Wednesday 21st October
Townsville Crocodiles @ Melbourne United (7:30pm)
Pretty straight forward this one, United have far too many offensive weapons to hurt the Crocodiles, while the Crocs themselves only have one definitive threat (Brian Conklin).
One positive for the Crocs is the potential turning point for Jordair Jett. In their first game of round two, he finished with 22pts, 6rbds and 6asts against the Sydney Kings to lead the Crocs to an upset win. He also led the team in those three statistical categories for the game. In their second game of the round against the Cairns Taipans he played a very good defensive game, coming up with three steals. If he can begin to play more consistently and give the Crocs a solid second option then they will be more dangerous to come up against.
It was Daniel Kickerts turn on offense for Melbourne United as they took on the Adelaide 36ers, he finished the game with 22pts by shooting 6/9 from beyond the arc.
Too many threats around the perimeter and too athletic inside, easy win for United.
Sydney Kings @ New Zealand Breakers (5:30pm)
Corey Webster is on his way back to the NZ Breakers and he can’t return soon enough, They need help offensively and he’s just the man to provide it. Opposition teams have been able to knuckle down on Cedric Jackson and restrict his scoring ability. Against the Hawks in round two for example, he shot 0/7 from the field and finished with 1pt for the game. The Hawks won by 21pts.
The Kings never got in a consistent rhythm against the Crocs during their round two game and suffered an upset loss. Cadee and Khazzouh were defended well and Marcus Thornton still loves putting up his shot attempts with very few actually making it through the basket (2/11fg against the Crocs). This was a team that badly missed Josh Childress, not the team that defeated the Taipans without him.
With Webster back in the rotation, the Breakers get this against a Kings team with Childress a chance to still be on the sidelines.
Thursday 22nd October
Cairns Taipans @ Adelaide 36ers (7:30pm)
The Taipans have come out of the gates slowly to start this new NBL season and if it wasn’t for some Cam Gliddon heroics in the final quarter they may not have beaten the Townsville Crocs in round two. Markel Starks and Torrey Craig aren’t setting the world on fire with their play and Mark Worthington is having a disappointing start to his time in orange.
The 36ers on the other hand will have a new import running around the floor and he could prove to be the perfect foil for Adam Gibson. Kenyon McNeail has been released by the 36ers and it’s reported that Jerome Randle will be taking his place. Gibson held Stephen Holt to 11pts and 7asts in round two, while helping himself to 17pts, 7rbds, 3asts and 2stls on 6/9 shooting. If he can do that to the in form Holt then Markel Starks doesn’t stand a chance.
36ers to take this one in front of the home crowd on the back of Daniel Johnson, Adam Gibson and if he plays, new import Jerome Randle.
Friday 23rd October
Townsville Crocodiles @ Perth Wildcats (9:30pm)
The Crocs put in a couple of surprising performances during round two but surely they couldn’t get over Perth, in Perth, after playing a game in Melbourne two nights earlier. The Crocs will need a big game from Luke Schenscher if they are to have a chance here. If “Big-Red” can have a big defensive game (blocks and rebounds) against the duo of Matt Knight and Nate Jawai, then the Crocs will have shut down a big part of the Wildcats game plan.
Having said that, stopping Matt Knight (14pts, 12rbds against NZ) and Nate Jawai is no easy feat. Jermaine Beal could also prove too fleet footed for Jordair Jett and he has been in great form for the Wildcats (19pts, 6asts against NZ).
Wildcats to get the win at home and with the fresher legs.
Adelaide 36ers @ Sydney Kings (7:30pm)
Both teams will have already played this round and the Kings have once again showed that they will be a difficult team to tip for and against. This is a tip for the Kings because it is at home and Daniel Johnson is not good enough defensively to stop Julian Khazzouh.
That’s if Khazzouh gets the ball and isn’t battling against Johnson, Hodgson and Petrie for the rebounds off Marcus Thornton’s poor shot choices.
Saturday 24th October
Cairns Taipans @ Melbourne United (7:30pm)
How can you go against Melbourne at the moment? They are playing great basketball and the atmosphere/energy from the crowd has been amazing to start off their season.
United want to get the ball out and run on every possession while the Taipans like to get their half court sets and really dig in against an opponent. United will prove too athletic and has too many weapons on offense for the Taipans to be able to “dig in” for the whole 40 minutes and that means the Melbourne side will get their second win of the round.
Sunday 25th October
Perth Wildcats @ Illawarra Hawks (3:00pm)
The Hawks only have one game this round while the Wildcats will have already played on Friday at home. The Hawks dismantled both Sydney and NZ last round with Kirk Penney finding his range in a big way.
Tipping in games involving the Hawks is becoming like tipping in games involving United, with the offensive weapons they possess and their current form you wouldn’t be tipping against them.
For the Wildcats to have a chance to win, they will need to get AJ Ogilvy in foul trouble early on so that the Hawks will have very little in the way of defense against the likes of Knight, Jawai and Jervis. Even then, Penney, Tim Coenraad and Oscar Forman will provide a fair handful to contain.