Earlier this month
NBL Central Men & Women Grand Finals
As always I don't follow the women's too closely but will give it a crack, but would be good to get others thoughts on how both games will play out. Massive effort by North to get two teams into the Grand Final after both were in the initial 4 vs 5 elimination game.
Southern Tigers vs North Adelaide Rockets
Southern have been the class of the league all season only dropping a couple of games and leading the league virtually the whole way. I notice North were one of the teams who got a win over them (which allowed the Rockets to make finals) however Yaeger was sidelined at that time and North were playing for their season while the Tigers were cruising into a bye week at that point.
Some very interesting matchups with Yaeger vs Ortlepp which I think is a break even, both capable scorers and distributors, Yaeger maybe a bit more efficient by the numbers. And inside Morrell vs Good could go a long way to determining the game, Morrell has had the better season and rightly took home MVP honours but Good had a big second half of the season and has had monster rebound numbers recently.
Shooting will be important for both sides with North having a slight advantage there but Southern have a size advantage & that may be too much to overcome.
Southern by 7 with COTY Clarke capturing a title in his first season.
Norwood Flames vs North Adelaide Rockets
Norwood earned the week off after beating Sturt soundly in the Semi, while North did the same in the preliminary final, winning by similar margins.
MVP CJ Turnage had a huge year and was exceptional against Sturt, scoring inside and out as well as finding open team mates (Joel Spear also great in that game, still very surprised he wasn't All Star 5). North will have their hands full with him, while Green has really stepped up his game late in the season to prove effective on both ends of the floor. Harding, Lycett and Webber all play their roles and hit enough from the perimeter that they need to be respected, while all are positive defenders and their size makes them very switchable.
Dech and McVeigh showed on the weekend why they are among the leagues best players, and played well together which hasn't always been the case this year. Dau and Williams were down in the prelim and that may be of concern for the Rockets as they will need both firing to stick with the Flames in this one. Williams' size could be exposed against the bigger Flames while Dowdell is giving up size to Green.
Who guards CJ will be very interesting for the Rockets while McVeigh is an easier cover with multiple Flames capable of slowing him down.
Sticking with the form team, Flames to win it in a close one. Norwood by 5.