Saturday, 30 November 2013

Sydney Kings take down the Melbourne Tigers behind some big plays from NBA swingman Sam Young

Melbourne defeated Sydney 63-67 in what was a physical battle in Melbourne. Sam Young summed up the game well “They beat me up out there today,” Young said. The Kings went on t huge 24 point run in the fist and second quarters but Melbourne kept bringing them back in to keep it competitive going into the final minutes. Sam Young had a big second game in the league with a double double, scoring 27 points and 10 rebounds.
First play of the game play and Sydney get it into AJ Ogilvy twice but he wasn’t able complete getting the first points of the game from the foul line. On the other end Chris Goulding made a nice little fade away jump shot to get the Tigers on the board. Sam Young hit a jumper for the Kings, and Scott Morrison got a jam for the Tigers and both teams were off and it already looked to be a good game.
Chris Goulding got on fire early and hit his first 3 shots getting the Tigers an early lead 9-6. with 7:30 left in the first quarter.
Scott Morrison got a nice alley-oop jam off a Lucas Walker fast break and for Sydney Sam Young is looking unstoppable.
Half way into the first quarter the score is 11 all. Sam Young has been playing great ball on both ends of the floor and the Tigers have been on fire with Chris Goulding knocking down some tough shots.
Lucas walker got a nice block on Sam Young as he tried to be a one man fast break and then Young got his first big dunk of the game at 4 minutes left in the first quarter for the Kings to take the lead after a dry patch 11-13.
Sydney went on a 16 point run closing out the quarter 11-22.
Charles Carmouche opened the scoring in the second quarter with a drive and 3 point play. And then followed it up with a 3 over Scott Morrison and it's a jumped out to a 24 point run. Goulding finally broke the drought with a nice drive for the Tigers and its 13-30 with 8 minutes left to go in the second quarter.
Melbourne are worked their way back with some more hot shooting by Chris Gouldingg and it was 20-30 with 5 minutes left in the 2nd.
Sam Young flew above the crowd around him with a big tip in Jam. Then recieved his second hit in the face on the other end on defense. Young was matched up on Goulding to try to slow his offense as the defensive specialist in the Kings line up. Sam Young has a lot of talent and may be able to dominate this league.  He has a lot of ball control for a big man.
Nate Tomlinson hit a 3 and Melbourne had a 7-0 run to get the deficit to under 10 with only 2 minutes left in the half. Tom Garlepp got a shot off on the buzzer to keep the Kings up by 10 at the end of the first half 30-40.
At half time Sam young was on 12 points with 6 from 11 shooting and a couple of nice jams.
Opening the second half Nate Tomlinson hit a 15ft jumper and some good ball movement got Morrison an easy shot inside and the Tigers are on a come back.  
Sam Young gots the Kings fist points of the half with a fast break drive and a 3 point play.
With 4 minutes left in the 3rd the Tigers are back 41-43 and Sam Young and Mark Worthington having some words and were getting frustrated by the 3 minute mark the scores are tied 43-43. Shane Heal looks also to be getting frustrated and wasn't getting many call his way. The game is getting physical with MacMillan hitting the floor and had to take a seat.
Closing out the quarter the Kings held onto the lead 44-47 and in the final play Goulding made a nice drive but AJ Ogilvy knocked it off the rim.
4th quarter:
Mark Worthington opened scoring with a nice little shot under the basket for the Tigers and Charles Carmouch hits a 3 to start scoring for the Kings. Ogilvy is doing a good job blocking Goulding as he has been drove to the hole with another blocked shot.
Young hit a nice 3 which was nothing but net as the Kings get out to a 7 point lead with 6:30 to go, 50-57.
Goulding got a nice lay in going at the body of Sam Young bringing the deficit back to 3, 54-57.
Madgen hit a long 3 banked from the corner but Goulding hit a 3 and the Tigers will not go away as he tries to take the responsibilty of the offense on his shoulders.
With the Tigers only down by 2 Goulding got a steal and Farrakhan got Morrison the ball to flush it through the ring and the scores are tied again 62-62 with only 2 minutes to go.
In what was probably the play of the game to secure the Kings the win, Sam young got the Kings back the lead with a strong drive against Chris Goulding and did it again up against Mark Worthington taking the Kings lead to 4 points with only 19 seconds left in the game. Young then hit a couple of free throws and the Kings win the game 63-67.

The difference in the game came down to rebounds in a stat that has dominated most wins of the season with the Kings getting the majority, 38-32. The Tigers dominated on the assists 14-6 in a stat line that the will be difficult for the Kings to pick up without a strong point guard on the roster.
Shane Heal had a few great in game reffing quotes"
"He came out from the NBA to get bashed like that. This game has been reffed differently then the last 8 games. Both teams it's a wrestle."
Sam Young agreed with him in a post game interview saying,
“They beat me up out there today,”
“Every day is a learning process for me. It’s just something I have to get used to [the physicality] because it’s not like that in the NBA.”
 Sydney Kings 67 (Young 27, Carmouche 14, Ogilvy 10)
Melbourne Tigers 63 (Morrison 20, Goulding 20)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

NBL Round 8 weekend preview

Sorry for the late post didn't realize it was a Thursday night game. After missing a couple of prediction last week with the Wollongong Hawks getting a win over Cairns even without Larry Davidson and the Perth Wildcats destroying the Sydney Kings hopefully ill get more right this week.

The first game of the round see's the Melbourne Tigers playing the New Zealand Breakers in New Zealand. This should be a good game and with the Breakers having the home court advantage its a lot tougher to pick the winner. The Melbourne Tigers came off a loss last week and the Breakers finally got a win on their home court, they will be hoping to keep that win streak going. The Tigers will be hoping their new import point guard will have a better game and lead the team to a win by getting Goulding some open shots. Mark Worthington has a had a few slow games and I'm sure he will be working hard to get his shot going. Apparently Kerron Johnson had to sit out the Breakers training session yesterday and may not be able to play tonight. If that is the case the Tigers should be able to get a win in the Breakers home court. If Johnson is out for the game, Corey Webster may have to step up as the starting point guard. He has played some big games for the Breakers in the last couple of rounds but i think he may be too much too keep the Breakers alive with more minutes. Mika Vukona may be carrying a small shoulder injury as well and if even some of these rumours are true, it will be a tough night for the Breakers in front of their fans. Im picking the Tigers to win by 8. Hopefully a couple of the Tigers will help out in scoring tonight and dont have to rely on Goulding for every offense. With the two injuries the Breakers may be carrying this is the bet of the week with the Tigers to win at $2.75 and the Breakers at $1.45.

Friday night we get to see the Adelaide 36ers host the Wollongong Hawks. Both teams are coming
off wins last week, but noticeable the 36ers are coming away as the first team to beat the Perth Wildcats and will be looking to keep that hot streak alive. The Wollongong Hawks are being lead by import guard Rotnei Clark who has been one of the best offensive players in the league so far this season. Unfortunatel for the Hawks he has been only consistent player on the roster. Gary Erving has had a very good start to the season and would certainly be in MVP contention. The Hawks will likely still be missing their starting centre Larry Davidson and will lack size in the paint. The 36ers two 7" players should be able to dominate inside the keyway. The Hawks 3 point shooting will have to be hot for them to be able to keep up to the 36ers. Im expecting the Hawks to go down by 10 due to their lack of rebounders. Adelaide should win this after their win last week and as favourites at $1.16 isnt really worth a bet also.

The Cairns Taipans are the unlucky team to take on the Perth Wildcats this round. A tough game for the Taipans after last rounds destruction of the Sydney Kings by the Wildcats. Last week after being defeated by the Adeliade 36ers in what is likely to be the grand final match up, the Wildcats followed it up with a 40 point difference in their win over the Sydney Kings on their home court. Cairns have struggled early in the season and last time these two teams met the Wildcats defense was too much for the Taipans on average a tall team. Im expecting the Perth Wildcats to continue their good form with the win over a team that hasn't yet seemed to get their form together. Watch out for James Ennis to dominate with his incredible athleticism over the Taipans weaker defense and the Wildcats to win by 9.The Wildcats should get the win and are obviouse favourties so probably not worth a bet.

The Final game of the round see's the Melbourne Tigers host the Sydney Kings on Sunday night.
Sydney will be looking to have a big game after their massive loss to the Wildcats last weak. Hopefully with a weak of training behind them the Kings will have learn't to work better within their team. Charles Carmouche looked to struggle at the point guard position not utilising AJ Ogilvy the way Jesse Sanders was able to earlier in the season. This should be a good game with both teams having a relatively new player in the roster. But for the Sydney Kings that player is 4 year NBA veteran Sam Young, who if they can get him the ball where he want it, should dominate. For the Kings to get the win carmouche will have to look for the pass first as a guard and to change his style away from how he was to play early in the season. Its a tough ask for several of the players on the Kings line up but they will have to learn quick to stay in the hunt for the championship. Fatigue could be an issue for the Melbourne tigers who played the the New Zealand Breakers on Thursday. This should be a close one and if Sydney still had Sanders I'd say the Kings by 10 but since its Carmouche at the point it will be a tough game and ill pick the the Tigers to win by 1. But if Sam Young picks up his performance from last week Sydney may be able to dominate on the inside. Tough one to call on for the last game.
Since the Kings are paying at $2.30 for the win it could be worth a punt but im going to miss this one.
A good pick for a three game bet this week and one im going to place is for the Melbourne tigers to beat the Breakers, the wildcats to beat the Taipans and 36ers to beat the Hawks. This is in my opinion the best multi bet you could place. Good luck to anyone having a bet this week and i hope my tips work out as my money is running on them.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Spurs vs Cavaliers: Mathew Dellavedova starts in a game that features 3 Aussies

Mathew Dellavedova again is starting for the Cavaliers playing against the San Antonio Spurs.
In the first second of the game Delly draws the foul on the game high scorer Danny Green and the Cavaliers get possession. Delly opens playing D on Parker and obviously its a huge start to a rookie season for the un-drafted Aussie and he hits his first shot of the game, a 3 pointer to keep the Cavs alive early 5-9.
Patty Mills comes off the bench and matches up against Delly at the 6 min mark in the first quarter. Mills drains a 3 taking it out to a 10 point lead at the 5 min mark 11-21. Later in the game we got to see all 3 Aussie's on the floor at the same time. Mills had a good game getting steals and a couple of 3’s by midway in the second.
With the Spurs up 29 points Aaron Baynes gets some court time. Delly and Mills were off though. Closing the half Baynes gets a rebounds and a lays it up on the buzzer but wasn't counted. 65-32 with the Spurs having a commanding lead already
Delly started the second half and a Tim Duncan dunk open the scoring. By the 10min 21sec mark the cavs were already down by 40, 32-72. With the huge lead San Antonios head Coach Popovich sends out the bench and Aaron Baynes gets on the floor .
Jarred Jack hurt his neck and Delly is back on to shoot his free throws and gets both 58-91 2:48. From here Jack wasnt allowed to come back on the Delly played out the rest of the game. Popovich got to choose Delly to shoot the free throws. Delly got a steal and makes the basket in the fast break for his 5th point in the game and the last point in the quarter going into the last quarter 67-96.
Opening the last quarter their are 3 aussies on the floor Baynes Mills and Delly.
Delly made another intercept and Baynes made a tough shot driving into the inside. In one play Mills
stops Delly driving to the hole with the help of Baynes but the cavs miss an open Delly as the d switched back. They need to work out some smarter basketball and hit the open player. Cav's have a long way to go till they are well rounded team. With the game in the bag for the Spurs Mathew Dellavedova has been able to show off some of his offensive talent nailing a few little mid range floaters and finally got to show some of his best plays with the on ball screen. Mills made a few triples to close out the game and the spurs win 126-96. Baynes and Delly have a hug and talk after the Buzzer and its awesome to see so many Aussies in the NBA again.
Mathew Dellavadova in 34 minutes had 14 points, 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 rebounds
Patty Mills in 23 minutes had 15 points, 1 steal, 3 assists and 3 rebounds
Aaron Baynes in 21 minutes had 6 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds

Danny Green top scored the game with 17 points. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Mathew Dellavadova working his way into good minutes for the Cavaliers

Mathew Dellavadova is dominating with the time he gets on the court. In the last two games against the Washington Wizards he has played 30min and 20min and both in the closing quarters and over time. Also in both games the Cavaliers have come back from a defecit to to take it to overtime and the win or get them back in the hunt from a huge deficit of 26 in game 2. In game two against the wizards in Cleveland Dellavadova dominated on D and made some huge 3 pointers. Kyrie Irving got hot on offense and from 26 points down Delly's hustle and Kyrie’s offence got them within 4 with 2:36 left in the game. Unfortunately a loose ball foul on a rebound contest with 1:46 to go sent Gortat to the line for the wizards in what could have been a play that brought them within 2 and they held the lead. Despite a long 3 on the buzzer by Kyrie Irving the Wizards got the win 98-91.The Cavaliers look like a much stronger team when Delly is on the floor as they can let Kyrie Irving go himself on offense or he can use Dellavedova to move the ball around the floor and get himself or someone else an open look through good ball movement. Irving and Delly really seem to gain energy off each other Delly on D and Kyrie on offense.
In his rookie year out of college Mathew Dellavadova has worked his way onto an NBA roster through a camp invite and good summer league performance and now he is working himself into minutes for the Cav's. The same way he worked his way on to the starting line up for the Boomers at the 2012 Olympics, he is creating a niche in the NBA. Mathew Dellavadova is a workhorse with a very high basketball IQ. I hope we get to continue seeing him on the floor.
With the introduction of players with NBA potential (James Ennis) and NBA players (Sam young) in the NBL as well as more Australian's in the NBA it seems like more respect is being given to Australian basketballer’s. Apparently Chris Goulding has been getting on the NBA scouts radar with his huge start to the season and its obvious Australian basketball is on the rise. I can only hope the Australian media finally catch onto it and give the the NBL some air time in the sports news. 
Check out the game report and highlights here:
Unfortunately all it shows is offense but Delly had a huge impact on Defense probably more then his 9 points even had for the come back. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Round 7 weekend preview

This is probably the most anticipated round of basketball so far this season as its the first game in the competition for two new players. The Melbourne Tigers have recruited Mustapha Farrakhan from the NBA D league and the Sydney Kings have welcomed their new import from 4 years in the NBA.

Friday night has a game that everyone in the league has been looking forward to since round 1, when the Perth Wildcats pulled off a close win over the Adelaide 36ers. The 36ers were probably the team to come the closest to defeating the Perth Wildcats but weren't able to pull it off on the Wildcats home court. Both teams probably have the deepest bench in league its going to fast paced and exciting game. With the Wildcats welcoming Matt Knight back into the line up and Tom Jervis playing better then expected they will be able to counter Adelaide's two big men Luke Schencher and Daniel Johnson who managed to play very well against the Wildcats in round 1. Jermaine Beal has also picked up his game from early in the season when he couldn't knock down a shot to the hot streak of shooting he has been on lately and has top scored for the Wildcats in the last few rounds. Gary Ervin has shown what a star player he is with some game winning plays for the 36ers. Damian Martin will also have his hands full coming up against the second best defender in the league in Adam Gibson. In all positions these two teams are the best to match up against each other. With both teams sitting at the no. 1 and 2 spot on the ladder it will be the game of the night and  hopefully we will see a sell out arena in Adelaide. Centrebet have pretty even odds with the Perth wildcats to win at $1.85 and the Adelaide 36ers to win at $1.95. This is tough game to predict especially with the 36ers playing at home but i'm going to give it to the Wildcats to win by 1 so really could go either way.

Although the 36ers vs wildcats game is the best to watch on Friday the first game up is the New Zealand Breakers hosting the Townsville Crocodiles. The Breakers have played Townsville twice already this season and were beaten both times in Townsville. However this time its on the Breakers home ground and after their last loss to the 36ers on their home ground on the buzzer they will be hoping desperately for a win. The only wins the Crocodiles have had this season has been against the New Zealand Breakers so they must know how to play them. The key match up looks to be at the centre position with Townsvilles Brian Conklin up against the Breakers Alex pledger. Last game time they played Conklin racked up 33 points and Pledger was kept to single figures. However with the home ground advantage and how hard i'm expecting the Breakers to play to get this win for their fans I'm picking them for the win by 6. Watch out for a tough fight from both teams though. Centrebet have the Breakers to win at $1.20 and the crocodiles at $4.60. This is a pretty good bet if your looking for a rough win to make some dough. The breakers have not yet been able to beat the Crocodiles and they must just know what it takes to get a win over them. At those odds its worth a few dollars.

Saturday night will see the Cairns Taipans hosting the cellar dwellers the Wollongong Hawks. This will be a good match up as both teams play off excellent execution on their offence. Rotnei Clark for the Hawks has been one of the best players of the competition and has shown he can do it all on offence however if the Hawks are still missing their centre Larry Davidson they will be missing a key piece in the team. The Hawks in the last few games have played some great basketball but have been severely lacking in height since the Davidson has been injured. The Cairns Taipans are on average a tall team and should dominate on the boards and this is where the game should be won. As in the game against Perth, Wollongong couldn't get enough rebounds and with all the seconds chances PErth got it was almost too easy to work out a win over the course of the game. Im picking Cairns to win by 8 if Davidson is still injured however if he isnt expect it to be a lot closer. No confirmation has yet been sent out from the hawks as to if Davidson will play or not and therefore is tough game to bet on. Centrebet have the Taipans to win at $1.37 and the Hawks at $3.10. Ill try to let you know if Davidson is healthy and it could be worth a bet on the Hawks if he is.

Sunday has two games to watch with the first being aired live on channel Ten in Melbourne with the Tigers taking on the Townsville Crocodiles. This is the second game of the round for the Crocodiles and fatigue may be an issue for a team that is not as deep as other in the league. Look for Chris Goulding to have a big game and Mark Worthington to come out looking for points after some quiet games in the last couple of rounds. The Melbourne Tigers have their new recruit Mustapha Farrakhan playing in their line up for the first time and if he can pick up his game over how Ayinde Ubaka was playing they should be an even more well rounded team. Watch for him to try to stamp his style on the team and get Goulding open for some jump shots. Iv got the Tigers to win by 12 over a fatigued Townsville squad.

The last game of the round is probably the most anticipated game of the season with the Sydney Kings new recruit NBA player Sam Young coming up against the Perth Wildcats NBA hopeful James Ennis.
With it being the second game of the round for the Wildcats and after playing a very strong team in the 36ers fatigue may be an issue but with a team as deep as the Wildcats it really shouldn't. Sam Young was a huge pick up not only for the Kings but for the NBL and look for him to dominate early both defensively and offensively looking to get the Kings shooters open. He is said to be a defensive specialist who can stop athletic wingmen like James Ennis. With the Kings releasing their point guard Jesse Sanders this is probably where the game will hang in the balance. Damian Martin has shown why he was the best defensive player in the league last year and has continued that form this season. Depending on how Charles Carmouche can adjust to the point guard position will decide the game. Martin may just be too much for him in the back court and the game may be won due to the Kings lack of depth in the point guard position. This should be the game of the week with two explosive athletes in Sam young for the Kings and James Ennis for the Wildcats going at each other. Centrebet have the Kings to win at $4.00 and the Wildcats at $1.25. Im picking the Kings to possibly get the first win of the season over the Wildcats with AJ Ogilvy to have a big game on the inside and Sam Young to contain James Ennis enough for them to get a hard fought win by 4. This is really going to be a tough game for the kings, as the PErth Arena is the hardest shooting stadium in the league and with the home court advantage it will tough to scrape out a win. But hopefully the fatigue from Fridays game against Adelaide will be enough for the Kings to scrape across the line. Enjoy the Exciting games on offer this weekend and hopefully my prediction will be as accurate as last week.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Round 6 weekend wrap up sort of

For a weekend wrap up of this round you might as well check out my weekend preview for the round. I managed to predict every game correctly and made some money with a 5 game bet.

The only comment ill give is on the Breakers vs Adelaide game where the Adelaide 36ers managed to pull off a win with 4 seconds left on the clock and down by 1 Gary Ervin got a steal on the inbound pass and break away drive making the lay up on the buzzer to win the game by 1. It was a great game and one that the Breakers were unlucky not to win. Their losing streak at home continues this season lets hope they can turn their form around soon before the season gets away from them. Check out the highlights from the game to see the play it should be on the NBL website. The Adelaide 36ers are looking like a whole new team with a new coach and a couple of new imports. Joey likes a team that goes 10 deep and this team easily does. At one point in the game no starters were on the floor and they still looked dangerous.

The top four teams at the end of the season look like it will be the Perth Wildcats, Adelaide 36ers, Melbourne Tigers and the Sydney Kings, with the new signings that the Kings and Tigers announced. It's looking like a great season ahead and plenty of time for the other teams to make a move and get their game together. But with NBA player and future NBA player like Sam Young and James Ennis in the line ups it will be a tough night for any team coming up agains the Kings or Wildcats. And thats without mentioning the 10 deep team Adelaide has and the exceptional form Tigers guard Chris Goulding has been displaying as the league high scorer at 26.6ppg. These are definitly the teams to watch and will be the most exciting for any team coming up against them they will be hungry for a win. Keep an eye out and i hope your enjoying this season of the Australian National Basketball league as much as I am.

Sydney Kings new import NBA player Sam Young in his first fox sports interview

Sam Young interview with Fox Sports. Pretty decent interview for his introduction into the NBL and good to see the NBL actually getting some exposure. It has some highlights from the Kings training sessions and from the NBA as well. You can find it here:

Hers a highlight dunk while he was with the Memphis Grizzlies:
If you took my advice and got an early bet on the Sydney Kings to win the Championship they were paying $10, without the Kings playing a single game the odds have gone down to $6.50. I made a quick bet hopefully some of you out there did as well when the odds were at their best. 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Melbourne Tigers sign new import Mustapha Farrakhan

The Melbourne Tigers who are sitting at the number 4 spot on the NBL ladder just signed Mustapha Farrakhan into their line up to replace back up point guard Ayinde Ubaka. Farrakhan is a guard who after graduating from the University of Virginia largely played his professional career in the NBA D league and most recently in the LA clippers pre-season training camp. He arrived in the Australia on Sunday and given NBL approval should have his first game next round this weekend when the Melbourne Tigers take on the Townsville Crocodiles. Head Coach Chris Anstey had this to say,
“Mustapha has a skillset we think will complement the style of game we are trying to play and the skillsets of our players,”
“He gives us a different look and is more in the mould of (injured import Stephen Dennis). We are very confident he will help our group on both ends of the floor.”

Mustapha Farrakhan stands at 193cm and 82 kg and is expected to bring some athleticism and scoring to the point guard position increasing Melbourne's depth

With the Sydney Kings signing Sam Young and now the Melbourne Tigers signing an import with the hopes of being better then Ubaka the top four teams just seem to be getting stronger. Now that Melbourne have a strong point guard player who can score the tigers are starting to look very deep. If Chris Goulding continues his hot streak and if Farrakhan can take some of the pressure off of Goulding and Mark Worthington the Tigers have solidified their place in the top four. This season is really starting to look like one of the best the NBL has seen in several years. Star players are really starting to make statements on the league. The NBL finally looks to be back on the rise in Australia.
Heres a couple of highlights from his time in the D league and NBA preseasons.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Ayinde Ubaka released by the Tigers another big announcement may be on the way

Ayinde Ubaka has been released by the Melbourne Tigers for personel reasons and is on his way back to the States. watch out for another big signing announcement from the NBL with another possible poast NBA player.

“Chewy came in late and worked hard to give us what we wanted, but his circumstances mean he needs to leave,” Tigers coach Chris Anstey said.
“We respect his situation.“I know Chewy is disappointed to be leaving because he loves his teammates and they love him. He has been an excellent teammate and fitted in really well with this group.”

For the seven games this season for the Melbourne tigers, Ubaka averaged 5.3 ppg at 31.8 per cent from the field. In his past seasons in the NBL he averaged career numbers of 13.5 ppg at 39.9 per cent. He really looked to lack some confidence this season and with less time on the floor struggled to contribute.
The Melbourne Tigers are expected to announce the new signing within the next 48 hrs. Rumours are circulating of former NBA player Luther Head who played for the Houston rockets from 2005-2009, the Miami Heat in 2009, Indiana Pacers in 2009-2010 and the Sacramento Kings 2010-2011. I'll update the page when i hear of who they sign. But its big things for the NBL and looking like it will be a very exciting season.

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Sydney Kings take down the Townsville Crocodiles lead by AJ Ogilvy who dominated in the paint

In what is possibly the last game of the season for one of Sydney's imports the Kings got a win at Home against the Townsville Crocodiles 88-67. The Crocodiles have so far this season only been able to beat the New Zealand Breakers and were dominated by AJ Ogilvy who made several big dunks and blocks owning the keyway for the kings.

The first quarter went all for the Kings at home with the Townsville Crocodiles having no luck with the refs and the Kings forced several turnovers. It seems the old NBL reffing is creeping back as the season progresses with 3 highly physical games so far this week. The score was 16-9 by the 5min mark of the quarter. AJ dominated early with his second big dunk just over the 5 minute mark followed by a big block on Steven Markovic. With 2 minutes left in the quarter the Kings were already up by 10, 23-13. In the last minute of the 1st quarter Jesse Sanders made a nice round and under the rim lay up and the quarter ended 27-19.

To open the second quarter Townsville scored the first 4 points and kept it competitive 27-23 with 8 minutes left to go in the quarter. Townsvilles import Josh Pace made a big block on Charles Carmouch but Carmouch follows it up with a 3. Its a big game for both of the Kings imports with no announcement as to who will be going home.
Ben Madgen made some nice plays and looks to be getting back to form more and more in every game. Jesse Sanders missed a nice drive but AJ Ogilvy slamed it down with authority. Head coach Shande Heal did say after the preseason AJ Ogilvy could dominate this league and looks like he has started too, averaging a double double in his last few games. with 2 minutes left in the quarter the Kings have extended the league 40-25. Sanders closed the half with another up and under the rim lay up and the Kings are dominating 40-27.

The Kings look really strong when Sanders is on the floor and in my opinion the team would be better off keeping Sanders and letting Charles Carmouche go for Sam Young but its a tough call with two good players.

Sanders had a big game as he made a 2 on the shot clock buzzer then made a steal ran the floor and layed it up. Looks like he is playing for his job and making a very good argument for the cause.
Townsville made a run to try to keep it competitive with back to back 3's from Russel Hinder but Charles Carmouche got back on the court and nails a 3 and get Sydney were back out to 61-43 lead. With 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter Jesse Sanders took a seat and the Kings already looked shallower. If he does go they will definitely be weak at the point. On the buzzer at the end of the quarter Ben Madgen hits a 3 and the Kings hold a 13 point lead 65-52.

The final quarter opens with Brad Hill draining a lay up and Jesse Sanders is slowly racking up the stats. Ogilvy has another big block and the Kings hold their lead to close out the game 88-67.

In a game that should keep Jesse Sanders in the league he finished with 14 points, 3 steals, 4 assists and 5 rebounds. Charles Carmouche had 12 points, 1 assist and 1 block. Shane Heal may stick with Charles Carmouche who has had several big scoring games for the Kings but if he does i wouldnt be surprised if Melbourne try to pick up Jesse Sanders who proves he belonged in the league.
AJ Ogilvy had another big double double with 15 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 steals.

For Townsville Josh Pace had 14 points and 5 rebounds and Russell Hinder had 10 points and 8 rebounds.

Adelaide 36ers defeat the New Zealand Breakers at Vector Arena with a Gary Ervin buzzer beater

In what was an excellent game at Vector Arena where the Adelaide 36ers managed to get the win over the New Zealand breakers with a steal and full court drive by Gary Ervin with 4 seconds left on the clock to win on the buzzer 95-94.

Mika Vukona opened scoring for the Breakers with an open keyway dunk. On the other end Adam Gibson forced his way to the rim with a strong drive and both teams were off. For the Breakers Tom Abercrombie was hitting some big shots and Vukona was doing well leading the team and they looked like the Breakers from last season taking off to an early 8-2 lead. Gary Ervin got going when he got to the rim and picked up a 3 point play which was later followed by an Ervin steal on the inbound and 36ers were back 12-13. Alex Pledger made some nice blocks through the game and had a big one against Daniel Johnson which was all ball but followed through to the face after the block. The Adelaide 36ers have a strong team that is 10 deep with no starters on the floor, in the final minutes of the quarter the 36ers still looked strong with Jason Cadee, Mitch Creek, Luke Schencher, BJ Anthony and Brendan Teys all possible starters and former starters and the quarter comes to a close with Adelaide holding a 1 point lead 21-22.

The second quarter saw the 36ers break out with some quick baskets thanks to some very nice dishes from Gibson to cutting players and some strong defense from the former best defensive player and the 36ers were up 23-31. But New Zealand we rent letting them get away as Cory Webster hits long 3 and a Kerron Johnson 3 point play and the Breakers were back 29-31 with 7 minutes left in the second quarter it already it looked like a great game with two well matched teams. Alex Pledger was a monster inside and had 3 big blocks for the game. Anthony Petrie made some big plays and had a big block on Alex Pledger who was going going for a jam. The Refs called a rough unsportsmanlike foul on Mika Vukona when he stopped Gary Ervin from getting to the rim which should have been a normal foul. Both teams were running in a track meet up and down the court but Daniel Johnson finished the race with a bug dunk with 2:30 left in the second quarter and the Breakers had 5 fouls 39-46. The fouls have been an issue for the Breakers all season so far. To close the half Gary Ervin made a nice move with a floater and Adelaide were up 46-50 to go into the main break.

Opening the 3rd quarter Anthony Petrie was playing some excellent defense around the rim and Vukona and Petrie were having a good physical battle from the two former Gold Coast Blaze players. The Breakers picked up their defense in the 3rd quarter and Adelaide were struggling to finish around the rim but the offensive rebounds were a problem for the Breakers and kept the 36ers alive. Tom Abercrombie was hitting all his shots and the 36ers were drying up. Joey wright subbed off Gary Ervin and did not look happy as the Breakers pull out to 62-54 with 5 minutes left in the quarter. The Third quarter comes to a close with Mika Vukona making a killer spin move to go base line with an up and under the rim lay up with the Breakers up 73-66.

In the quarter time huddle both coaches want their teams to run the ball. Both teams were struggling to shoot the ball but the Breakers were holding onto the lead by the 5 minute mark 82-75. Anthony Petrie made it to the line and got his free throws in which was followed by a Gary Ervin 3 pointer to break the drought for the 36ers and it was 86-82 with 3 minutes left to play. An Adam Gibson strip and pick up from Jarrid Frye and the 36ers were back within 2 points with 2 minutes left and a time out was called and the crowd was silent. Mika Vukona fouls out with 2 minutes left of game time and it was a big loss to the Breakers. Their was a good rebound contest between Alex Pledger and Jarrid Frye and the foul goes against Frye but when Pledger struggled to get up he had to take a seat and the Breakers got to bring in Darryl Corletto to shoot his free throws to make it 91-89. With a 92-89 lead and 14 seconds left in the game Kerron Johnson fouled Gary Ervin who made them both 92-91. Corletto then got to the line again to hopefully seal the game making both, 94-91 with 8 seconds left. Kerron Johnson fouled Ervin again not letting them get a 3 to tie it up. Joey Wright brings in Luke Schencher for the rebound on a missed second shot but Gary Ervin accidentally made them both 94-93.  With 4 seconds left on the clock and a half court Breakers inbound Gary Ervin stole the ball on the inbound ran the length of the floor and layed it up on the buzzer to get Adelaide the win 95-94. In what could be the best game of the season so far Gary Ervin had this to say on the buzzer beating Breaker killing play. "Its unbelievable to win a game like that, i have been on the losing side in games like that but its nice to on the winning side."

Adelaide 36ers 95 (Ervin 26, Johnson 20, Frye 12)

New Zealand Breakers 94 (Abercrombie 21, Vukona 17, Johnson 17)

Cairns go down to the unbeaten Perth wildcats at Perth Arena

The Perth Wildcats have kept their 7-0 unbeaten record alive at home in a win over the Cairns Taipans 75-68. Damian Martin was a monster on defense making life miserable for one of the best back courts in the league in Demetri McCamey and Jamar Wilson. Cairns were having trouble just getting the ball over half way for most of the match and Martin just kept picking up steals and intercepts finishing with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. James Ennis continued to show his skill making some big highlight dunks and some classy moves around the rim finishing with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. For the taipans Alex Loughton top scored with 14 points followed by McCamey with 13 points and 4 assists but had 5 turnovers.

Despite some big effort plays from Jamar Wilson the Cairns Taipans looked stagnant and didn't want the ball as much the Wildcats.  The play of the game happened late in the first quarter when Damian Martin made a steal and got the ball up to Jermain Beal who lobbed it up for a big James Ennis dunk. 
For the last points in the half James Ennis breaks Steven Weigh’s ankles with a nice fake going to the rim and has an easy little lay up and the score is 40-36. Cairns have been lucky for the score to be as close at it is with Martin dogging the Taipans on defence and Jermain Beal and James Ennis filling in the offence. 
Shawn Redhage got his 4th foul in the first minute of the third quarter and i think he played as many minutes as he had fouled through the game. The refs may finally be picking up the rough play he has been famous for. The Taipans did well on defence to try to keep James Ennis from using his exceptional athleticism by keeping him on the floor but some nice fakes from Ennis and he keeps getting his shots up.
The Cairns Taipans again come out hitting shots in the start of the last quarter with Cameron Tragardh hitting a jumper and Alex Loughton hitting a 3 and the score was tied 60-60. Each quarter Cairns played well in the first 2 minutes and died through the quarter mainly due to the smothering defense from Damian Martin. Tom Jervis had a big game with at least 4 blocks that weren't attributed to him. Between him and Matt Knight the Wildcats are going to be strong at the center position. In the dyeing minutes of the game Cairns were down and had to foul to stop the clock but had 0 fouls at the time so they lost preciouce mintues to get up to five fouls. When they finally get to the fifth foul the ref lets an arm grab go and martin gets the ball to Matt Knight for a jump shot to seal a game that must have been painful for the Taipans. 75-68. 
The Perth Wildcats in my opinion are becoming the Miami Heat of the Australian NBL. They have the big 3 in Damian Martin, Jermain Beal and James Ennis and they play a very exciting style of basketball, also unless your from Perth you want them to lose. But i dont mind watching them. Im really looking forward to the Sydney Kings vs Perth wildcats game next week with the supposed Ennis stopper in Sam Young coming into the lineup for the Kings.

Perth Wildcats 75 (Ennis 22, Beal 13, Martin 12)
Cairns Taipans 68 (Loughton 14, McCamey 13, Weigh 10

Here's a link to the alley oop highlight.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Sanders out and Young in for the Sydney Kings

It was released in the Sydney Morning Herald that Jesse Sanders has been released from the Sydney Kings following this weekends game against the Townsville Crocodiles. Jesse Sanders has played as the Sydney Kings starting point guard but is to be released after round 6 to allow for 4 year NBA player Sam Young into the line up. Sanders played the point guard position, for the Kings and played to the framework that head coach Shane Heal laid out for him, however in the cut throat business of import basketball it was unlucky for him that such a star became available to the Kings especially in the revelation that James Ennis has been for the Perth Wildcats and the NBL. Sam Young and the Sydney Kings may have become the team to finally take down the unbeaten Perth Wildcats. This however has left a large gap in the point guard position for the Kings with 3 shooting guards in Ben Madgen, Charles Carmouche and James Harvey maybe they will split the point guard position between them. Some think that the Kings are still yet to find a new import guard who may still take Charles Carmouche's position in the squad to fill that gap in an otherwise very well rounded team. The Kings are still also waiting for power forward Cody Ellis to enter the squad and must be hoping to turn their season around after round 7.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Sam Young signs with the Sydney Kings with an NBA outclause

Former NBA player Sam Young has signed with Sydney Kings in the Australian NBL. His agent Joel Bell told RealGM.
"Sam had other options, but this one made the most sense and will pay him as the highest player in the league," Bell said.

His out clause allows him to return to the NBA at any time up to the Sydney Kings making the playoffs.  Sam young has played as a bench player in the NBA for the last 4 years. In his last year with the Pacers Young played as a defensive stopper on explosive wingmen. This may have been a signing directly aimed at stopping James Ennis and the Perth Wildcats. Young, a 6-foot-6 swingman, has also played with the Memphis Grizzlies and Philadelphia 76ers. If Sam Young can come and have as big an impact that James Ennis is having, the Sydney Kings are going to be a very dangerous team to any opposition.
Iv attached a pretty awesome highlight of Sam Young check it out. This guy can dunk with style.

Its awesome to see such big athletic players making it to the NBL instead of going straight to Europe or the D league. Australia is an excellent option over the D league as it gives the NBA out clause as well as paying up to 10x what some player get in the D league. I think the appearance of James Ennis has created a spotlight on the Australian NBL which is often otherwise overlooked by players hoping to make it to the NBA.

For the Kings the only question I guess is who got cut Jesse Sanders or Charles Carmouch? Jesse sanders was recruited for his passing and scrappy defensive plays. He has done exactly that, but Charles Carmouch has been hitting his shots and getting good numbers, again what he was hired for. In both aspects they have played equally well for their position, but my guess is head coach Shane Heal will stick with the shooter, others think he will have to keep Jesse Sanders as the Kings are weak at the point guard position but have plenty of scoring options. With this signing the Kings have become a team to watch out for. Charles Carmouch can shoot, control the ball and make assists or Jesse Sanders is good point guard who leads the team well, Ben Madgen and James Harvey have shown they can make the big plays and shots, and AJ Ogilvy can dominate on the inside. Add in an NBA forward and the Kings have become an excellent early pick for league champion before the Bookies change the odds. At the moment centrebet have the Kings at $10 as league champions. I might have a punt before we get to see how the Kings play with Young in the team. The Kings have a game this weekend and have not yet informed their current imports that one would be going home. This has left the Kings organization with egg on their face and may impact their game this weekend if they don't inform them who by tip off will be going home. It will be an interesting final game for one of Sydney's imports.

NBL Round 6 Weekend Preview

This weekend we have 5 games of NBL to watch as some big players come back from injury with Matt Knight for the unbeaten Perth Wildcats and Cam Gliddon back in for the Cairns Taipans.

The first game of the round is on the Thursday the 14th with the Perth Wildcats coming off a bye week to take on the Cairns Taipans at the Perth arena. The unbeaten and looking unbeatable Perth Wildcats should get another win at home against Cairns. They are just looking to strong at the moment with no real weaknesses a team can exploit and with a starting player to come in off injury Matt Knight will be looking to have a big impact for his first game of the season. In any other arena i wouldn't mind picking the Cairns Taipan's to get a win over the Wildcats but in the toughest shooting stadium in Australia I don't see even Cam Gliddon's outside range standing against the Perth Wildcats. Having come off a bye last week Perth may have lost a little momentum however they will be geared up to get that momentum back with possibly two more wins this round. I'm picking the Perth Wildcats to win at home however Centrebet has the Cairns Taipans paying $6.25 for the win to Perth $1.25. I might have to have a punt on Cairns to win at odds like that, If the Taipans are hitting their shots their's no reason they cant win. Between Demetri McCamey and Jamar Wilson the Taipans might have the best back court in the league and if they do get open shots for their team they might get over the line or so i hope for a rough bet but I'm going to pick the Wildcats to win by 8.

Game two of the round will be on Friday night in New Zealand with the New Zealand Breakers
taking on the Adelaide 36ers. This is a great match up between two very strong teams. The Breakers have been having a rough start to the season and are on 2-5 wins to losses where as Adelaide look to have filled in some of their gaps from last season and are closing out some tight games with a 5-2 win, loss record and sitting at no. 2 on the ladder. The Breakers still look like they are adjusting to Dean Vickerman's coaching style and the new alterations on how the game is being called. They are a quality team but until they can get these two parts of their game in line I don't see them beating a strong and well rounded team like Adelaide. Having the home court advantage and coming off 3 championships the odds at the TAB are with them with centrebet giving the Breakers $1.65 for the win and the 36ers are at $2.25. I had picked the 36ers to get the win this round against the Breakers and with odds like that its definitely worth a bet. I'm surprised they are so far in New Zealand's favor when the Breakers are sitting second from the bottom on the ladder and coming up against the number 2 team in the league. New Zealand have some excellent offensive players on the team like CJ Bruton, Darryl Corletto, Alex Pledger, Gary Wilkinson and Kerron Johnson. On the defensive end they are a scrappy team that have not yet been able to alter their game to the new reffing this season so have sent their opposing team to the free throw line to many times. If they can play some good defense and not foul so much they should win it with the home court advantage, however I'm picking Gary Ervin and Adelaide 36ers to close out another close game in a hostile location to win by 4. The 36ers have so many options to go to for scoring everyone on the team can stack up the points on any given night and they will be tough to stop. New Zealand will be hoping for the 36ers to miss a few and to get a few more of those 50/50 calls from the refs. It will be a great game to watch with two excellent teams facing off.

The second game on Friday night is in Sydney with the Sydney Kings taking on the Townsville
Crocodiles. This will be a tough game for both teams. The Kings will be looking for AJ Ogilvy early and will hope he will have a big game like he did last week against Cairns where he dominated in the paint. The Townsville Crocodiles are definitely a dark horse of league this season picking up some good wins over the New Zealand Breakers, if they can replicate the game they played against the breakers they may get a win on the road. The Crocodiles play a scrappy, team oriented game and you know they are looking for another win. The Sydney Kings can be a very good team if their offensive sets run well utilizing AJ Ogilvy to spread the floor for their shooters in Ben Madgen and James Harvey. For the Kings AJ Ogilvy can dominate in this league if they can get him the ball down low and the Crocodiles will need to deny him the ball for them to get a win. I'm picking Sydney to get the win at home but the Crocs wont make it easy to go down only by 6. Centrebet have the Kings for the win at $1.45 and Crocs at $2.85.

The Cairns Taipans have a rough road weekend taking on the Melbourne Tigers on Saturday night. The Tigers have hit some good form behind some excellent games from Chris Goulding and Mark Worthington. Cairns will look to deny Worthington and Goulding from getting started and teams have done well to do this in the first half of games but they have both come back to dominate in the second. Cairns will have to try to slow both Wortho and Goulding for the whole game. Melbourne should look to run the ball as Cairns played only 2 nights ago against the very strong and quick Perth Wildcats, fatigue may become an issue for the Taipans and the Tigers may be able to exploit it. Look for the Tigers to run and to try to get Wortho and Goulding going early, as both can go on fire when they get open shots. I'm picking the Tigers to get the win by 8 with Chris Goulding and Mark Worthington to both have big nights with 15+ points each.

The last game of the week is in Wollongong with the Hawks taking on the Perth Wildcats. The Wildcats played on Thursday night and fatigue really shouldn't be to big of an issue by Sunday. The Wildcats should dominate as they did last time the Hawks played them in Perth winning by 40 points. This game should be a bit closer as its a home game for the Hawks but with Matt Knight coming back from injury and Larry Davidson still out injured for the Hawks the Wildcats should be able to dominate inside the key-way with no real centre. The Hawks will have to shoot the lights out to get a win on Sunday and Rotnei Clark who has had a great start to the season will really need to hit his shots and gets his players open for some big three pointers. The Kevin Tiggs and James Ennis match up should be a good one with two very athletic players going against each other. Hopefully Tigg's has gotten those horrible missed dunks he had last time against Perth out of his head and has a big game as that match up should be one to watch. Centrebet have the Wildcats to win at $1.22 and the Hawks at $4.30, I'm picking the Wildcats to get the win with some big plays from Jermain Beal, James Ennis and Matt Knight to dominate on the inside to win by 12.

Whatever team your going for, their is some great basketball to watch this weekend and several close games to call.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Adelaide 36ers held onto the lead to beat the Melbourne Tigers 90-87

In what was looking like a demolition of the Tigers by the 36ers in the first half of the game the Melbourne Tigers came back from a 26 point deficit to make it competitive in the final quarter, behind some hot shooting from Chris Goulding and Mark Worthington.

Scott Morrison started the scoring in the game for the Melbourne Tigers and from the start it was obvious they wanted to go to him a lot. The 36ers were utilising their whole team on offence and were slowly racking up points. Adelaide did a really good job on containing Chris Goulding in the first half with Adam Gibson containing him well and got a steal followed by a big block by Jarrid Frye. With 2 minutes left in the first quarter the Tigers had a 22-11 lead and were playing some excellent defense. Adelaide were dominating on the boards with 15-6 rebounds and the quarter closed 22-13 after Adam Ballinger broke
the drought for the Tigers.

The second quarter was very similar to the first with all of Adelaide working well to notch up the points but the Melbourne Tigers  could not get the ball inside and kept settling with a contested 3 point shot. Adam Gibson showed why he has received the defensive player of the year award in the past as he continued to lock down Chris Goulding in the second quarter. Everyone from Adelaide was hitting their shots with Gary Erving, Daniel Johnson, and Adam Gibson all hitting the 3 ball and the lead ballooned out to 48-25 with two minutes left in the half. Goulding got his first points in the game with 2 minutes left in half but closed the half with 10 points largely behind a tech foul which was called on Joey Wright for a comment to the ref which quickly gave Goulding a 5 point possession.
At half time the score was 53-33 with the rebound count heavily in Adelaide's favour 28-13.
Adam Gibson at half time commented on Goulding's hot streaky shooting "you cant give him the split of a second"

Opening the second half Melbourne still looked to be trying for the long 3 bomb and not hitting but on the other end Anthony Petrie showed them how to do it. Mark Worthington passed up an alley oop to Lucas Walker for the big jam and this where Melbourne got going, but were down 57-39. With the ends switched Melbourne started heating up with Chris Goulding and Mark Worthinton looking like they couldnt miss while on the other end Adelaide couldn't get one to drop and Melbourne were finally getting some rebounds and running it up the floor. Chris Goulding showed off some of his skills off the dribble with a nice smooth drive to the hole. Followed immediately on the other end by Adam Gibson bulldozing his way for a lay up. Adelaide were holding on to their lead but Melbourne were catching up and on the Buzzer Jason Cadee drops a long banked 3 pointed for the 36ers to go into the final break up 75-66.

Mark Worthington kept the Tigers alive early in the final quarter with some nice shooting and the Tigers defence had picked up again. Goulding was heating up again hitting some contested 3 pointers and by 5:30 left in the game the Tigers were back 75-77. Adelaide held onto the narrow lead and with 2 minutes left Adam Ballinger again made a big shot to take the Tigers down by 1 point 84-85. In the final minute in the game JOey Wright had something to say to his former player Chris Goulding and then Goulding immediately followed it with a missed drive. On the other end Gary Ervin made the play of the game with 40 seconds to go he penetrated into the key way and with the whole Tigers team trying to deny him the basket he threads the needle and dished the ball Daniel Johnson for an easy 2 taking the 36ers up 89-84. With only seconds left in the game the Melbourne Tigers were forced to foul on every Adelaide possession and were lucky with some missed free throws to keep them alive 90-87 with the final shot but a huge half way hail mary from Mark Worthington missed the Adelaide 36ers managed to hold onto the win 87-90 after dominating the first half.
Gary Ervin post game said "Melbourne, thats a tough team. Goulding and Wortho are the leaders of that team and when they got hot if was lucky we were up 20 to weather the storm."
"thats the difference with this Adelaide team to last years team in every game this year that has been close we have gotten the win."
Gary Ervin hit the nail on the head with that one and it could be largely due to his influence and late game heroics that have secured Adelaide several of their wins so far in the season.
Mark Worthington top scored the game with 28 points followed by Chris Goulding with 23 and the always consistent Adam Ballinger with 16
For the Adelaide 36ers Gary Ervin finished with 21, Daniel Johnson 19 and Adam Gibson with 13

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Round 6 NBL preview

Round 5 only has 4 games this week but each one will be very competitive and with the Perth Wildcats having a bye week no team looks like they should dominated and each game looks hard to pick.

Friday night has 3 of the 4 games in the round being played with the televised game being the Cairns
Taipans playing the Sydney Kings in Sydney. This should be a close game, if Cairns lose this one they will slip to a losing record and the Kings will get up to an even win loss record.
According to the NBL injury update the Sydney Kings will be down 2 players in James Harvey and Shaun Gleeson where the Carins Taipans will be down last years rookie of the year Cameron Gliddon. The loss of James Harvey and Shaun Gleeson is not the biggest loss as Ben Madgen has started to get back to form with some big games in the last two rounds. However the loss of Cam Gliddon for the Taipans is very big, the Taipans look a lot shallower with him on the bench and will miss his outside game that has been very good early in the season. I'm picking the Kings to get the win at home by 6 due to the loss of Cam Gliddon for Cairns. It will be a tough fight for the Kings and Centrebet has the Kings at $1.81 for the win and the Taipans at $2.00.

Adelaide 36ers are playing Melbourne Tigers again this round this time in Adelaide. The 36ers showed their composure under pressure to hold their lead in the final quarter last round getting the win over New Zealand and Sydney. Last time Adelaide and Melbourne met the Tigers got the win at home in an entertaining game with the old Gold Coast Blaze players matching up well against each other. If Adelaide find a way to contain Chris Goulding then they should get the win with their depth of bench and good team leadership in Gary Ervin and Adam Gibson. However if Goulding and Mark Worthington get some early points for the Tigers they will keep hitting them through the night. This will be key for the 36ers to beat the Tigers as Goulding and Worthington their are the key players and if they get hot their hard to stop. If they can contain Goulding and Worthington early Adelaide should be able to use their height and depth of bench to carry them to the win at home. The NBL injury update has the 36ers with no injuries however i hear that Jarrid Frye may have an injury and might not be at ful strength. Frye has a big offensive output for the 36ers and if this is true may really change the game and going from Chris Goulding's 34 points last round I'm going to pick the Tigers to take the win against a very strong looking 36ers line up. Centrebet has Adelaide to win at $1.55 and the Tigers at $2.45. In my opinion this is the best bet of the week. The Tigers have shown they can beat Adelaide but whether they can in Adelaide is another thing. It should be a great game and my pick of what to watch for the night.

The last game of the night is the Townsville Crocodiles hosting the New Zealand Breakers. Townsville beat New Zealand last time they played in Townsville early in the season but with the breakers starting to play better as a team it will be a tough night for them to get a repeat. The Addition of Gary Wilkinson to New Zealand's line up has given them a strong outside shooting big man which may disrupt the Crocodiles defense. A good defense will be key for the Croc's to get the win. With the home court advantage the Crocs may be able to to hold the Breakers back however they will need some good defensive stops and for the Breakers to maybe miss a few otherwise the Breakers should get their season back on track with an away win over the Crocodiles. Centrebet has the Crocodiles to win at $2.75 and the Breakers at $1.45. I'm picking the breakers to win in Townsville by 12 however if its close in the final quarter and CJ Bruton isn't hitting his shots Townsville may squeeze out a win.

The Final game of the round will see Melbourne Tigers taking on the Wollongong Hawks in
Melbourne. Melbourne may be a bit fatigued after playing Adelaide on Friday as Adelaide love to run the ball. If the Hawks can use this and run the ball at every chance they may actually be able to make it a close one. The Hawks will be missing their center Larry Davidson and they will be very susceptible to some inside play from the Tigers 7 foot center Scott Morrison. The tigers should get this win but Wollongong always fight hard and I'd love to see them keep it competitive but I'm still picking the Tigers to win at home by 12. If your looking for a roughie to get the win on a punt Centrebet have the Hawks to win at $4.00 and the Tigers at $1.25. Rotnei Clark has shown his hot shooting with 36 points in a loss last week and if he can continue that form and somehow contain Chris Goulding there is no reason the Hawks might not pull off a win in the final quarter with a fatigued Melbourne line up on the floor.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Wollongong Hawks lose Larry Davidson for a month to an ankle injury

Half way through the Hawks game against the New Zealand Breakers Larry Davidson rolled his ankle coming down on a another players foot  It was only in the second quarter when Larry Davidson had to sit out due to the rolled ankle and his departure leaves a very large gap in the Hawks rebounding potential. The Wollongong Hawks are already a rather short team but the loss of Davidson is going to wreak havoc on the start to their season. He has a cool head, can hit the long shots when it matters and is a presence on the inside both offensively and defensively. I think a lot of teams will use their height against the Hawks in the coming weeks with him out and it will be tough for the Hawks to remain competitive. No one from the Hawks has stated if they will be looking for a short term replacement but it may be an option. This is a big loss to a team that I believe has a lot of potential, with Rotnei Clark hitting 36 on the weekend if they can gel as a team and play some better defense across the whole game and then capitalize on the turnovers they force they will get some wins but losing Davidson has made it all the more hard. 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Whether its the Return of the NBL star players or excellent team basketball the 2013/14 NBL season has it all

This week was a spectacular one for individual performances with several players showing their incredible talent to get their team the win or to come close. Chris Goulding scored 34 points for the Tigers in a win over the Cairns Taipans, Rotnei Clark scored 36 in a loss against New Zealand Charles Carmouch led the Kings over the Crocs and between Jermaine Beal and James Ennis the Perth Wildcats look unbeatable.
I dont think it would be since the late 90's or early 2000's since the NBL has seen such consistent high scoring outputs from individuals. Although it is only the start of the season things are definitely looking up for the NBL and the alteration on foul calls for the league seems to be doing its job. Not 2 years ago the leagues high scorer was only at 16 points per game. Now in this season Chris Goulding is currently holding those honours averaging 27 points per game and is probably on most peoples dream team line up.

The Melbourne Tigers are fast becoming one of my favorites teams to watch. With Goulding's high offensive
output and Mark Worthington doing everything he has to on both sides of the floor they are looking like a strong team. It sucks to consider what they could have been if they hadn't been riddled with injuries so early into the season and losing another player who could have been as star in Stephen Dennis.

The Perth Wildcats are unbeaten and sit far ahead on the league ladder with a great deal to thank to James Ennis who's high flying dunks have been the highlight of the season. Such athleticism like his has not been seen in the NBL since Leonard Copeland back in the 90's. Jermaine Beal who had a slow start to the season  for the Widcats couldn't get his outside shot
working has come back in a big way and has high scored for the Wildcats in their last two outings.

The Wollongong Hawks import guard Rotnei Clarke has shown how good he is on multiple high scoring nights but his 36 points against New Zealand was his best and was very entertaining to watch. With his impressive outside shooting he looks very hard to guard as he has a very quick step and blew past Kerron Johnson and Alex Pledger on multiple occasions last round. The Hawks other import Kevin Tiggs looks to be a very good player who seems to be having a dry patch around the rim after a shocker of a night against Perth where he missed 2 dunks and an alley oop. He looks to be very athletic and likes to finish around the rim with contact and can definitely put up some good numbers but he needs to get his head right for next round. I think those missed dunks haunted him a little heading into their last game.

The Sydney Kings Saw Charles Carmouch explode against Townsville for 33 points and they still have several star players who could step up and have some huge games in AJ Ogilvy, Ben Madgen and James Harvey. Ogilvy has been doing quite well on the inside but the outside shooting of the Kings has not yet been what it could be with Madgen still coming back from injury and James Harvey out last round.

The other teams in the league look to be playing a good all round team style with points being put in from all players on the court. Adelaide's stacked team goes nearly 10 men deep and Joey wants them to push the ball, which looks to be working. This looks to be the game plan of several of these pass first teams like Cairns who also like to run. Cairns however  looked a lot shallower when Cam Gliddon was out last round due to injury. The New Zealand Breakers have a had a slow start to the season but are again stacked with many talented players. The Breakers can definitely distribute the points around the team and with a pass first import like Kerron Johnson if the Breakers are hitting their shots, {and with players like CJ Bruton and Darryl Corletto they will be}they will come back to finish in the top four of the season.
The Townsville Crocodiles who are trying to stay alive after nearly going under in the off-season and are playing some great unselfish basketball. They are working hard to show they are still a threat and their guard Steven Markovic has shown himself to be an excellent floor general.

This season looks to be an exciting one and whether your wanting to see some impressive single person scoring from a star player or some excellent team basketball their is something for everyone to watch this season. Lets hope the high quality can be sustained throughout the season.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Wollongong Hawks go down to the New Zealand Breakers 89-97

In a game where the lead just kept switching the Breakers were too much for the Hawks in the final Quarter to break a 4 game losing streak 89-87. Rotnei Clark must have watched Chris goulding against the Taipans and thought he could do that, to finish with 36 points.

New zealand started with a decent lead and Rotnei Clark was working hard to keep Wollongong alive but the Hawks couldn't get any rebounds. The Breakers kept getting second and third attempts to hold a lead at 6 min 10-13.
It looked like the Hawks dry patch was holding from their game in Perth and kept missing around the rim. The Hawks were getting stops but couldn't capitlise with a basket and lead was stretching 3 min 14-20.
To start Kevin Tiggs sustained his dry patch and couldn't finish around the rim after some nice moves inside. Rhy Martin made a step back 2 on the buzzer to close the quarter 21-26. Hawks managed to slow them in the second 5min but needed to make some buckets.

Second Qtr: Clark started heating up with a 3 to open the quarter but pledger kept making his shots. Pledger has really picked up his mid range game and couldnt be stopped early with 13p at 6:26 in the second quarter eventually finishing with 19 point and 7 rebounds
Tiggs missed another big dunk, but finally broke the drought with a rebound to run the floor and make a tough shot. Then Rotnei Clark made another 3 to take the lead 29-28 with only one and half minutes off the clock in the second quarter.
The Referees made another terrible call for the weekend with a reach in foul by Darryl Corletto from behind on a fast break and they disallow the two points. Later they called another unsportsmanlike a regular foul with the consistency across the league terrible. 
Hawks played some terrible offensive sets to close the half and the Breakers forced the turnovers just in from half court to retake and stretch the lead, 45-49.
Rotnei Clark finished the half with 20p and had this to say on the the last minutes of the half, "At the end there we didn't know what was going on with our offence “

2nd Half: 
In the first minutes of the quarter the Hawks came out hot again with Coenradd hitting two 3 pointers in a row to tie it up 51-51. Tiggs made a lay up and they take the lead 53-51, but a Darryl Corletto 3 takes it back in a great competitive start with both teams hitting shots and he lead kept switching.
The lead continued switching and at the 5:00 minute mark it was W58-59NZ. 
Kerron Johnson who was having a slow game got knocked to the ground on a Tyson Demos moving screen and stays down. The crowd didn't like the call and Johnson had to leave the floor due to the hit to his head. It was a physical game and in the next play Coenraad was thrown to the ground in a rebound contest with no call.  A 3 pointer from CJ Bruton and Darryl Corletto stretched the lead but a steal and lay up on the buzzer by Tiggs closed the quarter W68-69NZ. Kevin Tiggs finished with 18 points and had a big third quarter while Clark had a slow one with none in the third.
4th Qtr: Rotnei Clark opened the quater with a nice drive and got his first points of the half to retake the lead 70-69. Straight after he had killer pass into Gruber on the inside to stretch it W72-69NZ in the first 1:30 of the last quarter. Kerron Johnson came back on and was immediately boo'd by the crowd.
Johnson got going in the last qtr listening to the boos and New Zealand retook the lead 80-83Nz with 4 minutes left in the game.
In the dyeing minutes the hawks couldn't get the calls they wanted and the veteran plays by CJ Bruton were too smooth as they Breakers managed to hold the lead. Clark did what he could to keep the Hawks alive and some bad free throw shooting by Kerron Johnson looked like he could but it wasn't enough and the Breakers broke their 4 game losing streak by winning 89-97.

New Zealand Breakers 97 (Pledger 19, Vukona 18, Corletto 15)

Wollongong Hawks 89 (Clarke 36, Tiggs 18, Coenraad 12)