Earlier this month
Taipans v Bullets Jan 3
The Battle of the Banana Benders opens Round 14. After record crowds in round 13 and a few upsets, will round 14 be just as exciting, or is 14 just another number?
Brisbane are lurking down the bottom of the table doing everything they can to challenge Illawarra for bottom spot. Roadwise, they have travelled like a Hobo this season. 3 and 7 on the road is better than they deserve. The "average" NBL team scores 91 on the road and they are averaging 3 less than this on the road with only one 100+ score on the road against a hapless Melbourne last round. Lamar Patterson going to town like a shark on a whale carcass scoring 35. Their other road wins being against Illawarra. When last they played in Cairns, they score a paltry 85 and Cairns won by 9.
Cairns at home are 7 and 3. Cairns are not a high scoring team, but they get results. They have only scored 100+ points at home once this season, but keep teams to an average of 86.8 ppg, 4.6 ppg below par for a road team. Machado seemingly untameable at the moment will require the Bullets to put on their thinking caps if this snake is to be tamed. But, catching him and putting him in the bag just means another one slithers on by. You would think Oliver would be a headache with a matchup hard to make and the Snakes' unpredictable style of play making Lemanis reach for his high blood pressure medication.
Cairns crowds are bigger for what they should be and the Taipans bite hard in front of them. Brisbane with no real sense of direction can only really be save by Scomo's "thoughts and prayers".
Snakes by 5