The season has hit the halfway mark, and the ladder still hasn’t worked itself yet. By the luxury of playing the most games, Sydney is leading, but one game separates the rest of the seven teams. Will the season continue with this crazy close ladder or will some teams go on winning streaks to create some breathing room between the contenders and pretenders?
Question of the Week
Does Rotnei Clarke have the quickest release seen in the NBL?
Points per Game: 82.7 (6); points against per game: 79.8 (1); Net: +2.9 (1)
Chemistry is a massive part of basketball, and it seems that not having Steve Blake on the team has done wonders for Sydney’s chemistry. Beating the high-flying Hawks after slipping from the Power Rankings top spot is a great show of form. Particularly for Jason Cadee who picked up where he left from when Blake wasn’t on the team, with 22 points on great shooting.
Points per game: 83.1 (4); points against per game: 82.2 (4); Net: +0.9 (3)
Brisbane’s backcourt will dictate how far the team will travel this season. They may have a top three MVP candidate, but without a backup for Torrey Craig, it will be near impossible for the Bullets to win it all.
This was shown perfectly as in the Bullets’ 90-75 away win against Perth Jermaine Beal, and Adam Gibson had 34 points on 20 shots. In their 89-94 home loss to Cairns, they only had 16 points on 15 shots.
Points per game: 88.0 (2); points against per game: 85.8 (6); Net: +2.2 (2)
The Hawks may have lost against the Kings on Sunday, but it was one of the best games of the season for viewers. It had stars bringing their A Game, great highlights, and a fantastic atmosphere. For a team that was hovering around the bottom of the ladder, the Hawks have really pulled it together.
A lot of the credit should go to Rotnei Clarke, who has taken to his sixth man gig like a duck to water.
Points per game: 90.2 (1); points against per game: 94.0 (8); Net: -3.8 (8)
It’s been said before, but Daniel Johnson has such a significant impact on this team. It gives the Sixers another elite player that gives Jerome Randle more breathing room. He didn’t shoot well from the floor (2/8) but going to the line fourteen times was instrumental in the overtime win against Perth.
The Sixers are the most remarkable team at the halfway mark of the season, so hopefully, they can keep it up. It will be close to certain that if Adelaide makes the playoffs, Randle would be a good bet for MVP.
Points per game: 80.2 (8); points against per game: 80.3 (2); Net: -0.1 (5)
The Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is a complicated statistical formula that aims to encapsulate a player’s performance into one number. Reigning MVP Kevin Lisch is leading this season with a PER of 22.9. Travis Trice is second at 22.7. That’s how good he has been playing, and the Taipans have been an entirely different team when he is on the court. They’ve got Sydney and Adelaide next round, both at home, and could catapult into playoff contention with a couple of wins.
Points per game: 81.2 (7); points against per game: 82.0 (3); Net: -0.8 (6)
It may have possibly too early to slot the Wildcats at the top of the Power Rankings, but not many people could have seen them drop to second last on the ladder after four straight losses. They’ve given up over 88 points a game in those four defeats which are the complete opposite of what Perth Wildcat basketball is all about.
The Cats haven’t missed the playoffs in thirty years, is this the season to break the streak?
Points per game: 82.9 (5); points against per game: 82.3 (5); Net: +0.6 (4)
Casper Ware has been a revelation and people in Melbourne are starting to have some hope after the train wreck to start the season. The biggest factor into Melbourne’s playoff credentials is the upcoming three game away trip which will go a long way to deciding if the minor premiers from last season play in the post season.
If it weren’t for Rotnei Clarke’s bench magic, Tai Wesley would be feeling pretty good about himself for Sixth Man of the Year.
Points per game: 85.8 (3); points against per game: 87.9 (7); Net: -2.1 (7)
Adjusted to 36 minutes, Rob Loe averages 17 points and Eight rebounds. There’s not much else to say about a team that has lost its last four games by an average of 18 points and had to suspend one of their biggest names because of an off-court altercation.