Congratulations to the Adelaide 36ers who have won their first minor championship since 2000. This team has been the best in the league for a while now, and with the rest of the competition wallowing in evenness, it’s never been better for the Sixers to win the title, which would be the club’s first since 2002.
Question of the Week
With the difference between second and seventh only two wins, who will fill the other three playoff positions?
Points per game: 92.9 (1); points against per game: 89.0 (8); net: +3.9 (1)
Was this the most impressive week of the Sixers campaign so far? They demolished the Bullets by 33 points with Jerome Randle having a lazy 22 points on 6/6 shooting and a +39 in only twenty minutes. That’s right, read that again. The team backs it up two days later with an 87-73 strangling of Sydney. It seems this team can get better, with Terrance Ferguson having 13 points in the Brisbane game and Anthony Drmic adding 11 points and five rebounds in the Sydney game.
Points per game: 88.5 (2); points against per game: 88.4 (7); net: +0.1 (3)
Tough round for the Hawks who dropped two away wins that could have separated them into definite playoff contention. Now they are still fighting for their lives at the tail end of the season. The good news was the AJ Ogilvy seems to have gained his mojo back, averaging 15 points and eight rebounds while shooting 67% from the field in the two losses.
Points per game: 84.7 (4); points against per game: 84.0 (5); net: +0.7 (2)
With the Breakers roaring up the ladder, it was a tight race to see who would have the third spot on the power rankings. Even though the United was beaten by Brisbane team who had lost their last four coming into the game, they are still one of the teams with the strongest case of knocking off the Sixers in the playoffs. Melbourne should also hope that Casper Ware and Chris Goulding don’t shoot 5/22 from outside the arc every game.
Points per game: 85.0 (3); points against per game: 85.5 (6); net: -0.5 (5)
If anyone can name a better mid-season addition than Kevin Dillard, I’ll be greatly surprised. After putting up 26 points in New Zealand’s win over the Hawks, he added 20 points in their victory over the Wildcats. The Breakers have now won four straight and have bolted up the ladder into equal second and are peaking at the right time. The oldest man in the league turned back the clock this round, as Kirk Penney averaged 24 points and five rebounds in the two games.
Points per game: 82.5 (5); points against per game: 82.8 (3); net: -0.3 (4)
This is the first time all season that the Kings have had a negative +/-, as shown above. And the way they played on the weekend it will probably keep dropping. Even though it was against the barnstorming Sixers, giving up a 20-9 second quarter is unfathomable for a team with this talent. No offense to Tom Garlepp who is still a fantastic player, but he shouldn’t be the standout with the likes of Lisch, Cadee, Whittington, Maric and Powell.
Points per game: 80.6 (7); points against per game: 81.3 (1); net: -0.7 (6)
If Dillard is the steal of the midseason addition, Bryce Cotton is very, very, very close. Another 53 points over two games in the round just shows how good this guy is. And how quickly he has gelled with the Wildcats. With only five games remaining and three of them at home, Perth has a real chance of keeping their playoff streak alive. By that time the three-guard rotation of Cotton, Casey Prather, and Damian Martin should be ready to go.
Points per game: 80.4 (8); points against per game: 81.6 (2); net: -1.2 (7)
In their last six games, the Taipans have gone loss, win, loss, win, loss, win. If they can get some consistency and win a few in a row, then playoffs are still in reach as they are only a win behind the fourth spot. Beating Illawarra is a great start with Cam Gliddon having a piece of everything. He had 18 points, one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block and one turnover. It may be unfair for someone who has just entered the country to an entirely new team, but new import Tony Mitchell will need to work out his game and this team quickly if they want to have a chance on postseason fun.
Points per game: 81.9 (6); points against per game: 84.0 (4); net: -2.1 (8)
Going from a 33-point drubbing at the hands of the Sixers to a 17-point flogging of Melbourne is enough to give anyone whiplash. It was fantastic to see Torrey Craig have a great game (24 points, seven rebounds) after a string of average performances but it seems that this team is too injured and beat up to be a real chance of making it into the top four. It’s mathematically possible, but it’s probably not wise to bet the house on it.