2024 Final 6 Almost Locked In

The 2024 Sal's NBL Final 6 teams and game dates are locked in, but the full picture of who will be playing who isn’t quite as crystal clear.

This year sees a return to teams playing on home courts, a scenario fans have been crying out for. Venue availability has played a crucial role in setting the final game dates and Final 6 set-up. The League announced to the teams earlier in the year that the traditional seedings from Play-In Finals into the Semi-Finals may alter to ensure teams are given every opportunity to secure a venue and play finals in front of their fans, and also for competing teams to be given maximum rest days.

Both of these goals have been achieved.

Sal's NBL General Manager says “We are all really excited about the Sal’s NBL finals returning to home venues, it’s been quite a while since the fans have been able to see their team play home finals. And though it meant the League and the teams needed to be flexible due to the complexities of venue availability, it looks like we have achieved the best result for the fans.”

As we enter the final round of the season there is still a possibility that results this week could alter the final finishing position of some teams in the top six, most notably the Airs, Saints and Bulls. The top two teams are locked in, the Rams (1) and Tuatara (2), while the Giants (6) appear unmovable with a very strong points percentage.

This season has also seen points percentage (points scored divided by points conceded) used as a tiebreak for any teams ending the regular season with the same number of wins, a scenario that is likely to play out. Rapid League points scored and conceded by each team have also been added to the Sal’s NBL ladder, created an exciting additional layer and ultimately meaning that every basket counts in both competitions.

All of that means the 2024 Sal's NBL Final 6 picture isn't quite crystal clear as we enter the final round of the season, while the dates of the games are locked in and the six teams to qualify for the post season have very nearly been confirmed, there is still the possibility that results could fall in a very particular (seemingly unlikely) way that would end up changing the order of events as they currently stand. 

This is how the Final 6 looks going into Round 16 with points differential illustrated:

  1. Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams (17-2, +415 points difference for a 118%) 
  2. Auckland Tuatara (16-3, +282 points difference for a 113%)
  3. Taranaki Steelformers Airs (13-6, +250 points difference for a 111% )
  4. Mills Albert Wellington Saints (13-6, +189 points difference for a 107%)
  5. Franklin Bulls (11-7, +45 points difference for a 102%)
  6. NBS Nelson Giants (8-11, +141 points difference for a 106%)

If the above standings stay as currently constructed the postseason schedule would look as follows: 

2024 Final 6 Schedule (most likely scenario to be confirmed based on R16 results)


Play in Game 1, Wednesday, 17 July 7:30pm
Airs vs Giants
TSB Arena, New Plymouth

Play in Game 2, Friday, 19 July 7.30pm
Saints vs Bulls
TSB Bank Arena, Wellington

Semi Final 1, Sunday, 21 July 3pm
Rams vs Winner July 17 game
Cowles Stadium, Christchurch

Semi Final 2:Wednesday, 24 July, 8pm
Tuatara vs Winner July 19 game
Eventfinda Stadium, Auckland

Grand Final Sunday July 28, 3pm:
Winner July 21 vs Winner July 24

At home court of highest remaining seed 


But the above standings and schedule are are not quite set in stone as very unlikely, some would say near impossible, results in Round 16 could change the most likely standings and change the order of events in the postseason, for instance the Saints and Bulls could swap positions given a specific set of circumstances.

In order for those two teams to swap places on the ladder the following results would have to occur: 

  1. Bulls must win final two games vs Rams and Nuggets
  2. Saints must lose final game vs Sharks
  3. The points difference in those results (and preceding Rapid League Games) would need to equal +145 in the Bulls favour
  4. If the above wins occurred as outlined and the points differential ended up even between the two teams the second tie breaker, head to head results, would go in favour of the Bulls as shown below:
    • 19.5.24 - Bulls 85 lose to Saints 87 (+2 to Saints)
    • 16.6.24 - Saints 109 lose to Bulls 113 (+4 to Bulls)
      • Head to Head Points Total Bulls +2 overall

Possible yes, unlikely also yes.

Some other unlikely scenarios that could change the Final 6 makeup: 

Hawks qualify over Giants if:

  1. Hawks win final game Vs Tuatara while Nuggets and Giants lose their games and:
  2. The points difference in those results (and preceding Rapid League Games) would need to equal +283 in the Hawks favour against solely the Giants

Nuggets qualify over Giants if:

  1. Nuggets win final game Vs Bulls and Giants and Hawks lose their games and:
  2. The points difference in those results (and preceding Rapid League Games) would need to equal +244 in the Nuggets favour against solely the Giants

Whai qualify over Giants if: 

  1. Whai win final game Vs Jets while Giants, Hawks and Nuggets all lose and:
  2. The points difference in those results (and preceding Rapid League Games) would need to equal +365 in the Whai favour against solely the Giants

Tuatara claim top seed if:

  1. Tuatara win final game Vs Hawks While Rams lose and:
  2. The points difference in those results (and preceding Rapid League Games) would need to equal +133 in the Tuatara favour against the Rams

So barring the unlikeliest of high scoring results in the final round of Sal's NBL action  the finals scenario outlined in the schedule above will be how the 2024 Final 6 will shape up.

But stranger things have happened and basketball miracles still come around every once in awhile, so make sure you grab your popcorn and enjoy the show just in case!!


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