Years ago

Your NBL team's prospects

A few more pieces have been added to teams and at least a couple have had some relevant hit-outs to test their mettle.

How are you feeling about your team's prospects at this point in the pre-season?

Illawarra have played a few public games with Kay and Norton out there. The 36ers have had a look at Ferguson and Jacobsen, etc.

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Years ago

I'm feeling very good about United. Very, very deep and talented roster and they’ve added two guys who are proven winners in David Andersen and Cedric Jackson.

It’s all very early and we’re all speculating about imports and what we’re seeing on paper because as usual every team has made plenty of changes, but to me, United look like one of the teams to beat, along with Sydney who have also made some great signings, and Perth because they’re the Wildcats.

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Years ago

The two top teams talent wise (melb & syd) have question marks at the head coach position so should make for an upset-filled season if neither guy finds his feet, and Demopoulos has a one-season headstart.

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Years ago

My team, the 36ers wont be very good, cant see them really contending but we are always told we have no money so thats what it is. United will be very very good, and think the Sydney Kings will turn things around very quickly.

Perth to compete as always and if one of the new imports can be a genuine diamond in the rough, then 4th is anyones.

Reply #596904 | Report this post

Years ago

The Kings should find a way to have a Kings like season.

Reply #596905 | Report this post

Years ago

Agreed Mick, Demopoulos ran a one dimensional offense without much variety last year and increasingly it got scouted as the season went on.

Was this because

1. Demopoulos doesn't have many tricks in his bag?


2. He was just doing something to suit the roster? (After all, it was good enough to get us minor premier and the main reason we got beaten in Semi was not just offense getting shut down, it was also getting monstered inside)

We'll find out soon because this year's time has more balance. Jackson is a very different player to Holt in the point guard possie so we'll how Demopoulos sets it all up

Reply #596908 | Report this post

Years ago

1. Melbourne
2. Perth
3. Illawarra
4. New Zealand

5. Sydney
6. Brisbane
7. Cairns
8. Adelaide

I know the Kings & Breakers both still have an import each to sign but assuming neither will be world beaters I think this is how things could end up.

I do hope I'm wrong with my 36ers but they didn't really look impressive in Darwin against a Hawks team missing all 3 of it's imports and Ogilvy for the last two games, the two games the 36ers won.

Reply #596910 | Report this post

Years ago

The Taipans are going about building their roster without the hype of the other clubs. They've just picked up 2 quality imports that will fit the system well, and recruited some quality Australians on the way up. The backcourt looks great, but 2 things concern me about the frontcourt...

1. Power Forward - I'm nervous that they let the wrong 4-man go. I understand the reasons why Trigger got the chop, but I feel he had more to offer than Loughton, whose form has been fleeting since he moved North)

2.. Backup for Jawai (Loughton is currently our next biggest, and there's no way he can match it with other centres... plus I think he has an allergy to the paint in the key!) Burston is still in town, but age & durability are against him. It sounds as though he won't be considered, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a last minute about face if no other decent affordable options present themselves.

Of course being a loyal supporter I'm naturally going to show a bit of bias, but I don't think the $34 odds on Sportsbet to win the title are justified. They'll be better than that. From memory they had similar pre-season odds 2 years ago when they lost the GF.

Reply #596916 | Report this post

Years ago

I like Melbourne's roster but they've done nothing to rectify their glaring weakness - rebounding. They finished last in both Offensive and Defensive rebounding last season. Whilst Andersen is a slight upgrade over Kickert he's still not the type of rebounder they require. Wesley will help but when you consider that he's replacing Warrick, they seem to have gone backwards. Maybe they think Williams will be the answer.

I really like NZ, even more so if they can lock in someone along the lines of Charles Jackson. Penney coming off the bench will be incredible, Ili will be better for last years run and Loe will come along nicely as the season progresses. A super bench.

I also like Cairns as a sleeper. They seem to have recruited well. Trice looks great from the film I've seen. The addition of Jawai is the second biggest local signing in the off-season for mine (Lisch was my no.1). Plugging him into Fearney's half court offense will be awesome to watch, especially if the rumours of him dropping some lbs is true. If they can sign a decent backup at the 4/5 then they'll be bloody dangerous. All they have to do is place a clause in Wortho's contract that he's not allowed to jack threes....

Reply #596937 | Report this post

Years ago

The one thing I'm backing for NZ is our chemistry. So far, no player is in a situation where they walk into day one of preseason and not played with anyone on the roster - Woodside's coming in having played with KP for a couple seasons in Spain and good reps from a number of Aussies.

We have 8.5 players in our rotation - Ili as 9th man with Delany/Ngatai there as quasi-development guys. Having KP back will be huge off the bench, and I'm hopeful our import 4-man can move Mika to the bench as well. If Pledger is fully healthy, his post D will be a key factor.

But the Breakers have always been subpar without Jackson - whether he's had a spell on the bench, or when he went overseas. How we contend without him is the only important factor to our seeding.

Reply #596938 | Report this post

Years ago

Sydney 5th? lol

You think Lisch is going to let that happen?

Reply #596940 | Report this post

Years ago

Zodiac that is one wack list youve got there!

Reply #596941 | Report this post

Years ago

By wack I'm going to have to assume you mean good so thank you! ;)

Reply #596943 | Report this post

Years ago

I usually get a little serotonin hit about this time each year, anticipating Melbourne's glorious prospects for another season. And the 2015/16 effect was slow to wear off, right up until play-offs.
So, two years in succession minor premiers underwhelmed when it mattered, Vickerman coaching the barbarians each time. Will he do it again as Sydney's executive coach?
Just for fun, I'd like to see Cairns repeat their 2014/15 early on-road form, and ambush the league. Wilbekin and Craig watched the pre-season hit-outs against Wollongong from the sidelines but demonstrated their value immediately the regular season commenced. Made for an entertaining get-out.
Cairns is still to announce their selection of backup centre ifrom a diminishing market. Has Fearne quietly assembled another play-off team?
He must think so, and he remains the most difficult coach in the league to dismiss.
If ever there was a coach vs cash scenario this will be the season
With Vickers to play the spoiler.

Reply #596945 | Report this post

Years ago

You've got to think the hawks are in with a shot.

What a season it's gonna be

Reply #596951 | Report this post

Years ago

My expectations are that Perth should make the top 4 and go 31 straight but damn its going to tough. Wildcats will be sporting 3 super athletic imports and it will be interesting to see how they go fitting in chemistry wise. There are a lot of teams fielding super impressive lineups on paper.

IMO, Melbourne will be the team to beat this year and I expect them to finish top 2. A majority of teams have had massive changes to their rosters and dynamics so I got no idea how its all going to play out at this stage.

Reply #596964 | Report this post

DJ Rod  
Years ago

Mine's not looking good at all!

Reply #596981 | Report this post

Years ago

Only thing I'm sure about is that Adelaide will probably struggle due to youth and the talent influx of the teams above, but it feels like there's 6 or 7 teams who could all finish top 4.

Reply #596983 | Report this post

Years ago

Re United's rebounding woes,

Andersen is an upgrade on Kickert, obviously.

Wesley is about equivalent to Warrick- Warrick had more length and athleticism but Wesley is tougher and stronger. Numbers are about equivalent.

Then you have Devin Williams replacing Patton. The draft scouting reports and the numbers show that rebounding is one of his biggest strengths. So that's an upgrade too.

In terms of individual skillsets I'm more concerned about rim protection as opposed to pure rebounding. stopping the Marics, Jawais, Bairstows from scoring around the basket.

Reply #596988 | Report this post

Years ago

@LV, is Majok still on the roster, he isn't bad at defending the rim and a good rebounder too?

Reply #596989 | Report this post

Years ago

Yes he is.

That's another question that he'll need to answer- who is the real Majok Majok? Will he please stand up.

There were times early last season when I wondered if he was a son of Ben Wallace, as he was dominating on the glass, protecting the rim like a fiend, using superior body positioning and smart play to worry the likes of Nate Jawai off his game.... but as the season wore on he started to look more and more like a battling, undersized Centre without much going for him.

Hopefully this season he brings lots of the former and less of the latter.

Reply #597002 | Report this post

Years ago

I thought when the coach showed confidence in him he gave it back, but when they went all outside and just shot the ball over him for the majority of the game his confidence dropped accordingly.

He has the ability, all he needs is the coach to show him he respects him and the players like Goulding and Co. to follow suit.

United's problem last season wasn't him, it was the lack of using him correctly IMHO...

Reply #597004 | Report this post

Years ago

United's line-up is as talented as any the NBL has seen I reckon, the question being can they turn that into a team that can beat Perth and/or NZ in a playoff series, because odds are they are going to need to.

Should be a great year, I only have Brisbane and Adelaide as teams without a legit title chance, but they both still have solid rosters and are capable of beating anyone on their night.

Reply #597012 | Report this post

Years ago

Right now I just can't decide who will finish 8th, Cairns or Adelaide

Reply #597018 | Report this post

Years ago

At this point NZ only has one import- Woodside.

Have they said how many they'll be signing? If there's two decent imports to come, that will be one helluva roster.

Reply #597022 | Report this post

Years ago

The last 1/3rd of the season Majok basically vanished. When did Warrick come over, it was around mid-season wasn't it?

Reply #597026 | Report this post

Years ago

Warrick played the whole season, including the Blitz.

But he got injured and missed about 6 games or so, which would've been from about game 5 or 6 through to game 11 or 12 ish.

Reply #597036 | Report this post

Years ago

As Warrick gained confidence on his return, Majok's confidence and role seemed to diminish with it.

The issue was - as I saw it- that Warrick was obviously super talented in the low post and finishing around the rim, but Majok was actually better defensively- more fundamentally sound, better at out hustling bigger opponents and defending them in the low block.

But neither Majok nor Warrick had any range, so you didn't want them on court together for extended periods of time. They both fit alongside Kickert but Demopoulos kind of had to pick his poison- do you want rebounding and grunt work or far more firepower?

Reply #597037 | Report this post

Years ago

Not sure, I think my #CatsGonnaCat as usual to a 31st playoffs.

But my lord, has the rest of the league improved heaps (on paper)..

Can't tell how well they'll do to be honest but at least top 4. My thoughts:

Replaced Nate with McKay

Heaps of energy, length and good vertical leap. Should be more active and better defensively than Nate. Can prob beat some bigs on the dribble if facing type player.

Not sure will command as much double teams as Nate or how his passing out is. Prob not strong enough to post like Nate. At 96kg, just hope he doesn't get bullied but instead gets that kill-mode athlete factor in him after a few games of sussing out the league like Prather did.

Replaced Jervy with Brandt

Lost an inch and some length I think, Jervy had a big wingspan.

Jervy was a beast when given minutes, I'm expecting Brandt to take it to that level consistently this season.

Replaced Beal with Johnson

Two different playing styles, we really needed a gun shooter here, Johnson looks ok from deep but hope Kenny, Wagstaff and DKD will light up from time to time too when called on.

Mind you we still have Matty Knight, Prather and The Captain.

Reply #597040 | Report this post

Years ago

Spot on LV, agree with that wholeheartedly theory.

Reply #597041 | Report this post

Years ago

Spot on LV, agree with that theory wholeheartedly.

Makes more sense...

Reply #597043 | Report this post

Years ago

Am I the only one here that reckons most games could be competitive the whole game with the level of talent around the league. I believe its going to be a great NBL year!?

Reply #597047 | Report this post

Years ago

Nope, I do too, who is saying it isn't going to be competitive?

Reply #597048 | Report this post

Years ago

The interesting part for me is what Mick alluded to above

Whilst it's true that the overall talent levels are increasing, three of the groups with the most pure talent (depending how NZ fills out their roster) will be UTD, Sydney and NZ. They're the 3 teams with unproven coaches.

Reply #597050 | Report this post

Years ago

^ me

Reply #597052 | Report this post

Years ago

So nobody has the Bullets in their top 4?

3 times championship winning coach
2 Very Good Imports (Beal & Craig)
Soild Pg in Gibson & Back up in Bruce

Bairstow, Kickert, Petrie, Jervis, Te Rangi, Young

I think they'll be really good.


Reply #597059 | Report this post

Years ago

My very, very early top 4:

1 United
2 NZ
3 Perth
4 Sydney

5 Illawarra
6 Brisbane
7 Cairns
8 Adelaide

Reply #597062 | Report this post

Years ago

Craig isn't a "very good import".

Gibson is an OK point guard with solid NBL credentials, but he's competing against Martin, Jackson, Randle, Lisch, (All with solid NBL credentials an all better players, some much better and others slightly better). New entrants include Woodside who has a long career spanning Turkey, Italy and Spain, Webster who might get more PG minutes, Trice who was a D League star last year and is only 23 so should improve with more pro experience.

Then of course Norton is young and improving, Rhys Martin is no slouch.

Reply #597065 | Report this post

Years ago

^ I agree. I think Brisbane will suffer for lack of depth. Craig can be dynamite, and he can disappear for long stretches. Fearne is probably a difficult guy to play for, and that may have affected Torrey's confidence at times, but you will never be a bona fide star if you can't hack the coach balling you out on occasion.

Adelaide - My pick to finish last. I hate to say it, because I love the fact they've gone for such a young and athletic line-up, but there's no depth of experience in the team, and if they don't win a lot of games early in the season, they could be really bad.

Brisbane - a really iffy back court with both Beal and Gibson being so streaky. Bruce is a good back-up, and Kenyon is going to need to be reliable. Weak on the wing if Craig is having a bad night; I don't rate Te Rangi very highly. Solid front court.

Cairns - I'd hate to say it, but I see the Snakes filling out the bottom three. Trice is a great pick-up, and if he's a top three import, the Taipans could be really good, but unless Jawai is a massive threat under the basket and stays healthy and slim*, they're going to struggle to fill it up (again!) And they still need a stretch 4/5 import. Hakim Warrick? That would make a difference!

Illawarra - Their imports will be crucial in deciding how far this team goes. If they gel, if Clarke is as good as he was, and if Holyfield is good enough to start in front of Oscar, they'll be top 4.

Melbourne - Definitely have the deepest roster, with Owen Odigie the odd man out. Most of their bench could start on pretty much any other team. Can they defend the post, will they gel as a team, and does Demopoulos have any offence skills as a coach? First or fifth.

New Zealand - The team from across the dutch is not as strong as last year. They have a great back court, but their back-ups at 3 and 4 are very suss at the moment. They still have a roster spot up for grabs, and that could be an import big, pushing Mika to the bench, which would serve them really well.

Perth - Their season will depend on how healthy Knight stays. McKay is not a guy who will relish playing deep in the paint, so Knight (and Brandt) will be called on to defend the league's heavies, and also score in the paint.

Sydney - When are they going to finalise their roster?? With an import spot still up for grabs, and two other roster spots available, they could be great. I'm confused about their line-ups, because they have a lot of versatility. It will be interesting to see how Gaze goes as a head coach, and how he uses Vickerman as his assistant.

Reply #597107 | Report this post

Years ago

This season I'm very much liking my team's prospects

of producing a quantity of dunk shots not seen since the JC era

Reply #597128 | Report this post

Years ago

This Adelaide team is tailor made for Joey's system. They will surprise a lot of people without a star studded roster. My only fear is there is too much weight on Jerome Randle's shoulders and he has an injury mid season.

After watching Eric Jacobsen in Darwin, he looks like a gun. Surprisingly bouncy and very quick he will get a lot of easy buckets. Can comfortably hit the mid range as well. Deng can stroke it from 3 but he might struggle as a rookie.

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Years ago

It's really hard to not be nervous still about the Kings... I seriously love the new signings, especially Lisch... I think he'll come back from the Olympics with a bunch more confidence (as if he needed it) but also with maybe a bit of a point to prove, as he was up against some seriously world class players that outmatched him a bit... Looking at some Maric and Newls clips from training and scrimmages with the College teams, I'm really excited for these guys as well... It will be interesting to see how they work Julesa nd Maric together, maybe they just let Jules rest up a bit more? He's still not doing anything on court by the look of some of the snapchats etc of training...

I even like the signing of Gaze as head coach... Moreso because DV is his assistant, but in a city that struggles for any basketball identify, it has definitely hit the mark so far... Those people that, when you bring up the NBL, who used to go "Oh, is Gaze still playing?" are now actually interested in what's happening... Gaze is super media savvy and love him or hate him, he will boost the profile of the Kings dramatically...

There's no way to know how they will go on the court... They have the right pieces, Bryson looks exactly like the SG import we need, but Lisch needs to shoulder most of the PG duties, unless Cadee is on the court, but at least there will be a lot more scoring options and the one person won't be lumped with so much pressure...

Anything less than a playoff spot, even in a league as tight as this will be, I think will be seen as money not well spent...

Perth will be Perth and I think Damo will come back so chock full of confidence after a personally really good Olympics campaign that all opposition guards will be having even worse nightmares...

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Years ago

I think my Perth Wildcats will be very exciting and JJ seems to have length so it's intriguing to see how he goes against quicker SGs like Rotnei.

I'm fully expecting Cairns or Illawarra to be up there, one always seems to overachieve whilst the other will be inconsistent but it's hard to tell who that will be.

For mine I reckon it will be



It will be a ripper of a season coming up

Reply #597232 | Report this post

Years ago

I wonder if Brisbane didn't go to early on some of their signings? Obviously under a lot of pressure to build a quality line-up from scratch, especially with Lemanis' stated aim of using only 2 imports, perhaps they under-estimated the signings of the other teams?

Reply #597279 | Report this post

Years ago

At this point, I'm not yet super confident that the Cats will make it #31. Waiting to see how the pieces fit together.
Two new imports = two big unknowns.
I'm not convinced that an ageing (and injury prone) Knight & McKay can match it with some of the massive front-courts we're going to see this season. I actually wonder if the plan is to start Brandt, and bring McKay off the bench???

At the other end, JJ is a big unknown. I think he looks incredible, but our lack of 3-point shooting has been a vulnerability for some time. Just have to wait and see how good he is from range.

It's hard to predict how the league will evolve this season. Will the massive bodies of some teams dominate, or will faster more athletic guys like McKay??? Partly that's going to come down to the refs. In the past they have been harsh on the big-guys, will that continue?

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