Another topsy-turvy week. We had a blackout where the laws of basketball were called into question, an overtime thriller between one of the best rivalries in the sport and a couple of legends returning to their old stomping ground.
In a win for equality, second and second last are only separated by two wins. First place seems to have opened as well, with the formerly invincible Sydney Kings now only three wins ahead of sixth place.
Question of the Week
Have we already seen the Dunk of the Year from Greg Whittington?
Record – 7-3
Points per game: 81.8 (4); points against per game: 76.6 (1); net: +5.2 (1)
Are the Kings starting to see a little bit of the Violet Crumbles slink into their play so far? Sure, a win over Melbourne is a win but it seems that any B-Grade Coburg basketball team could beat the United now. The 86 points that Sydney gave up to the Bullets was the most allowed so far this season.
There isn’t going to be many better shooting performances this season than Kevin Lisch’s annihilation of Melbourne. 30 points on 12/14 shooting? Yes, please.
Record – 5-4
Points per game: 86.4 (2); points allowed per game: 83.7 (6); net: +2.7 (2)
The Breakers are the hottest team in the league right now, having won four of their last five and knocking off the defending champions in overtime in Perth. That was the Wildcats’ first home loss of the season after winning their first four.
Shout out to Thomas Abercrombie who is having one of his best seasons in his nine-year career, currently sitting in the eighth spot on the points per game category.
Record – 5-3
Points per game: 80.5 (5); points allowed per game: 79.0 (2); net: +1.5 (3)
The Perth home court has always been a fortress for the Wildcats so losing to their biggest rivals in such a way would have had to have taken some wind out of their sails. Matty Knight deserves to keep his head high, though, having 24 points and 13 rebounds and it seems that he is finally 100% healthy and confident which is a huge asset for the team.
This segment may have got a bit ahead of itself by shouting to the rooftops how good Jaron Johnson was last week because it seems to have given him a big head. 3/16 shooting is not a great return, especially in such a high stakes game.
Record – 5-4
Points per game: 79.8 (7); points allowed per game: 79.6 (3); net: +0.3 (5)
That’s more like it from the Bullets. A massive statement game against the Kings to start the round is exactly the kind of sign Brisbane needs to show moving forward. They lead in every statistical category in a very comprehensive win. They backed that up with another win over cross-state rival Cairns. It may not have meant much a couple of weeks ago, but now it’s a quality win.
Cam Bairstow’s shooting touch still isn’t quite right, but when he grabs nine and ten rebounds in the two games, it shows that he is trying to impact the game in any way.
PS. With the way Brisbane’s guards have been putrid all season, maybe it might be time to call on a particular dumped former MVP point guard to join the Sunshine State?
Record – 4-5
Points per game: 85.1 (3); points allowed per game: 84.7 (7); net: +0.4 (4)
For a team that is giving up the second-most opponent points per game, Illawarra’s defense was fantastic against the 36ers. To force Jerome Randle and Nathan Sobey, two of the top four scorers in the league, to shoot just 13/42 is inspiring. It was a great win for a team that was on the verge on slipping away from the pack.
It’s a little worrying how little AJ Ogilvy’s production has been this season. Last year’s performance where he was named to the All NBL First Team had created a lot of hype coming into this one, but it’s just not there. His defense has been great as usual, but he needs to find his groove on the offensive end if the Hawks want to be there come playoff time.
Record – 4-5
Points per game: 78.1 (8); points allowed per game: 79.6 (4); net: -1.5 (6)
In an unusual outcome to the game against Brisbane, Cairns lost 84-76 with a minute and thirty-one seconds remaining the game because of a power blackout. Could the Taipans have come back in that last 90 seconds or was it the right call by the league to uphold the score and award the win to the Bullets? Only someone with a portal gun that can access infinite realities could answer that question.
On a brighter note, Cam Gliddon had a man-sized game in their by-the-books win over the Breakers, going 9/11 from the field for 25 points. It would have seen important for New Zealand to stop Gliddon before he finished the game with five three-pointers, but I guess you just had to be there.
Record – 3-5
Points per game: 88.9 (1); points allowed per game: 96.1 (8); net: -7.2 (8)
They may be the high scoring underdogs of the league, but if Adelaide doesn’t find a way to stop the opposition, then the team better start making plans to stay this far down the ladder for the rest of the season. The 36ers are giving up nearly a dozen more points per game than any other team in the league and won’t be able to outshoot teams often.
Crazy rebounding numbers by the Sixers against Illawarra as the team dragged down a season-high 62 boards, the first time this year that a team has cracked the 60-rebound level. It was so impressive that Adelaide’s offensive rebounding (29) had more than Sydney and Cairns for the whole game (29 and 23 respectively).
Record – 3-7
Points per game: 80.1 (6); points allowed per game: 82.5 (5); net: -2.4 (7)
What is there to say about Melbourne that hasn’t been pointed out multiple times? They got handled like children in the return of Gaze and Copeland and even though Nate Tomlinson tried his hardest, he’s not a starting point guard. Bringing in American Casper Ware, who played a total of nine NBA games but has had success in teams overseas is a step in the right direction, but the team needs to work out who they are and what their weaknesses are before any real improvement can be seen.
It was great to see David Barlow back on the court after over 500 days on the sideline. He didn’t look completely match fit, but that is understandable from a guy in his situation. He played 21 minutes and shot terribly, but if he gets close to where he used to be, this United side may have a glimmer of hope with Chris Goulding and Todd Blanchfield still to come back. They are only two wins out of the fourth spot.