Eight big games of NBL awaits us in Round 14 with a smorgasbord of Basketball from Wednesday to Sunday.
A shout-out to our Post-up Prophet for filling in last week, but as Head Honcho of Hoops the business end of the NBL season requires leadership.
I’ve found some top value ahead of the matches that await us, as well as a history lesson.
It’s a classic case of learn while you earn (hopefully).
Can we turn Round 14 of the NBL into a winning one? Read on and find out with our tips and preview.
After a spirited performance against the Hawks on Sunday, the bottom of the table Cairns Taipans will take plenty of confidence as they host the Adelaide 36ers at the old Bunnings pop-up arena.
The home-court advantage is a major factor as to why the Taipans are favourites going into this game, however, there was plenty to like about the Adelaide 36ers who snapped the Wildcats nine-game winning streak notching up an 83-68 victory.
Adelaide has now made it back-to-back wins beating the likes of the Illawarra Hawks and the Perth Wildcats with the Josh Giddey show in full display.
Cairns have lost their past three matches but have remained competitive throughout, however, their most recent victory was against the 36ers.
With the 36ers developing a reputation as giant killers of the NBL right now, the long road trip to Cairns won’t phase them.
The $2.15 underdog price is incredibly good value.
The Kings and Phoenix meet for the second time in five days.
South East Melbourne was simply too good for Sydney in their 98-84 victory over the Kings last weekend.
Sydney led for the opening 10 minutes of the game before the Phoenix took control, taking the Kings to their second straight loss.
A quick re-match against the same team always allows for a chance for improvement.
South East Melbourne have won three out of their past four and are currently sitting in the third spot on the NBL ladder.
If they can make it back-to-back wins over the Kings away the Phoenix can consolidate their spot for playoffs contention.
The over/under total points has been set at 169.5 in this game and with both sides averaging over 170 points in their last 10 games, you have got to back the Overs in this one.
The spirit of 1981 NBL champions Launceston Casino City will be alive and well this Friday night with the NZ Breakers hosting foundation club Brisbane Bullets.
I’ve done my research, and Launceston Casino City didn’t play at Silverdome but at a venue that’s long been demolished.
However, there’s no doubting the NBL lovers of Launceston will be delighted to have Aussie Hoops back, even if a Kiwi team is calling it home.
It’s a nice little taste-test for when the Jackjumpers take to the court next season.
Both the Breakers and Bullets will be desperate for a win.
The Breakers have lost their past three games but took it up to the Perth Wildcats on Tuesday night going down 79-85 and will take plenty of confidence from that performance.
Brisbane have lost four out of their past five in what has been a very hit and miss season.
With the game being played in Launceston, a history lesson is in order.
The Brisbane Bullets haven’t played in Launceston since February, 28th 1981 in where the Bullets recorded a famous 85-79 win over Casino City – the team that would be eventual champions that season.
If they can take inspiration from the spirit of ‘81 over Casino City, they can register a win against the New Zealand Breakers this Friday night.
This game is pretty straight forward.
After a long road trip, a shock loss and a scare from the Breakers in Tassie on Tuesday night – the Perth Wildcats return to their creature comforts of RAC Arena to take on the Hawks this Friday night.
Perhaps this was the tough road trip the Wildcats had to have before they enter the playoffs – continuing a streak that began just before World War I.
Illawarra have been lucky to win their past two games and I just can’t see Brian Goorjian’s men causing a major upset here.
Take the Wildcats 11+
It’s a quick turnaround for both the South East Melbourne Phoenix and Adelaide 36ers with both sides dusting themselves from midweek losses and backing it up this Saturday night at John Cain Arena.
The Phoneix went down to an impressive Sydney Kings outfit on Thursday night, 97-90 but after trailing by 21 points at three-quarter-time gave it their all, only to go down by seven points.
Adelaide was beaten by the Cairns Taipans on Wednesday night 91-88, storming out of the gates to lead by 16 points in the second quarter but the gutsy young Snakes side stormed home and just refused to give in despite a fightback from the 36ers.
The long road trip continues for the 36ers, and beating the Phoneix on their home court is always a big ask.
In the short history between the two sides, the South East Melbourne Phoenix and Adelaide 36ers have produced some close contests – with the last six games all being decided by single figures, not to mention that two of their meetings this season has gone into overtime.
We’re hopefully in for another thriller this Saturday night and the Phoenix at the 1-10 margin is a good value play based on all the current trends.
Both the Kings and Taipans will take plenty of confidence heading into this match with both sides chalking up upset wins earlier in the week.
Despite several injury setbacks and a fightback from the South East Melbourne Phoneix saw the Kings hold on for an impressive 97-90 win.
The Taipans, who also went into the game undermanned, were able to snap a three-game losing streak chalking up a 91-88 win over the Adelaide 36ers at home on Wednesday night in arguably their best performance all season.
This remains a must-win game for the Sydney Kings.
Currently sitting 5th on the NBL ladder, the Kings simply must win if they want to feature in the playoffs and facing the team on the bottom team of the league is as good a chance as any to chalk up the win.
They should be able to get the job done in this one, but Cairns will give them a good run for their money.
Take the home team at the line.
A potential finals preview is on the cards this Sunday with Melbourne United playing host to the Illawarra Hawks at John Cain Arena.
Sitting on top of the NBL ladder, Melbourne United is currently on a 7-game winning streak and would like to keep chalking up the W’s to ensure top-billing come the business end of the season.
Illawarra will be backing it up from Friday night in Perth and Melbourne United will have the fresh legs.
You simply can’t go past Melbourne United at home in this one.
Another two sides backing it up from Friday night games with the Wildcats playing host to the Breakers at RAC Arena.
If the Breakers can keep Bryce Cotton at bay like they did on Tuesday night for the entire game before he broke away, they might be a chance here but it’s bloody hard to picture an upset result to finish off the round.
The tired legs will be a factor so take Perth 1-10 points to keep it interesting.