It's a little hard to evaluate this early with so many imports I haven't seen before, but I feel pretty confident about the Sixers starting bigs. Which team has a better combo of shooting, defence, rebounding and experience at the 4 and 5?
Provided the new coach knows what he is doing, it should be a strong defensive team too I think.
The question marks for me are offensive:
- Can Hannahs get buckets to close out tight games? Not too many create your own shot types on the roster.
- Will McCarron be able to setup Humphries and DJ for consistent easy buckets?
- Will the Sixers wings hit enough threes to keep defences honest?
Could be top 4, but need to see how the imports look.
Illawarra's starting backcourt looks to me the best in the league, but how will their bigs go? I like Shane Froling and Reath, but both are inexperienced NBL players. Likely top 4, especially with Goorj showing the way.
NZ - I know nothing about Siva, but Delany, Webster and Abercrombie are all high quality and Wetzell impressed me last season. Between Wetzell and Loe, they should be in better shape at centre this season. Solid to great, depending on how good Siva is. If stuck on the road, might struggle to make top 4.
Do Melb United have a starting SF yet? Can Hukporti play alongside Lual-Acuil? Loads of experience on this team, but only Goulding is still an elite player. Lual-Acuil is impressive, but is he ready to be relied upon as a starter and key player? Maybe Delly can turn it up in this league, but he's been an awful shooter in the last couple of years. Is a steady hand from him going to be enough? I feel like there are a lot of question marks for last years champs at this stage.
Cairns - unless Oliver comes back and McCall turns out to be a star, I think they'll struggle.
Perth - Law was good for Brisbane in a two man game with Sobey last season. But will the Perth offence get him the same looks? Nevertheless, Norton, Cotton, Blanchfield is a strong trio to build around and if they get a star centre and Travers breaks out off the bench, they'll be a big threat once again.
Sydney look pretty solid. Jarrell Martin was good last season and Cooks and Hunter are solid Aussies. I feel like this team will be as good as Adams and RJ Hunter can make them.
Phoenix - Wetzell a big loss and they need to find another really good import point. Is Hankins going to be a stud two way player? If he is, they might still be a top 4 team. If not, could drop a couple of spots.
Jack Jumpers - I'm not excited by them. Though if they could get Magnay back to his 2019 form and keep him around a few years, that would be something to build around.
Brisbane - Sobey is elite and Harrison has some potential for improvement. Need Patterson to have a huge season. Outside of that, lots of ho-hum retreads. Would hate to be a Bullets fan atm.
So I guess I'm loosely thinking Sydney, Perth, Illawarra top 3 in no particular order. But Adelaide, Melbourne, Phoenix and NZ all have a shot at playoffs too.