NBL: 2 rounds in, who ya got?
So two rounds are in the history books, and the field looks a whole lot different to how I and lots of people were calling it at the start of the season. Cairns is on fire and Melbourne have been a dud. Perth and NZ have been good but not the dominant forces that everyone predicted either.
What are your revised league rankings now we've seen a few hitouts from each side?
1). Perth (Cairns will regress, Perth will improve)
2). Cairns (Great start, which Aaron Fearne will we get the rest of the way though?)
3). NZ (are going to struggle to crack the top 2 with Vukona and Ibekwe constantly in foul trouble due to NBL reffing style, but will still be pretty damn good)
Then I can't really pick anyone from the rest of the pack because they have all looked horrid at worst, passable at best.
But there's a couple of tiers:
TIER 2 (Melbourne, Townsville, Adelaide in no particular order)
Comprised of two teams who aren't playing up to the ability of their stacked rosters due to chemistry and coaching issues (Crocs & United) and one who just doesn't have the players but who will scrap and is well coached (Adelaide). These 3 teams will be fighting it out for that 4th playoff spot.
TOWNSVILLE playing really selfishly for long stretches and trying to run through Gladness who is not a scorer (also turns out he's not a great defender and more of a block-gambler from early impressions). Also this team doesn't have an identity yet. Dennis' schemes are very frustrating on the defensive end if you're a Crocs fan. A chance for the 4.
MELBOURNE a basketcase on all levels but just got a W off a dead coach bounce. Also a team without an identity. Can only go up from here. A chance for the 4 on talent alone.
ADELAIDE fighting hard but just don't have the talent. What they have going for them is that they know who they are and they know how they want to play: grit, grind and win ugly. A chance for the 4 on coaching and intangibles..
The final tier is the bottom feeders trying to avoid the spoon:
WOLLONGONG's roster is imbalanced, Luke Nevill seems to have already fallen out of favour, and their backcourt is TINY. Gordie will do his best but the pieces don't add up. They will get scalps with that lightning backcourt but it will lose them games as well. The return of Larry Davidson could galvanise them and reinstall their identity though, which could move them up a tier.
SYDNEY spent all of their money on Josh Childress and Ben Madgen and forgot to build a basketball team around them. Add a rookie head coach to the mix and they are no chance to make the 4.