Wed, Oct 11, 3:33pm by Staff Writer
The 2017-18 NBL kicked off in style last weekend, with a host of close match-ups across the board, in what is predicted to be an incredibly close regular season.
Melbourne United and the Cairns Taipans secured wins virtually at the buzzer when they defeated the Adelaide 36ers and Illawarra Hawks respectively in week one.
Travel fatigue and heavy legs appeared to hinder the Sydney Kings in their home opener as they lost to the Adelaide 36ers.
In Perth, a record opening game home crowd saw the Wildcats handle the Brisbane Bullets with ease.
A road trip to New Zealand proved no issue for the Taipans, as they beat a sluggish Breakers team by 11 points.
With five matches in week 2 of the 2017-18 NBL season, there is plenty to look forward to this weekend.
Cairns Taipans versus Adelaide 36ers
Thursday, 12 October 2017. 7:30pm AEDST at Cairns Convention Centre
Both of these teams are playing their third match in the space of seven days. Cairns having returned from New Zealand on Monday morning, while the 36ers are on the road.
Taipans centre Nathan Jawai has been ruled out for 12 weeks with a foot injury. Jawai’s injury will devastate coach Aaron Fearne’s bench rotation, where Jawai played a key role, scoring 12 points against the Illawarra Hawks in round one.
The 36ers got some tremendous output from imports Ramone Moore and Shannon Shorter on Saturday night in Sydney, particularly late in the game.
Shorter hit a pair of three pointers to extend the 36ers lead when the Kings looked to be making a surge in the fourth quarter.
The 36ers offense hinges on output from both of these players and if they can average 20 or so points per game, the 36ers will be hard to beat on most nights.
At home, Cairns are deserving $1.80 favourites at Sportsbet with the 36ers priced at $2.
It will be a very close match, but the Taipans home court advantage will pay dividends for them in this clash.
Best bet: Cairns Taipans to win at $1.80 (Sportsbet)
New Zealand Breakers versus Sydney Kings
Friday, 13 October 2017. 5:30pm AEDST at Spark Arena, Auckland.
The New Zealand Breakers offense failed to fire in their first game of the new season. Outside of power forward Thomas Abercrombie who scored 23 points, the Breakers offense was a dismal 39% for the match against Cairns.
The Sydney Kings were gallant in their loss at home to the 36ers. After returning from Salt Lake City and a match with the Utah Jazz, the Kings hung around for three quarters, but ran out of steam as the game wore on.
The Breakers were slow starters last season and will be hoping to avoid going 0-2 at home, given their difficulty in picking up wins on the road.
Outside of Brad Newley and Kevin Lisch, the Kings offense relies on three point shooting. When the outside shot doesn’t fall, the Kings are impotent on offense.
The Breakers as $2 underdogs at home with Sportsbet is generous and is the play in this match.
Best bet: New Zealand Breakers to win at $2 (Sportsbet)
NBL Week 2 odds
Cairns Taipans $1.80 Adelaide 36ers $2
New Zealand Breakers $2 Sydney Kings $1.80
Perth Wildcats $1.38 Illawarra Hawks $3.07
Adelaide 36ers $2.18 Melbourne United $1.69
Sydney Kings $1.58 Illawarra Hawks $2.38
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