in the post-season just five times throughout their past 14 attempts and that is a pretty shocking record. Yet Brian Goorjian their head coach has a perfect record when it comes to leading his teams to the final’s series, he’s never missed them whilst in charge of an NBL club. You’d simply have to say it would be hard to see them losing this one given everything that’s on the line for their club … but Perth are also Perth and you can never truly discount that factor either.
Betting tips: Pick Perth to win at $2.00 (Bet365)
Also pick them to win Q1 at $1.96 (Unibet)
Wednesday, June 02
New Zealand Breakers vs Cairns Taipans
Energy Events Centre
This might not seem like the biggest matchup between NZ and Cairns at the Energy Event Centre given the Breakers have 11 wins to the Taipans 8. But Basketball is well and truly back in NZ now! Whilst both sides should be fighting tooth and nail to restore some pride back onto their logos and to give their supporters something worth cheering about and something worth talking about. Make no mistake even though this game means nothing in the general context of the NBL season, it in fact means everything to the two clubs playing and all their fans across both NZ and Australia.
The Taipans latest effort was a heavy 101-76 defeat at the hands of Melbourne in a next to empty Qudos Bank Arena. Hopson came off the bench to torch them with 21PTS and that about sums up their miserable effort. Whilst for the Breakers at Spark Arena they came up a bit short in their 95-83 defeat to Brisbane. With former Breaker Patterson coming up with 21PTS he wasn’t afraid at all to give it to his former employers!
Looking at the Taipans their season can be just about summed up by their Q1 efforts vs United. Scoring just 13 while leaking 29 is just about right for them this season. While for the Breakers losing Q2 25-12 was severely damaging to them in the overall context of the match.
Dufelmeier had 13PTS off the bench for Cairns, while Deng also had that as a starter. And Djeric was pretty commanding as well with 16PTS to his name. Dufelmeier hit on 57.1% of his 2-point attempts as he also got 5REB and 1AS. While Deng converted 60% of his inside-the-arc attempts as he had 2REB, 1ST and 2BL. And for Djeric he converted 4 of his 7 attempted shots from deep in what was a massive performance from him. He also had 1REB, 3AS and 1ST. And for NZ Randolph was electric with 30PTS! He shot 11/18 from the floor to go along with 6REB, 1AS and 5ST! Delany was also strong with 17PTS, 5REB and 1AS. And finally Iverson pulled in 16 boards! Whilst his other stats included 8PTS, 1AS and 3BL.
Mike Kelly wont return as HC of the Taipans next season. King is also reportedly frustrated with the sporadic minutes he’s received this season and supposedly won’t be back for the next campaign either. It’s all unravelling for the Taipans and it looks set to reach a pretty bad boiling point if they go down in this clash. However as they recently highlighted against the Phoenix they can at least be somewhat unified when they choose to be, so look for them to do ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ and come out with a fire in their bellies against NZ in an attempt to claim and all-decisive win.
South East Melbourne Phoenix vs Brisbane Bullets
Cairns Pop Up Arena
The Phoenix’s latest match was an extremely unexpected loss to Cairns at the Cairns Pop Up Arena. There they lost 94-87 in what was their 15th defeat of the campaign. Whilst for the Bullets they obtained exactly the result they needed. This as they toppled NZ 95-83 at Spark Arena. Wetzell put up a big 25PTS for S.E.M while Patterson produced 21 for Brisbane.
The Phoenix’s key Q in their 7-point loss was Q4 where they went down 31-14. The Taipans produced the simply shocking comeback in the end Q. While for the Bullets theirs was the 2nd, here they won 25-12. And it can be strongly argued that they in fact won the game with that sterling Q2 performance.
Some of S.E.M’s key performers from their clash include both Moore and Broekhoff who had 9PTS each off the bench. Moore also had 3REB, 2AS and 2BL as he shot 2/3 from the floor. While Broekhoff went 3/5 as he also got 3REB. And he had a franchise record 6ST as well! What a steal his performance was (no pun intended)! And Creek also had 13PTS as he shot 50.0% He also got 4REB and 5AS. And for Brisbane some of theirs were Hodgson with 16PTS, Sobey with 15 and Johnson with 14. Hodgson shot 8/9 as he also got 9 boards and 2 swats. Sobey also had 7REB, 6AS and 1BL. While Johnson got 4REB, 1AS and 1ST.
Finals is on the line right here for both sides so you just know it’s going to be a tight affair! There’s also a fair amount of talent spread across each franchise including the likes of former NBA talents Mitch Creek and Lamar Patterson so there’s that to factor in as well. ATTACK will be the name of the game and whoever does a better job of that shouuuuuld come away with the W. However for the losers nothing but pure and utterly painful disappointment awaits them. The weight on each side here and the pressure being placed on each side here simply cannot be understated!