Listen to those kitty’s roar! The Wildcats are coming for that three-peat, and is there anyone left in the league that can stop them?
Question of the Week
Now that New Zealand has come back down to earth, can either Melbourne or Adelaide overtake them?
Next Round: Brisbane (home)
ORtg: 121.9 (1); DRtg: 108.9 (3); Net: +12.9 (1)
Before starting on Bryce Cotton, there must be someone who gets the most kudos out of anyone. That man is Lucas Walker, who broke a Modern Era record with an unthinkable twelve offensive rebounds in Perth’s win against Adelaide. That’s more than the average of six of the eight teams per game. Big props to the reborn veteran.
Going back to Cotton, this team will go as far as he and JP Tokoto will take them. Having Walker, Wagstaff, Brandt and Martin are all well and good, but when either of these two is on their game, this team is exceptionally hard to beat.
Next Round: Adelaide (home)
ORtg: 116.2 (2); DRtg: 112.9 (5); Net: +3.3 (2)
That’s three losses from the last four contests after winning nine in a row is not the time to panic. The Breakers went down to a very good Sixers squad, in Adelaide, with DJ Newbill shooting 3/12 from the field. That’s not going to happen constantly. Just pick yourself up and try again, which is lucky because they’re up against Adelaide next round, this time in the comfort of home.
Next Round: New Zealand (away)
ORtg: 112.5 (4); DRtg: 110.1 (4); Net: +2.4 (3)
Losing Mitch Creek, who is arguably the best Australian in the league this season, for three weeks could have been a big deal for this team. Fortunately for the Sixers, they have guys like Josh Childress and Ramone Moore to fill in the gaps.
For a team as big as New Zealand, it should be heartening for Adelaide fans to see Daniel Johnson take twelve free throws, showing that’s he’s not afraid of the tall timber inside.
4.Melbourne United (–)
Next Round: Illawarra (away)
ORtg: 110.1 (6); DRtg: 108.6 (2); Net: +1.5 (5)
What has happened to Casper Ware? Last season: 22ppg on 42.5% shooting. This season? 14ppg on 38.9% shooting. His field goal attempts are down which is obviously due to Casey Prather coming on board, but the effectiveness is just not there. He’s second in the league in assists per game, but as a shooting guard first and foremost, this is very unlike him.
Next Round: Brisbane (home), Sydney (away)
ORtg: 109.0 (7); DRtg: 107.2 (1); Net: +1.8 (4)
The way Cairns plays is so much different to how the game of basketball is moving; it might as well be a different sport. They’re low scoring, grind out, win by committee kind of game, and it’s working. They kept Melbourne to their third lowest score of the season, with the United scoring only 59 against Perth and 69 against the Taipans again. It was sixteen points under their season average, all the while having five players in double figures, none over thirteen points. Textbook Taipans.
Next Round: Melbourne (home)
ORtg: 110.5 (5); DRtg: 115.1 (6); Net: -4.6 (6)
There must be something wrong with AJ Ogilvy, injury-wise. He just didn’t seem altogether in the game against the Wildcats and must be carried over from when he missed the previous game. Hopefully, he gets his body sorted because when healthy, there aren’t many players in the league that can get the wood over him.
Next Round: Cairns (away), Perth (away)
ORtg: 113.1 (3); DRtg: 117.9 (7); Net: -4.9 (7)
This team is slowly but surely getting to a point where they want to be. It may not be enough to make the finals, but it will be a damn good show. Daniel Kickert is on track for his second consecutive 50/40/90 season, even with his performance against Sydney of 4/12 FG and 1/6 3P.
Losing to New Zealand by only seven is a good sign and beating Sydney is a foregone conclusion right now so their next two games will be very important for the rest of the season. The Bullets are only two games out of finals contention and beating two teams above them on the ladder will go a long way for postseason glory.
Next Round: Cairns (home)
ORtg: 107.5 (8); DRtg: 119.6 (8); Net: -12.1 (8)
It seems this team has bottomed out. They’re last in all three categories above and have won only one game in the last nine tries. It’s not only that the Kings are losing, but it’s also the way they are doing it. The team lacks discipline, grit and determination on the defensive end, and the offence is just guys doing what they want and playing hero ball.
The only silver lining is that out of the fifteen games played so far, ten have been on the road with seven of the next nine games played in Sydney. Can the Kings cause an NBL miracle and claw back the four games they need to make the finals? Most likely not. But it’s fun to dream and gives them a glimmer of hope. Otherwise, it’s all doom and gloom in the Harbour City.