MELBOURNE v ADELAIDE
Hisense Arena, Friday
Head to head: Played 81, Melbourne 45, Adelaide 36.
In Melbourne: Played 41, Melbourne 27, Adelaide 14.
Preview: All the pre-game attention has been on Melbourne with the announcement of the signing of former no.6 NBA draft pick Jonny Flynn. The 23-year-old American has been branded by the Tigers as the “biggest coup in club history” and has been cleared to make his NBL debut this week.
Fast fact: Flynn will become the 39th import in Tigers history when he suits up on Friday.
Tip: Adelaide by 3 points.
SYDNEY v WOLLONGONG
Sydney Entertainment Centre, Friday
Head to head: Played 67, Sydney 40, Wollongong 27.
In Sydney: Played 35, Sydney 23, Wollongong 12.
Preview: Sydney came back to earth with a thud last week but the Hawks are flying following their big win over championship favourites Perth. Wollongong will be riding a wave of confidence. Both sides have long-term injury concerns with Tim Coenraad (Hawks) and James Harvey (Kings) currently sidelined.
Fast fact: Wollongong have won five straight games to start the season for the first time since 1987.
Tip: Wollongong by 7 points.
TOWNSVILLE v NEW ZEALAND
Townsville Entertainment Centre, Friday
Head to head: Played 33, Townsville 15, New Zealand 18.
In Townsville: Played 15, Townsville 8, New Zealand 7.
Preview: The Crocs have been the biggest let-down of the season and are on a nine-game losing streak dating back to last season. The good news is that the last team they beat was New Zealand, but the Crocs have lost three straight to the Breakers dating back to last season’s semifinals. The Townsville clash is the first leg of a tough road trip for the Breakers, who are due to back up against Cairns on Saturday.
Fast fact: The Breakers have not played on consecutive nights since December 2010.
Tip: New Zealand by 10 points.
CAIRNS v NEW ZEALAND
Cairns Convention Centre, Saturday
Head to head: Played 34, Cairns 17, New Zealand 17.
In Cairns: Played 16, Cairns 10, New Zealand 6.
Preview: New Zealand will be backing up from the previous night’s game against Townsville and don’t have fond memories of Cairns, having been scored a franchise record low 57 points there last season. The Taipans have won their last three at home against New Zealand and will fancy their chances after beating Townsville away last week.
Fast fact: No team has beaten Townsville and Cairns on consecutive nights since Brisbane did the double in February 2007.
Tip: Cairns by 6 ponits.
ADELAIDE v PERTH
Head to head: Played 102, Adelaide 47, Perth 55.
In Adelaide: Played 50, Adelaide 30, Perth 20.
Preview: Adelaide have been somewhat of a bogey team for high-flying Perth in the last few seasons, winning games many thought they would lose to post a 5-2 record in their last seven meetings. Perth received a massive wake-up call last week and have had a sharp week on the practice court in preparation for the game against their traditional rivals.
Fast fact: Marty Clarke has had more success against Perth than any other team with five wins.
Tip: Perth by 5 points.
Last week: 4/5