NBL is back and what a start to the season we had. It’s hard to tell a lot out of the first round of the season, but here is what we can take from it so far.
After 8 years out of the NBL, the Brisbane Bullets reinvigorated the franchise with a bang winning their first two games in round one. Coming from behind against Perth and defeating Sydney in their first away game, the Bullets showed real signs that they could be a force to be reckoned with this season. Keep an eye on them.
Melbourne United had a disappointing start to the season, going down in both their games in round one. After finishing in the first seed and going on to get knocked out in the Semi-Finals of the 2015/16 season, United will be looking to go all the way this season with their strong list of talent. Back to back wins in round 2 has helped them get their season back on track.
Illawarra Hawks impressed by dominating the Adelaide 36ers in their round one game, however going down in both there round two clashes is not the consistency they will want to show following up from making the Semi-Finals last season. The Perth Wildcats Wildcats were just 2.8 seconds from starting their season 0-2, however a clutch three from import Jaron Johnson against the Taipans sent the game into over-time, causing the momentum to shift and the home team ran away with the victory. In the Finals rematch against the New Zealand Breakers, Perth again walked away with the bragging rights in a nail-biting 75-73 win. No doubt they will both be there when the whips are cracking at the end of the season.
The 36ers have been hard to gauge so far this season, showing signs of positivity as well as serious lapses of concentration. If they can remove this inconsistency from their game they have shown they can put it up with the best.
Andrew Gaze didn’t start his coaching career with the Sydney Kings off the way he would’ve liked, going down to Brisbane by 4 points. Gaze was interviewed on NBL TV during the week, saying that ‘we should be disappointed because we didn’t get the result, but not discouraged by what we saw’. He also noted that the Kings need to improve their rebounding if they want to challenge this season. They bounced back with two wins in round two, allowing them to finish the round on top of the table.
Cairns Taipans have not impressed thus far, being comfortably beaten in their first two games. They will need to lift their game if they want to propell themselves off the bottom of the ladder and improve their position of finishing 6th last season.
You can watch all these games live on NBL TV through this link.