Think Tank – Round 12

Photo credit: Roshysportfolio


If you THINK the Tuatara are preparing for a few weeks without Tall Blacks Tom Vodanovich, Corey Webster and Reuben Te Rangi THEN maybe we saw some of the planning against the Whai with Braydon Iuli (19 points) and Charlie Dalton (14 points) playing bigger minutes and figuring more prominently in the offence. The Tuatara will need that level of performance and more as they try to maintain their ladder level without a chunk of their core on National team duties. 


If you THINK the Bulls are confident of being a legitimate contender this season THEN their 113-109 overtime win in Wellington was an example of that confidence. In arguably their best win since joining the competition in 2020, the Bulls overcame another bout of large fouls, which included four players being fouled out, to get over the line in a hostile environment. Josh Scott and Lee Skinner were massive down the stretch, while coach Sebastian Gleim looked like he’d come out victorious from a heavyweight bout. The Bulls are on the charge.


If you THINK the Whai are still in the hunt for the Final 6 THEN you would be mathematically correct, however a run of three losses has seen them drop to ninth on the ladder and seemingly out of touch. The southern swing now awaits them in R13 and in particular a big clash with the Nuggets on Sunday, a game both teams must win.


If you THINK the Airs might have been concerned about Sam Froling’s poor showing against the Nuggets (4 points, 3 rebounds) THEN they need not have worried. The star Australian centre wasted no time getting back up on the horse as he proceeded to punish the Sharks 48 hours later with 31 points at 85% in just 27 minutes. The Airs dominated the deep south regardless of their star centre's performance to maintain their grip on a top 4 placing and the home play-in game that comes with it. 


If you THINK the Hawks are facing a big few weeks as they try to make the Final 6 THEN it will start with a comprehensive review of what went wrong against the Giants? The Hawks suffered a 27-point loss, failed to win a quarter and just had too many passengers in a game that could have separated them from the chasing pack had they won. It just may have been their worst performance of the season and could not have come at a more inopportune time.


If you THINK season 2024 couldn’t get any worse for the Jets THEN say hello to the Canterbury Rams. Now that they have been at full strength for a few rounds more is expected from the team in green, but the Jets were simply blasted off the floor by the ladder-leaders in a dominant display. The most telling stat? The Rams dropped a staggering 48 points off the bench compared with the Jets at just 7!


If you THINK the Saints are in a fight to earn a home final THEN the Bulls did their part to make the battle might now be a losing one as the visitors grabbed a thrilling win on Sunday night in the capital. The Saints need to finish in the top four to be guaranteed a home post season game and will now need to get on a winning run against the Hawks, Rams, Nuggets, Whai and Sharks. On paper it looks to be a relatively smooth run, but they might need to upset the Rams in Christchurch to tighten their grip on that valuable home finals game. 


If you THINK the Giants needed a win in Hawke’s Bay to stay in the race for the Final 6 THEN the execution by coach Mike Fitchett and his team was near perfect. Not only did the Giants eclipse their season average at the offensive end  (+8), but they held the Hawks to well below their season average (-22). It was one of Nelson’s best performances of the season and may just be the springboard they need to return to postseason basketball in 2024.


If you THINK the Rams were looking to share the load against the Jets as they dealt with a bit of team illness THEN the one-sided contest against their hapless visitors couldn’t have been scripted any better. The Rams piled on 107 points in a 41-point thumping with no Rams player being on the court for longer than 26 minutes. Job done, and one step closer to home court advantage for the post-season.


If you THINK the Nuggets have their Final 6 destiny in their own hands THEN you'll look at their run home as an enthralling journey. The Nuggets sit in seventh after a 13-point loss to the Airs and now have a tough run home with games against the Tuatara, Whai, Saints, Giants and Bulls. All but one of those teams (Whai) currently sits above the Nuggets on the ladder and will be chasing postseason dreams of their own.


If you THINK the Sharks were going to get up for the fight against the visiting Airs in R12 THEN unfortunately the battle lasted literally a few minutes. While the Sharks did level out the game in the second half, the damage was done all before the long break as the Airs filleted the home team with a masterful 65-28 first half. Sadly, the Shark Tank this season has been more like a Goldfish Bowl. 


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