We were treated to some terrific basketball in a busy opening week and the quality will only improve in Round 2 of the NBL.
The action is underway in Adelaide on Friday night when the 36ers host the Kings, while the final game of the round will take place in Cairns when the Taipans and Hawks square off on Sunday.
Round 2 is underway with a bang on Friday night when the 36ers host the Sydney Kings in Adelaide.
The 36ers weathered a tough 91-99 loss to the Wildcats at home in their season-opener, but they rallied in their second game against Friday’s opponent and recorded an impressive eleven-point win of their own. That continued a horrid run of form for Sydney’s Andrew Gaze against the 36ers, who is yet to taste success over the Adelaide franchise as a coach.
The Kings showed glimpses of class in their solitary Round 1 appearance but as expected, their combinations around Andrew Bogut as yet to gel. They will take plenty of benefit from the run and will be confident of a far-better performance against the same rival.
Incredibly, only one of seven home sides saluted in Round 1 but I am confident that the 36ers will get up here.
One of the more one-sided games in Week 2 looks like materialising when the Wildcats host the Bullets on Saturday afternoon.
Perth fired a warning shot at the rest of the league with two dominant victories in Round 1; their first an impressive performance on the road against the old enemy Adelaide, but the second a truly devastating performance that saw the Illawarra Hawks leave the nation’s west 40-point losers. A repeat of either of those performances would simply see the Wildcats too good for the Bullets.
The Bullets pulled off the first upset of the season when they ran away in the final quarter of their game with the Breakers to win, but they were quickly brought back to earth when they returned home to a crushing defeat at the hands of the Taipans. If they are able to replicate their first-up performance then they can give the Wildcats a bit of a fight, but these two clubs really are in different leagues and the home side should be winning.
The Breakers will be eager to keep a winning run of form alive when they host the Kings across the ditch on Sunday morning.
It was a disappointing start to the season for the New Zealand franchise, who blew a healthy half-time lead over the Bullets to lose comfortably. They responded in style, however and laid a comfortable defeat on the reigning premiers away from home, and a repeat of that performance would find them extremely tough to beat here.
Plenty will hinge on the Kings’ performance against Adelaide on Friday night but regardless of that result, they should carry more improvement into this game.
The reigning champions are lucky not to be 0-2 leading into the second round of the NBL and will be eager to record another win at home over the 36ers.
United snuck past Illawarra by a single point in their campaign opener, before dropping all the points to the Breakers on Sunday. They are set to face a far tougher task in the form of the 36ers, who will be stepping out for the fourth time this season.
This is another situation in which my betting strategy will be based around how the 36ers play in their first-up game with the Kings, but I think they’re one of the league’s best teams and they represent value to win here.
The final game of the round comes to us by way of the Snake Pit and the Taipans will be confident of keeping their undefeated season alive.
It was an impressive performance that was mustered and completed by Cairns first-up in Week 1 and they will take plenty of benefit from the win over the Bullets back to North Queensland. They will face a side that look as though they will be up-and-down for the entire campaign and with the Taipans’ faithful in full voice, they’ll be tough to beat.