Wed, Oct 19, 1:38pm by Head Editor
An extremely tight first two weeks of the NBL season has left us with no unbeaten teams.
We had the second overtime game in as many weeks with the 36ers storming back into the match after trailing by 11 points to beat the previously unbeaten Bullets 96-93 in Brisbane.
The win means Cairns now is the league’s only team without a win but that shouldn’t be too far in the future, now Nathan Jawai is back in the line-up.
Melbourne United finally got on the board to ease some of the pressure on head coach Dean Demopoulos. Todd Blanchfield hit the target with 13-of-19 from three-point range across both United’s wins to see the club bounce back from its 0-2 start.
For the second week in a row, Perth Arena played host to thriller, this time between ardent rivals Perth and New Zealand. The Wildcats hung on after a big 23-8 third term from the Breakers.
A magnificent display of sportsmanship was shown by Cairns’ Mark Worthington when he collided Kings star Kevin Lisch in the third quarter of their clash in Sydney. Worthington stayed with Lisch until medical assistance arrived when he noticed that blood was pouring from the ear of the duel MVP.
The Kings on Sunday said Lisch was shaken up but had recovered well and may suit up for Thursday’s away clash with the New Zealand Breakers.
On this week’s action and round three tips off in New Zealand on Thursday night when the Breakers take on the Sydney Kings. The hosts are coming off a tough loss in the Grand Final rematch, they trailed 47-36 at half-time after being held to just 11 points in the second term.
Kings recruit and ex-NBA champion with the LA Lakers, Josh Powell announced his arrival with 14 points on six of six shooting as the Kings beat their NSW rivals Illawarra. This week will be tougher though against an experience Breakers outfit.
Later that night, Melbourne ($1.38) are heavy-favourites to make it three wins on the trot when they host Brisbane ($3.07) who dropped their first match of the season last weekend in overtime against the 36ers. The visitors will need to be at their best to get close to United in this one as they look to have found their form.
Twenty-four hours later, Adelaide host the cellar dwelling Taipans who will need to find a way to stop Jerome Randle was back to his MVP-type best, scoring 34 points to lead the 36ers back from an 11-point deficit midway through the final quarter to a stunning overtime win. The 36ers are at $1.42 to keep Cairns winless, the Taipans are at $2.89.
With all of the home teams favoured in round three it is a matter of trying to find some value, I think the best chance for an upset is New Zealand ($2.67) over the Bullets ($1.48), the Bullets looked tired when they gave a lead late to the 36ers, they have to play in Melbourne on Thursday and then back-up against a quality kiwi side on Saturday.
BEST BET: New Zealand to beat Brisbane: $2.67
New Zealand Breakers ($1.56) v Sydney Kings ($2.44), North Shore Events Centre, 5.30pm, Thursday 20 October
Melbourne United ($1.38) v Brisbane Bullets ($3.07), Hisense Arena, 7:30pm, Thursday 20 October
Adelaide 36ers ($1.42) v Cairns Taipans ($2.89), Titanium Security Arena, 7:30pm, Friday 21 October
Perth Wildcats ($1.38) v Illawarra Hawks ($3.09), Perth Arena, 9:30pm, Friday 21 October
Brisbane Bullets ($1.48) v New Zealand Breakers ($2.67), Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, 7:30pm, Saturday 22 October
Melbourne United ($1.58) v Perth Wildcats ($2.39), Hisense Arena, 3:00pm, Sunday 23 October
Sydney Kings ($1.56) v Illawarra Hawks ($2.44), Qudos Bank Arena, 7:30pm, Monday 24 October
All times are Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time*
Odds were sourced from Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
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