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Think Tank: Round 4

Photo credit: Masanori Udagawa

AUCKLAND TUATARA

If you THINK the Tuatara didn’t get too much out of a 40-point thumping of the Sharks THEN swing your attention to the crowd that showed up for some Friday night hoops because that was the real success story. While the Tuatara were mincing the Sharks to a pulp on the court, the stands were brimming with families and a great atmosphere … and kids EVERYWHERE! 

FRANKLIN BULLS

If you THINK the Bulls are happy with their 4-0 start THEN you might be following them on social media where they have been telling everyone about their 4-0 start. Confidence is sky high at The Stockyard and it looks like the lid is officially off after just four rounds. Next up … a trip north of the Harbour Bridge to play the Tuatara of Anzac Day eve.

TAURANGA WHAI

If you THINK the Whai are just going to make up the numbers this year THEN you don’t know Matt Lacey. The fledgling coach knew the pressure was on against the bottom-of-the-ladder Sharks with little separating the teams at the half. Not sure what the half-time message was, but it worked. The Whai pulling away to secure the win by 15 points.

TAYLOR HAWKE’S BAY HAWKS

If you THINK the Hawks will be disappointed with their loss to the Rams THEN you’d be right, but this is a programme in transition and there is a much bigger picture unfolding for the Hawks rights now. Yet again the younger Hawks looked great in the Rapid League (another win), while in the Sal’s NBL it was a tough shooting night against a bigger and stronger Rams team. 

STEELFORMERS TARANAKI AIRS

If you THINK the Airs will be looking at the schedule this week THEN you just know they will have Saturday June 8 circled and in their sights, because that’s the day the Saints will visit New Plymouth. Sunday night’s game between the pair in the capital was spicey, fast, exciting and brutal. It was a heavyweight clash. You can safely say there is mutual respect between the Airs and Saints, but there’s no love lost.   

PROPERTY BROKERS MANAWATU JETS

If you THINK the Jets are in danger of missing the playoffs this year THEN you would be 100 per cent correct. The rebuild in Palmerston North is into its third season, but the Jets are staring down the barrel of missing the finals action, again. While injuries and player unavailability haven’t helped, inconsistency has been a major thorn as well. Did someone say Taane Samuel is back in the country?

MILLS ALBERT WELLINGTON SAINTS

If you THINK the Saints were thrilled to land the signature of Hyrum Harris during free agency THEN his effort on Sunday night against the Airs only amplifies the wide grins coming out of Saints HQ. The explosive forward did it all, stuffing the stat sheet across the board in one of his best Sal’s NBL games yet. Get set for the Saints fans to start chanting MVP during games real soon.

NBS NELSON GIANTS

If you THINK the skies are always blue in Nelson THEN you better believe the Giants are enjoying some time in the sun right now. Finally at full strength on the court, completing sell-out number 22 in a row at Trafalgar Centre, and a PG dishing out dimes in big numbers … get the sunscreen out Giants fans because the Sal’s NBL action in Nelson is H-O-T.  

WHEELER MOTOR COMPANY CANTERBURY RAMS

If you THINK the Rams have been lacking some inside presence THEN you need only look at what a difference 208cm Aussie Lachie Olbrich made upon his return to the team. Olbrich dominated the Hawks from start to finish on Saturday night, finishing with 35 points at a 66% clip.

NIGHT n' DAY OTAGO NUGGETS

If you THINK the Nuggets will be worried about losing big to the Bulls THEN it might be worth remembering the southerners ventured to The Stockyard without their starting back court of Tai Webster and Dontae Russo-Nance. While you never like to lose any game in the Sal’s NBL, there’s little to see here, the Nuggets will be fine. Move along.

SOUTHLAND SHARKS

If you THINK the Sharks have had a poor start to the season THEN you won’t be surprised to learn their six straight losses represent the club’s worst ever start in the Sal’s NBL, dating all the way back to their inception in 2010. We might only be four rounds into the season, but it already looks like the Sharks will be missing from the playoffs for a third straight year.

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