NBL Ladder After Round 4 - Discussion
So four rounds in and a few talking points:
1. Perth have lost nothing with seven footer Luke Neville walking. No team has even had the chance to slow the game down to try to punish their undersized frontcourt. Favourites, but every other team will get better while Perth are already peaking. Might not matter since the rest might never catch up.
2. Wollongong are just flat-out playing the game the right way on both ends of the floor. Nothing more to say here. Have yet to play NZ or Perth, which will be a good measure of where they are really at.
3. New Zealand are a cut below last year on the offensive end. Pledger is atrocious on that end as a starter but is having a fantastic campaign defensively. Wilkinson is being missed right now but the rest should pick up the slack as the season goes on. A team that historically gets better at the business end.
4. Sydney had a great round and find themselves in the four. Probably won't stay there for long but they are playing hard under Hammer. Any team that goes 2-0 on a road trip with an entirely new roster is doing something right.
5. Adelaide are about where I expected them to be at this stage. Still finding their identity as a unit. Probably won't contend this season, but will be a force to be reckoned with next year if they keep most of this roster together and the coaching staff matures. Will finish in the four or just miss out.
6. Cairns don't appear to be the juggernaut many predicted in the pre-season. Still early days. Should get better as they find their identity on the defensive end.
7. Melbourne don't have a great team. Not much more to say.
8. Townsville are far and away the worst team in the league right now. Terrible on defense yet somehow even worse on offense. Terrible coaching exceeded only by lacklustre effort on the court by the players. A train wreck that still has time to be righted, but these next two rounds are absolutely crucial. A lesson in how not to execute an offseason recruiting campaign. Half the roster is too young, the other half too old. Too many PGs / undersized SGs. Will they ever get it together? With only four playoff spots available in the new condensed league, their season might already be over.