The Big Duke
NBL 1 Central August
With 1 round remaining thought it would be good to get some discussion coming into finals. My power rankings for the remaining teams below:
1.Forestville 13-4 (Likely finish 2nd) - The biggest budget and most lethal offensive team in the league have got to be the premiership favourites. Their form without DJ has been impressive, in particular Machar really stepping up. The only thing that could hurt them is team chemistry with one of Mays/Brine having to move to the bench.
2. Woodville 15-2 (Locked 1st) - The Warriors seem to have a great scoring balance this year with a multitude of players averaging 8+ ppg. The addition of Kennedy has been invaluable to the coaching ranks. The question for the Warriors is how will they handle adversity having cruised through the regular season relatively untroubled? Will Wurm perform under pressure?
3. Norwood 10-7 (Likely finish 4th) - Norwoods backcourt of Harding/Mcbride is up there with Woodville for the best back court in the league. Plenty of finals experience within this group, however losing a few players to college will really stretch their depth and impact their ability to be a serious contender.
4. South 12-5 (Likely finish 3rd) - South boast arguably the best two imports in the league, in particular Smiths offensive production (27ppg) will be the key to their post season success. They have beaten Forestville twice this year, will that confidence be enough to get them over the line in the 1st week of finals?
5. North 10-7 (Likely finish 5th) - An injury riddled season for North with all starters missing stretches during the season. Deano at the helms is always a positive, but without Rathjen can't see them beating any of the teams listed above.
1. West 14-3 (Locked 1st) - Have been very consistent throughout the season, getting Simmons back on the court will be a huge part of taking the title home. Addition of Utti has really strengthened their front court.
2. South 12-5 (likely finish 3rd) - With Levicki this team would have been hard pressed to not win it all. They are still a strong side but are missing that complementary inside presence to go with their shooters.
3. Sturt 13-4 (likely finish 2nd) - A very balanced attack and a model of consistency. Have beaten the teams they should have all year. They played some great basketball to take down South last week, but I don't think that will be the case in the first week of finals.
4. Southern 11-6 (likely finish 5th) - Southern have a strong starting 5, if all remain healthy they have the potential to cause a few upsets during finals. Would fancy themselves against South with how they have performed in that matchup this year winning both games.
5. Forestville 12-5 (likely finish 4th) - Coming into form at the right time of the season. However, have not been convincing enough when beating teams not at full strength. A very young team, don't seem them making a run this year.
6. Norwood 11-6 (likely miss) - Have the split on Southern, win and they're in. At full strength their one two punch is enough to worry all the teams above. However, it would take a Cinderella story to see them beating Sturt this week with Wilson away at 3v3.