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James
Last year

#40235

Here come the Breakers

The Breakers are starting to get going. Penny after a slow start is rolling, Loe is starting to feet in the NBL and Abercombie and Pledger are having solid seasons. Mitchell off the bench is pretty handy.

Dud teams like the United and the Hawks are faling away whilst the genuine contenders like Kings, Breakers, Cairns and Perth going to round out the top 4.

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koberulz
Last year
20:11 6 Nov 16

Reply #606410

re: Here come the Breakers

That's the top four I'm projecting at the moment, although the sample size is tiny. Sydney, Perth and NZ clear top three, and then a huge drop before Cairns rounds it out.

Adelaide just snatching the spoon from Melbourne.

However, it's close enough and early enough in the season that there could be a lot of movement, and Adelaide have taken a couple of drubbings that could be throwing out the results.


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paul
Last year
20:15 6 Nov 16

Reply #606415

re: Here come the Breakers

I think this season has some twists and turns left in it yet.

Having said that, Perth and NZ are world-class teams and have been for years, and Sydney have put together an impressive team who are playing good team basketball. You'd expect those three to be in the playoffs.


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Anonymous
Last year
20:20 6 Nov 16

Reply #606424

re: Here come the Breakers

Breakers aren't beating Perth or Sydney in a 3 game series but they should scrape into the playoff picture. The absence of the import point may force them to bring someone much better in which could change things.


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LV
Last year
20:22 6 Nov 16

Reply #606426

re: Here come the Breakers

Breakers, if they stay healthy are certainly a real chance of top 4.

But it's early days. Melbourne and Adelaide both look like they'll be in the mix once they have full squads.

The Hawks are the one team who have disappointed me. And the Bullets have some serious weaknesses. I think Adelaides inconsistency will ultimately hurt them. Young team- it's to be expected.

So It's going to be Sydney and 3 of Cats, United, NZ, Cairns. But I have a hard time working out which of those 4 wil challenge Sydney if Khazzouh gets back and once their full group has a few weeks together.


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paul
Last year
20:23 6 Nov 16

Reply #606429

re: Here come the Breakers

What makes you so sure Khazzouh will be a big positive for the Kings?


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LV
Last year
20:34 6 Nov 16

Reply #606436

re: Here come the Breakers

He's a absolute gun player.

Powell has shown plenty of ability to hit the mid range shot, but Khazzou


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LV
Last year
20:37 6 Nov 16

Reply #606439

re: Here come the Breakers

At his best can hit threes or 16 foot fade a ways with a hand in his face. He'll bring an extra dimension, another scorer who will make them even more dangerous.

He might only play 15-20 mins but I think he can fit alongside Powell. Possibly Maric too. Defending mobile 4's could be an issue for either Powell or Khazzouh but with Newley and Whittington, Lisch they will always be fairly strong on that end as a team.


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paul
Last year
20:39 6 Nov 16

Reply #606440

re: Here come the Breakers

Interesting take. He's only ever been a stat stuffer on a bad team in the NBL who has also been a defensive liability.

For me he is a big question mark. What position does he play with Maric and Powell there? If he plays the four how do the Kings defend ball screens?

How does he fit in the shuffle offence? How does he fit in a pressure defence? Who plays less minutes to accommodate him? Does Whittington sit more when he has been one of their absolute keys?

I'll be impressed if Gaze can work out a way to make him a real positive, and I'll be impressed with Jules if he can adapt to being a disciplined piece on a good team.


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Zodiac
Last year
20:42 6 Nov 16

Reply #606444

re: Here come the Breakers

Khazzouh's never been an absolute gun player.


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Train
Last year
20:46 6 Nov 16

Reply #606446

re: Here come the Breakers

Khazzouh has not hit the court in nearly a year, his impact is likely to be very minimal for a majority of this season.


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LV
Last year
20:49 6 Nov 16

Reply #606450

re: Here come the Breakers

Hopefully Gaze gives him Garlepps minutes and keeps Whittington playing lots. Those are good questions- esp the defensive ones. Powell and Maric don't look to be the first option on offense, they are happy picking up the scraps so I'd be expecting Khazzouh to be the first option big at that end when he's on court.Marci in particular can make an impact just by screening, passing and getting his humongous body in the right spots.


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koberulz
Last year
20:50 6 Nov 16

Reply #606451

re: Here come the Breakers

I doubt he'll make them any worse, at least. Nobody's acting as his replacement, so he can always do what he's doing now.


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paul
Last year
20:51 6 Nov 16

Reply #606454

re: Here come the Breakers

He could make them worse given his defensive weaknesses. I'm interested to see how Gaze eases him back into the rotation.


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koberulz
Last year
20:52 6 Nov 16

Reply #606456

re: Here come the Breakers

You may have missed my point.


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paul
Last year
20:53 6 Nov 16

Reply #606458

re: Here come the Breakers

No, I got the second bit! Hence my second comment.


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LV
Last year
20:59 6 Nov 16

Reply #606462

re: Here come the Breakers

If he does make them worse, hopefully Gaze has the balls and good wisdom to leave him on the bench and use him very sparingly. It's not like they even need him or anything. Without him they're still the team to beat. Comfortably.


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paul
Last year
21:14 6 Nov 16

Reply #606466

re: Here come the Breakers

For me, Perth and NZ are the team to beat until someone beats them in the playoffs.

We saw last year with Melbourne you can win lots of games in the regular season, but you have to be able to beat the powerhouses in playoff basketball. On paper Sydney look great, but as they say, paper is what you use to wipe your arse!


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LV
Last year
21:26 6 Nov 16

Reply #606471

re: Here come the Breakers

Who's talking paper. Sydney have been the most impressive team, easily. Full stop.

And unlike United last year, there's nothing to suggest their style won't last in the playoffs. I think many of us saw United's demise coming last year. Can't say I feel the same re Kings.


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Anonymous
Last year
21:28 6 Nov 16

Reply #606473

re: Here come the Breakers

I'm with LV united with a good run last season compared to the kings this season with so many different ways to attack you is too different beasts. The kings will smash Perth and NZ if at full strength. Too much scoring and too damn big on the defensive end. They don't just dominant one particular area of the game imo.


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Anonymous
Last year
11:17 7 Nov 16

Reply #606526

re: Here come the Breakers

Kazz man will certianly make them better. How many 7 footers are around with his skillset on the offensive end. Maric and Powell can cover his defensive issues.


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kings fan
Last year
11:19 7 Nov 16

Reply #606527

re: Here come the Breakers

BTW, my tip is a Perth V Kings final. Perth just lacks the backcourt fire-power to challenge the Kings backcourt which is insane.Kings in 3


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Luuuc
Last year
11:25 7 Nov 16

Reply #606529

re: Here come the Breakers

If Perth makes the GF I won't be angry at the rest of the league. Just disappointed.


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Train
Last year
11:30 7 Nov 16

Reply #606532

re: Here come the Breakers

"Perth just lacks the backcourt fire-power to challenge the Kings backcourt which is insane"

Your kidding right, You have Martin(the 5 time DPOTY) and Jarrod Kenny. That's some serious defense to challenge their back court. Providing they are injury free and healthy :P



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kings fan
Last year
11:50 7 Nov 16

Reply #606535

re: Here come the Breakers

Offensive firepower. Kenny and Martin are not going to stop Lisch, Cadee and Blake. Plus who is going to score for Perth?


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Train
Last year
12:02 7 Nov 16

Reply #606541

re: Here come the Breakers

Defense is what the Wildcats do. What happened to all this "Offensive Firepower" during the Carins game?

"Plus who is going to score for Perth?"
The same people that have been scoring all season.
You ever heard of a guy called Casey Prather, you might have seen him at the #2 spot on the leader board for leading scorers this year. You do realize that Perth are 5-2 this season so far(same as the Kings).


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paul
Last year
12:14 7 Nov 16

Reply #606544

re: Here come the Breakers

"Who's talking paper."

I am, because as I said earlier, until someone beats Perth and NZ in the playoffs it's all speculation. Sydney certainly have a rounded team playing good ball, but the big tests are still to come.


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LV
Last year
13:33 7 Nov 16

Reply #606564

re: Here come the Breakers

I don't buy that argument when it comes to NBL.

In AFL, yes. There's generally only minor changes to each team. So this year for example, Hawthorn looked shaky and didn't look like a contender based purely on what they were producing week to week (they remained in the top 4 purely by winning a bunch of close games, some with dubious umpiring). But it was a completely fair and reasonable thing to say "Well, they're the favourites until somebody beats them" because they still had Mitchell, Hodge, Rioli, etc.

But that's nonsensical saying "Until someone beats Perth or NZ"... especially where NZ is concerned. They've lost their best player from all of their championships runs! They've turned over a stack of players.

NBL changes too much year to year for those kinds of comments. Sydney are the "team to beat" right now. No doubt about it. If Perth beats them next week, fair enough. But don't talk about last season when Perth and NZ had very different looking rosters.


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paul
Last year
13:39 7 Nov 16

Reply #606565

re: Here come the Breakers

The NBL hasn't changed from year to year over the past seven seasons at all. NZ and Perth have been by far and away the dominant teams.

NZ have Penney, Vukona, Abercrombie, Webster and Pledger who've all been key players in their success in the NBL, not to mention their contribution and time together with the Tall Blacks.

In my opinion, suggesting this isn't a continuation of the same Breakers is showing a little bit of ignorance about New Zealand basketball.


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LV
Last year
13:45 7 Nov 16

Reply #606568

re: Here come the Breakers

Yep, and they had Abercrombie, Vukona, Pledger and Webster in 2013/14 too- and how did that season turn out for them?

Fact is, Cedric Jackson was easily their best player on their last 3 championship runs. He was also their best player last season. So it makes no sense claiming that they're the "team to beat" or anything like that. It's not the same team! Nothing like it. Not when you lose your point guard and best player. (And change coach too). They also lost their best big man from last season....


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paul
Last year
14:02 7 Nov 16

Reply #606570

re: Here come the Breakers

It makes lots of sense, just not to you. They have the core of players, and a coach, who have helped take them to NBL championships and helped their national team be only one of four countries to make the top 16 at the past four World Cups.

The culture and standards in NZ basketball that were born in the early 2000s when Henare and Penney were amongst the youngest players, carried on to the late 2000s, early 2010s when Henare, Vukona and Penney were senior players and Webster, Abercrombie and Pledger were youngsters, and are still there now that Henare is coach, Penney and Vukona are near the end of their careers and Abercrombie, Webster and Pledger are approaching veteran status.

The way the club and national team operates, it will still be there in a few years when the next group of players emerges. Cedric Jackson walked into this culture and into a championship team and helped them maintain those levels, but he didn't create the success.

We obviously disagree, but let’s revisit this at the end of the season. I stick to my position that over the past seven seasons the Breakers and Perth have been so far ahead of everyone else that I class any other team as a challenger until they knock off both the champs.

It will certainly take a lot more than Sydney going 5-2 to start the year to be equal top with Perth and one game ahead of NZ to change my opinion!


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Nonanon
Last year
14:20 7 Nov 16

Reply #606574

re: Here come the Breakers

LV, you're making a prediction based off 7 games while ignoring 6 years of history where the title holders every season have come from two clubs who have largely kept their core together year in, year out.

"NBL changes too much year to year for those kinds of comments. "

Except for the two teams that have shared the past six titles...


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LV
Last year
14:23 7 Nov 16

Reply #606575

re: Here come the Breakers

Indeed- let's revisit this at the end of the season!

I would add a couple of additional points:

- There has not been *any* team over the past 7 seasons with a roster as talented as Sydney or Melbourne this year. Sydney's talent is obvious and they've already been putting it together on the court. Melbourne has unfortunately been destroyed by injuries and appears to be full of disgruntled players right now. The big question mark on both clubs is inexperience on the sidelines.

- NZ and Perth aren't the only team to have achieved success over the past 7 seasons. Cairns have made two Grand finals under Fearne, and the early indications suggest this team is the strongest he's ever had at his disposal. Early indications also suggest they match up very well with Sydney and Perth.


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Anonymous
Last year
14:24 7 Nov 16

Reply #606576

re: Here come the Breakers

Ced Jackson was not the Breakers best player last season!! Abercrombie was easily the most consistant! Webster was before his marital issues became public


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Anonymous
Last year
14:25 7 Nov 16

Reply #606577

re: Here come the Breakers

And Mika Vukona was their best big man.


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LV
Last year
14:26 7 Nov 16

Reply #606578

re: Here come the Breakers

If you all really rate Perth and NZ, then go put some bets on. My money's on Sydney- and has been for a while. My money's also on Cairns, and again, has been for a while.

(My money's also on Melbourne but hey, no one can predict injuries. They were certainly a top 4 team before the current carnage. If anyone else goes down they'll be making frantic phone calls to all of the local SEABL coaches! Maybe I can apply, based on being a long term attender of NBL matches in Melbourne?)


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LV
Last year
14:27 7 Nov 16

Reply #606580

re: Here come the Breakers

Cedric Jackson got the Breakers into the grand final last season.


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Nonanon
Last year
14:37 7 Nov 16

Reply #606588

re: Here come the Breakers

"Cedric Jackson got the Breakers into the grand final last season."

A lot of it had to do with United falling apart towards the end of the season, something which tends to happen to these stacked teams that don't have the familiarity that Perth and NZ do.


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Train
Last year
14:38 7 Nov 16

Reply #606589

re: Here come the Breakers

@LV - So your money is on Sydney, Cairns and Melbourne to win this year? That's nearly half the competition lol


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LV
Last year
14:44 7 Nov 16

Reply #606594

re: Here come the Breakers

No no, my money is on Sydney to win it.

(And a few nice $1 bets, eg if Sydney play Cairns in the GF I'll make $276 from a $1 bet, likewise if Cairns play Perth. $81 if they play Melbourne).

But my money is on all of those teams on the win targets set by Sportsbet. Cairns win target has fluctuated from 10, 8 and back to 10 wins. Sydney's steadily rising but I got them at 18. Melbourne I got at 15 (the day before Blanchfield went down!).

@Nonanon, No, it had nothing to do with United lacking familiarity. There were structural weaknesses, namely 1. Over reliance on 3 point shot 2. Lack of offensive variety and 3. Lack of rim protection and rebounding. I attended most of those games where they started 9-0 last season and I wasn't as sold on them as most were, because the weaknesses I identified were always there. It didn't surprise me when they got trounced by NZ. I haven't identified any major weaknesses in Sydney yet. Have you?


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Nonanon
Last year
14:46 7 Nov 16

Reply #606596

re: Here come the Breakers

"I haven't identified any major weaknesses in Sydney yet. Have you?"

Yes. They have only played together for 7 games.


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paul
Last year
14:50 7 Nov 16

Reply #606598

re: Here come the Breakers

Sydney have so far shown they can be a very good team when forcing a lot of turnovers to get easy scores, but they haven't really excelled in any other part of the game. Their half-court offence and rebounding in particular are still works in progress.

My point is not that NZ and Perth will win (though they very well might), it’s that the defensive and possession game dominance they have had in the playoffs for so many years is something they are still capable of, and other teams have to prove they can overcome at the pointy end before I’ll install them as favourites.

That's especially the case for Sydney after seeing how comprehensively their coach struggled against Aaron Fearne's game plan on Saturday.


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LV
Last year
14:55 7 Nov 16

Reply #606599

re: Here come the Breakers

Those are fair questions Paul. Rebounding is probably the best candidate for a weakness re Sydney- and it could yet turn out to be a serious one.

I think Maric's foul trouble really hurt them on the weekend. I'm tipping that if he plays more of the game, Sydney wins tonight. Blake will also be better for the run- it was only his second game on Saturday. And his first alongside Lisch.


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paul
Last year
15:04 7 Nov 16

Reply #606601

re: Here come the Breakers

All the Kings should play better provided they can find a way to get their system to work. The best way to get pros to miss shots is to get them taking shots they're not used to, that’s one of the main ideas behind disruptive D, and the Taipans did that very well on Saturday.

If the Kings can’t win at home with Trice not playing they'll need to reassess some things. On the flipside, it would be a huge statement for Cairns if they can win or even get very close tonight.


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LV
Last year
15:14 7 Nov 16

Reply #606604

re: Here come the Breakers

It wouldn't surprise me if Cairns again got close. It's no surprise that they are strong defensively with Wortho, Edwin, Egwu all on board and Fearne coaching. They have a team who suits Fearne, and who will compete for 40 minutes every night on the defensive end. That's why I've bet on them, after all.

But as Blake gets comfortable in the system, he'll get comfortable creating plays off pick and rolls and wrecking havoc in broken plays as he did in his first game. As him, Lisch, Cadee and Newley get used to sharing the ball and working together, the type of defense Cairns used will become less effective against them as the season goes on.


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paul
Last year
15:32 7 Nov 16

Reply #606615

re: Here come the Breakers

Maybe. Fearne knows the shuffle inside out, he'll have a number of different ways to defend it. This season is going to be a lot of fun with all eight teams very capable.


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Mystro
Last year
16:39 7 Nov 16

Reply #606645

re: Here come the Breakers

Yeah 13/14 NZ lost Jackson and didn't make the playoffs
They had also won 3 titles in a row and the players were complacent.
The style of reffereeing had also changed making their physical style that had made them successful redundant.

To say it was all Jackson is unfair.


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Freethrows
Last year
16:48 7 Nov 16

Reply #606649

re: Here come the Breakers

Interesting to see the adjustments Gaze makes tonight. One of the keys for the Taipans on Friday was running Heuir at Blake; it really was apparent how much slower Blake was than Heuir and I think a lot of teams will have seen that, and play him accordingly. A big part of the reason for his limited minutes on Friday was that he was taken out of the game.

As for Blake starting instead of Cadee - Blake hasn't found the speed of the NBL, yet, and he's not ready to start. Plus, with the Kings running Shuffle/Motion offence sets, you don't need a true PG, in the same way as Melbourne Tigers didn't during the Gaze/Copeland era.

Back to the central premise of this post for a moment, anyone who doesn't think the Breakers are capable of making big finals noise is kidding themselves.

Go Taipans!


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PeterJohn
Last year
17:27 7 Nov 16

Reply #606661

re: Here come the Breakers

"A lot of it had to do with United falling apart towards the end of the season"

United didn't fall apart toward the end of last season. They were 7W-2L from 23 December to 4 February. They then lost 4 games in a row to New Zealand - the last 2 of the regular season and the 2 semi finals. They were coming into the finals with good form and were beaten by a NZ team that had their measure.


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Voxshall
Last year
17:51 7 Nov 16

Reply #606668

re: Here come the Breakers

What are the rules around Woodsides injury, can the breakers get another import? I am hoping the extra minutes for Webster plays him into form in the mean time and then the Breakers get the perfect import for countering the play off teams.


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PyroCross
Last year
20:20 7 Nov 16

Reply #606755

re: Here come the Breakers

The Breakers can sign an import PG. I wonder about the quick fit and the needs though - I suspect we may be looking for a combo 1/2 and put Webster into the starting role. Tragic injury.

If KP looks on song (and is back in form), NZ are deadly with Abercrombie/KP on the wings, Pledger banging bodies down low, and the remaining guys chipping in (which includes C-WEb, unless he returns to 100% with the injury he has, unlikely).

Its only seven games. NZ looked dominant at one point last season. Melbourne looked unbeatable at one point last season.

I'm not prepared to make any judgements for another few months and the cycle of the season rolls around. And I doubt Melbourne will be this bad for the rest of the year.

All I ask for is we do not get another Perth v NZ matchup in the playoffs. Semis or finals - I don't want any more 3 games in 5 days between Perth and NZ ever again.


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