It’s another big round, and the biggest question is can Melbourne United make the finals?
With the Taipans having locked up a top three finish the race for fourth place has become a logjam with four teams on 11 wins trying to secure a play-off spot.
Melbourne United, Brisbane Bullets, New Zealand Breakers and Adelaide 36ers all have their eyes on the prize and still hold their own destiny in their hands.
United were purely disgusting in their efforts against the Breaker last week. To only score 68 points in a must-win game shows the dysfunction that currently plagues them.
The Breakers season was kept alive with two massive wins against Sydney and Melbourne to respond from a disappointing Round 15. Meanwhile, the Bullets handled their business against the Hawks and Adelaide stumbled against a red-hot trio of imports in Cairns.
The Taipans imports made NBL history over the weekend. DJ Newbill, Scott Machado and Cam Oliver all scored over 20 points which is the first time that all three imports have been able to do such a thing since the three-import rule came into effect in 2017.
The trio put on a show against the Adelaide 36ers who were desperate for a win to claim fourth spot outright. The Taipans were also able to put 108 points on the board in another display of offensive firepower.
With only one more home game remaining in the season for the Taipans they’ll be hoping that the form of their stars will continue as they eye off an improbable final runs after being selected in the bottom two this season by many experts.
Stock up: New Zealand Breakers
After losing all momentum in Round 15 the Breakers hit back with 2 monumental wins against the Sydney Kings and Melbourne United.
The Kings were without reigning MVP Bogut but the Breakers handled their business. They were exceptional against United holding them to a measly 68 points and coming away with a 22-point victory.
Scotty Hopson continues he’s excellent form, while being supported by locals Finn Delaney and Tom Abercrombie. The Breakers start of the season may come back to bite them but watching this team fire at the right end of the season has been fun to watch.
Stock Up: Brisbane Bullets
I know they only beat the Hawks but it was the way in which they did it. Their two questionable imports EJ Singler and Taylor Braun have been relegated to the bench with less minutes and the Australians Cameron Gliddon and Jason Cadee have been given more opportunities.
The play of Will Magnay has been the most pleasing aspect with a lot of people thinking he is an NBA prospect. With his length and shot blocking ability he has really anchored the Bullets defence which has kick started their transition offence.
The Bullets are continuing they’re great run and after being written off mid-season the Bullets are back.
Stock Down: Melbourne United
Where do we begin? Melbourne United are in a huge hole which I don’t know if they can recover from. The lack of urgency against the New Zealand Breakers was appalling on the weekend. To me this team is to over talented needs to make a dramatic change.
Their imports Melo Trimble and Shaun Long while capable aren’t getting the job done. The man that has sacrificed the most is Chris Goulding. He needs to become the go-to guy for this team. He has the capability to carry his team offensively and needs to be the No. 1 target.
Long needs less post touches and needs to work through running the lanes and offensive rebounds. Trimble needs to create less and take the shots when given to him. However, with six games remaining and a must-win game against their harbour city rival Sydney ahead of them I don’t see how they can turn it around quickly enough for them to make the finals.