Nathan of Perth
If Breakers & Cairns win...
I would suggest that it will shut the door on the Top 4, halfway through the season, resulting in:
New Zealand, Perth, Melbourne, Cairns
The Taipans would be 3.5 games clear of Sydney and back up and running. I think that in the course of the season they would be overtaken by Melbourne who are now finding their rhythm, and Perth should be able to sustain their form.
New Zealand has re-adapted to Cedric Jackson and show no signs of the issues that led to their early patchy form. They'll have won six on the trot and shown that the NBL *still* has no idea how to combat Cedric. Taking out Perth in Perth has shown that Perth Arena is not the problem it was for them last season, so I would suggest they are the most likely side for the title.
Melbourne are a bit of an oddball case here, as their 6-5 record (at one stage 4-5) is not in sync with the basketball they have played when they are on song. So far their series with NZ is split 1-1 (each with a home W), and I believe the next half of this series will be crucial to the league ladder at the end of the year. My feeling is that they've found their footing and will definitely get into the top for, particularly with their great home records. But their away form (1-4) makes me feel they won't challenge NZ & Perth for the title.
Perth strictly speaking, are 0.5 away game Ws behind New Zealand (5-1 v 5-1 at home, 4-2 v 3-2 away compared to NZB), so if they win away next, they will be on level pegging ........ except their next away game is at Vector, so good luck with that. Perth will need two things to win the title: Deandre Daniels to stand up and shake off the after-effects of his pre-season surgeries, and for Damo to continue the 3pt shooting form he had last year. When Damo is sinking the triple the Wildcats' offence becomes all but impossible to deal with. If Daniels and Damo are going, the Wildcats are a fully-fledged, five-vector threat with numerous inside and outside dangers and a deep bench to help sustain efforts. If they aren't going then god help us.
So, if Breakers & Cairns win, the top 4 is sorted. Round 10 will determine who finishes where in the Top 4 though with:
Perth @ New Zealand
New Zealand @ Melbourne
(and Melbourne @ Adelaide and Adelaide @ Perth)
If NZ walk out of that 2-0 the minor premiership is their's barring injury to Cedric by dint of series splits.