The NBL is underway and Round 1 is complete! A few questions are already upon us and it’s only week 1 of the new and improved season.
The old saying “A team of champions never beats a champion team”. Well that was the case week 1, when probably by far the best NBL outfit ever put together (Melbourne Utd) went down not once, but twice in the opening week! They travelled across the ditch and were taught a lesson in the last quarter about team chemistry and how to finish a game by the seasoned NZ Breakers.
They were then heavy favourites at home to Adelaide on Sunday and never looked likely. A younger, hungrier Adelaide line up proving too strong which begs the question, does this team have “too many” star players that need the ball in their hands, rather than sacrificing for the team? Time will tell. I think they’ll work it out, veterans like Dave Anderson haven’t come back to the NBL to not be involved in a championship contending team. There’s too much talent on this roster not to get this right.
Brisbane surprised us all by winning both their opening week matches. The opening night crowd in Brisbane was very disappointing. The earlier tip off in Brisbane may not have helped (and it being a Thursday night also), so I would really expect that come Sunday night against Adelaide up in Brisbane we see close enough to a sell out! They lobbied so hard to get this team back into the league it would be terrible to not see great crowds up there, especially when they’re winning games and due to get Olympian Cam Bairstow back.
Our Kings were dreadful Saturday night in their home opener against the newly formed Brisbane Bullets. The boys looked really flat, and with a great crowd of over 8000 people they couldn’t get it done. Another question popped up. Is Andrew Gaze really the right man for the job? You can’t really rule him out week 1, but was it a gimmick that he was brought in just to get the Kings brand back to where it rightfully belongs? I hope not, as there is so much talent on this roster for it to show what they showed Saturday night! First week jitters??
Illawarra, who were so brilliant in the pre-season, showed again why I really like them to give this competition a shake. Getting former MVP of the league Rotnei Clarke back, and having a loaded front court with Ogilvy and Kay, this team is moving in the right direction. Coach Rob Beveridge has this team playing such an exciting brand of basketball and are really a joy to watch. They play “Big Brother” Sydney on Thursday night which is sure to be an exciting contest!
Is the Perth Wildcats reign over? They were average in their season opener, and really should’ve lost to Cairns at home Saturday night if not for a prayer from Jeron Johnson at the buzzer to force OT. I don’t think this is the most talented roster they’ve had, and are probably going to need big games from Prather every night for them to be in games.
Let us know what you think about the opening week and look forward to another great 2nd week of the season. Hoops is back!!