The following is a preview with betting tips for the best-of-five Grand Final Series in the 2022/23 NBL season. The game covered is Game Five between the Sydney Kings and New Zealand Breakers.
Sydney Kings vs New Zealand Breakers
Wednesday March 15, 7:30pm
Remember when Andrew Gaze was head coach of the Kings, or when Adam Forde was leading the charge for the ‘Purple & Gold’? Or when Jerome Randle desperately tried to lead the team out of NBL purgatory, or when Casper Ware was the leading Man at Qudos Bank Arena? Before Sydney collected last seasons championship, many would’ve been of the opinion that it would be a long, long time before they ever won another one. Now with the ever influential Paul Smith & Andrew Bogut leading the charge behind the scenes, along with Chris Pongrass, Luc Longley, Chase Buford & Co, the ‘Hoops Capital of Australia’ is now just forty-minutes away from adding another Grand Final series victory to the inside of their already bulging trophy cabinet. And that tedious wait for a sustained period of success is all the more beautiful when you consider that the reigning MVP Xavier Cooks has just earned himself an NBA contract from next season onwards with the Washington Wizards. Whilst the perennial emergences of the likes of Angus Glover and Jordan Hunter has left everybody stunned. This is a side that will fight tooth and nail before their raucous home supporters in a grand attempt to triumph for championship NO.5 in franchise history.
For New Zealand, a win at Olympic Park would also represent championship NO.5 in franchise history for them. And just like the Kings they too have taken the long path to success as this is the first time in five seasons that they’re competing in Playoffs Basketball. Owner Matt Walsh has done some incredible things for the club, likewise current head coach Mody Maor. According to Walsh, as per the NBL’s official website, “He is 100% genuine and the players can feel that. He’s got them believing they can win a championship”. And he wouldn’t be wrong either, as Maor’s attitude and work ethic towards winning has seemingly been infectious and has spread across the whole squad rapidly. This is something that can only be considered positive news after their dismal finish last campaign. In pretty disappointing fashion the club finished last with a 5-23 record, statistically their worst ever campaign by a significant mile. But thanks to Maor, Barry Brown Jr., ex-King Will McDowell-White, Jarrell Brantley, Derek Pardon & Co the club is on the verge of doing something spectacular. The Breakers to their utmost credit play a tough, physical brand of Basketball and come tipoff for Game Five, Sydney will be somewhat rattled by it at least.
Last time out on the floor at Spark Arena on Sunday afternoon, the Breakers produced one hell of an effort, as they beat the Kings in Game Four, 80-70. On the brink of elimination they produced an electric opening two quarters. They triumphed in Q1 18-12 and in Q2 21-15 to take a massive 12-point lead into the half-time break. And despite a strong pullback from the visitors in Q3 winning 25-15, that evidently wasn’t enough. That as New Zealand once again pulled away in Q4 triumphing 26-18 to collect the well-deserved and hard-earned victory. Jarrell Brantley was humungous with 23PTS to his name as he shot 9/15 from the floor + 5REB + 1AST + 1BLK. Whilst off the bench Barry Brown Jr. was once again scintillating with 20PTS, 5REB, 3AST and 1STL. Will McDowell-White also had a game to remember via his 8/12 converted shots, good for 19PTS, alongside his 6REB, 5AST and 1STL. And Tom Abercrombie also chipped in with an impressive 6STL.
As for Sydney Angus Glover was incredibly potent off the pine as in under 16-minutes of playing time he conjured up 12PTS, 2REB, 2AST and 2STL. Derrick Walton Jr. also had 18PTS via 8/15 shooting, in addition to 3REB, 4AST and 1STL. Xavier Cooks snatched up 10PTS, 5REB, 3AST and 1BLK. Whilst Justin Simon also pulled down a handy seven boards too.
Game Five is here and anything can happen! History shows us that both in Australia and abroad these are the moments when the real superstars come to play the most. Will Derick Walton Jr. shake off the Jaylen Adams comparisons and put in a performance to remember? Can Xavier Cooks and Justin Simon dominate down low? Will the Breakers go from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs in just two seasons? Is Jarrell Brantley about to be named Finals MVP during his maiden season ‘down under’?
In Game One Justin Simon produced 18PTS, 6REB and 3BLK. Over that same Game One period Jarrell Brantley came up with 16PTS, 7REB, 2AST, 2STL and 1BLK. During Game Two Simon had a game for the ages with 12PTS, 9REB and 6STL. Whilst Brantley secured 20PTS, 6REB, 1AST, 1STL and 1BLK. And during Game Three, the electric Small Forward Simon locked down 13PTS, 1REB, 6AST, 1STL and 2BLK. Those numbers meanwhile for the always moving Brantley were 10PTS, 4REB, 2AST, 3STL and 1BLK. And finally during the most recent Game Four, Simon created 6PTS, 7REB and 1STL. As for Brantley he added to his overall tally with 23PTS, 5REB, 1AST and 1BLK. For the two respective rivals this entire series, they have arguably been their most impressive, consistent and hard-working players. Simon coming up once again versus a dual Forward such as Brantley will be a tough matchup for both players. However it has the very strong potential to be one in which whomever comes out on top, might not only collect the impressive individual accolade of Finals MVP, but also in the process lead their team to an almighty and glorious championship. Game bloody on!
*This clash will be available to view via ESPN/Kayo Freebies and for those in New Zealand, Sky Sport.
Betting tips: Look for the Kings to win at $1.44 (Dabble)
Also look for them to win Q1 at $1.63 (UniBet)
Meanwhile you can also back SYD to score 83+ PTS at $1.55 & NZ 79+ PTS at $1.57 (Bet365)
And back Half One to be the highest scoring half at $1.71 (Bet365)