Think Tank – Round 10

Photo credit: Shuttersport Nelson

Auckland Tuatara

If you THINK the Tuatara are in cruise control right now after a gritty win over the Saints that takes their win streak to 10 THEN take a look ahead to what’s coming up in R11 … a clash with the Rams riding a nearly as impressive 9 game streak of their own. Is this Sunday afternoon’s 2023 grand final re-match in Auckland a preview of this year’s grand final?

Franklin Bulls

If you THINK the Bulls were worried early in the second quarter when down 10 points against the Sharks THEN you would be impressed by the response as Bulls closed out the quarter with a 22-6 run, before delivering a 51-34 second half. The win leaves the Bulls tied with the Saints in fourth place and within touching distance of a home final with eight games to play over the final 6 rounds.

Tauranga Whai

If you THINK the Whai can make the Final 6 this season THEN the quick integration of American forward Ira Lee will be crucial. Lee, who starred for the Hawks in 2023, had been in NZ for less than 12 hours when he took the court last Wednesday night against the Saints, which ended in a 12-point loss. With a full week of training under his belt expect Lee to play a key role this week against the Giants.

Taranaki Steelformers Airs

If you THINK the Airs have enjoyed playing a stretch of four games at home THEN you need to look no further than the results they have compiled. Wins against the Sharks (24pts), Jets (38pts), Hawks (27pts) and Nuggets (10pts) have seen the Airs firmly cement themselves in the top three with the best points percentage in the competition. And the home stand isn’t over – next up a Saturday night blockbuster against the Saints in R11 which will crystallise the path for both teams down the stretch. 

Taylor Hawke’s Bay Hawks

If you THINK the Hawks are in the hunt for the Final 6 THEN heading home with an important split on the South Island certainly helps their playoff chances. The key win came against the Giants, a team they are battling with right now for sixth position and the last remaining Finals berth. It was a terrific performance by the Hawks and yet again showed the determination this new-look starting five delivers.

Property Brokers Manawatu Jets

If you THINK the Jets are getting close yet still so far away in season 2024 THEN mark down yet another home game where the green machine had their fair of chances to win. The Jets were within four points of the Nuggets during the final stanza, but yet again failed to close a game out on their home floor. So many close chances but nothing to show for it with.

Mills Albert Wellington Saints

If you THINK the Saints need to fix anything ahead of the Final 6 THEN you’re probably putting technical fouls at the top of the list. As in the past two seasons, the Saints lead the competition for technical fouls amid discipline issues still being viewed as a problem area for the 12-time champions. While you never want to see it, you can’t help but feel this situation could boil over in a final and prove costly if the Saints can’t smarten up.

NBS Nelson Giants

If you THINK the chances of making the Final 6 are on a knife’s edge for the Giants THEN they have nobody else to blame but themselves. The Nelsonians are easily this year’s most hot-and-cold team and will only make the playoffs if they can find consistency and string wins together over the last third of the season. Having already taken down the Tuatara, Saints and Bulls this season, but head-scratching performances have come in losses to the Whai and Hawks immediately after big wins on road as they returned to their home court. This Giants team is a hard one to figure out.

Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams

If you THINK the Rams love everything their captain Taylor Britt brings to the court each week THEN stop and take a look at the season the 27-year-old is having right now. Britt is in career-best form with averages of 16.5 points, 5.6 assists and 1.4 steals with a very healthy assist to turnover ratio.

Night n' Day Otago Nuggets

If you THINK the Nuggets were relieved to finally return to the winners circle when they took down the Jets THEN they would have been even happier when they saw their pursuit of a finals spot is alive after the Hawks, Giants and Whai all suffered losses in R10 making what was looking like a three team race send out an invite to a team a bit further south. 

Southland Sharks

If you THINK the Sharks were hoping a mid-season change in imports might boost morale THEN then you would notice a boost in morale in the deep south when they scooped up a good one in Kentucky native Cooper Robb. The crafty point guard brought the Shark Tank to its feet on a number of occasions against the Bulls on his way to 19 points, 4 assists, 5 triples and 6 steals.


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