It was thrilling NBL action across Round 8 with two matches decided by just a single point. The Hawks comeback in South Australia had the Wolf on the edge of the seat with Illawarra trailing for 35 minutes against the 36ers before winning 87-86. The Bullets also made a statement on Monday night in Melbourne, defeating United by 16 points. Brisbane are charging through the competition at the moment with Cam Gliddon and Lamar Patterson starring.
The Wolf takes a look at all the matches from Round 9 of the NBL.
|MATCH/TIME (AEST)||NBL BEST BETS|
|PERTH WILDCATS v SYDNEY KINGSRAC ARENA FRI 14 DEC 0950PM||Perth Wildcats ($1.56)|
|BRISBANE BULLETS v ADELAIDE 36ERSBRISBANE CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE|
SAT 15 DEC 0250PM
|Brisbane Bullets ($1.65)|
|ILLAWARRA HAWKS v SYDNEY KINGSWIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE SUN 16 DEC 0250PM||Illawarra Hawks ($2.45)|
|CAIRNS TAIPANS v NEW ZEALAND BREAKERSCAIRNS CONVENTION CENTRE SUN 16 DEC 0520PM||New Zealand Breakers ($1.65)|
|MELBOURNE UNITED v PERTH WILDCATSMELBOURNE ARENA MON 17 DEC 0750PM||Melbourne United ($1.70)|
PERTH WILDCATS (11-2) ($1.56) v SYDNEY KINGS (7-4) ($2.45)
Sydney challenge Perth for the keys to the NBL kingdom.
Boom! A 5 point win over the Wildcats on Friday night was the King’s biggest scalp of the season, so big that only one other team has defeated Perth this year. Andrew Gaze’s side used a suffocating defensive performance in the second quarter to hold the Wildcats to just 13 points and held on for the win at home.
Surprisingly Jerome Randle was quiet with just 8 points on 3-12 shooting and the Wolf thinks that was a missed opportunity to do some damage in the absence of Bryce Cotton. Brad Newley shot the lights out from the perimeter with 16 points on 3-5 three point shooting. Andrew Bogut is also dominating the pain with a competition high 11.8 boards and 3.1 blocks per game.
Playing in Perth will be a completely different atmosphere for the Kings. They are not welcome in the West. The Wolf thinks that another week of recovery for Bryce Cotton will help the Wildcat’s star who struggled through the pain in their win over the Taipans on Sunday.
BEST BETS: Perth Wildcats ($1.56)
BRISBANE BULLETS (6-6) ($1.65) v ADELAIDE 36ERS (5-8) ($2.25)
Improvements needed for Joey Wright’s side against the Bullets
A narrow 86-87 loss to the Illawarra Hawks on Sunday afternoon was the 36ers second loss to the Hawks in consecutive rounds, losing 109-120 before the international break.
Nathan Sobey continues his impressive season, leading the NBL in assists with just under 5 per game. He scored 24 points against the Hawks last weekend and his ability to score is a real barometer of whether the 36ers will win. Demitrius Conger took just the single shot in open play against Illawarra on the weekend and his offensive production needs to lift considerably if they are a chance to beat the Bullets away from home.
The 36ers need to take care of the ball and convert their free throws (Conger was 3-8 and they lost by 1). The Wolf thinks the Bullets are looking strong with Lamar Patterson on board and the home side will get the win.
BEST BETS: Brisbane Bullets ($1.65)