Wed, Dec 14, 4:54pm by Jake Equid
The 36ers are on the charge and the Taipans are on the slide.
It had been 36 games since the Taipans lost consecutive games in Cairns, and it fitting it was the 36ers who ended that streak, with Adelaide now a chance to take top spot when they face Sydney both home and away this weekend.
Amazingly, In Round 7, the Adelaide 36ers were in last place, languishing in a four-game losing slump.
After a couple of weeks in the top four, now it is Cairns’ turn to revisit the foot of the table, only Sydney and Brisbane have avoided spending some time at the bottom of the ladder so far this campaign.
The round starts in New Zealand on Thursday night when the Breakers host the Wildcats in a replay of last season’s decider.
The Breakers ran straight into Jerome Randle and the Adelaide 36ers on Saturday, Randle finished with 37 points in a magnificent display that dropped the Kiwis to 7-9.
The Wildcats snapped their four-game losing streak with a gutsy 92-89 win over surging Melbourne at home on Friday. Casey Prather scored a round-high 39 points.
Onto Friday night’s top of the table contest between the Adelaide 36ers and the Sydney Kings. Although Sydney still holds a two-game buffer, these clubs meet twice this weekend, home and away, so ultimately it’s a battle for top spot.
As mentioned in the intro, the 36ers are the hottest team in the league right now after five straight wins. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of Joey Wright’s team at the moment is their transition from defence to offence that caught both the Taipans and the Breakers on the nap last round. I’m taking them at home on Friday at the juicy odds of $2.05 for their sixth win in a row.
Their opponents have had a tougher time of it lately, they lost to Melbourne United at home on Sunday but were able to get the win in Cairns 48 hours earlier when Olympian Brad Newley top-scored with 20.
Speaking of Olympians, Chris Goulding was unstoppable for Melbourne United on Sunday, he finished with 28 points while import Casper Ware added 23 points to the 38 he scored on Friday in Perth.
The Bullets are sixth now after losses on the road in New Zealand and at home against Illawarra in Round 10, their lowest rung for sometime.
As mentioned, Cairns have dropped back to the bottom of the ladder after losing their last two games. They are $1.70 favourites to get back into the winners’ circle when they host the Hawks ($2.15) on Saturday.
The Hawks ($2.05) then have to back up against the Bullets ($1.78) in Brisbane on Monday.
Suggested Bet: Adelaide to beat Sydney at home: $2.05
New Zealand Breakers ($1.78) v Perth Wildcats ($2.05), Vector Arena, 5:30pm, Thursday 15 December
Adelaide 36ers ($2.05) v Sydney Kings ($1.78), Titanium Security Arena, 7:30pm, Friday 16 December
Cairns Taipans ($1.70) v Illawarra Hawks ($2.15), Cairns Convention Centre, 5:30pm, Saturday 17 December
Brisbane Bullets ($2.05) v Melbourne United ($1.78), Brisbane Convention Centre, 7:30pm, Saturday 17 December
Sydney Kings ($1.56) v Adelaide 36ers ($2.44), Qudos Bank Arena, 3:00pm, Sunday 18 December
Brisbane Bullets ($1.78) v Illawarra Hawks ($2.05), Brisbane Convention Centre, 7:30pm, Monday 19 December
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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