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Games Behind, NBL15, WNBL14

HOW much can change in a week in this enthralling 2016-17 NBL season?

Using the North American system for sports tables, we now have the biggest gap between first and last of the season, with Brisbane trailing by six games.

And New Zealand, five games off the pace last week, didn't make up any ground on leader Adelaide but leap-frogged Cairns and Brisbane into sixth.

Here's three good reasons (above - from left, Akil Mitchell, Kevin Dillard, Paul Carter) the Breakers are back in the playoff picture.

And here's the NBL table, without the points percentage the league is using and which becomes irrelevant when everyone hits 28 games played, to give you a better reflection of where your team truly sits in the run home.

AS we head into the NBL's Round 16, this is how your NBL club is going in terms of every respective four-game season-series.

ADELAIDE: V Brisbane 2-1, +3 lead. Series still very much in balance. V Cairns 2-0, +29. Two to go and points difference is strong. V Illawarra 1-2, -13 points. Suddenly this series is alive again. V Melbourne 2-2, -7. Series lost on points differential. V NZ 2-1, +2. Turned this one around with by road win on Sunday. V Perth 3-1, +18. Series won. V Sydney 3-0, +15. Series won, regardless of last game.

BRISBANE: V Adelaide 1-2, -3. Only need a four-point win to pinch this. V Cairns 2-1, +20. Probably have this sealed given the points difference. V Illawarra 0-3, -21. The series is lost and the final game also is in Wollongong. V Melbourne 1-2, -36. That 38-point loss has cost them this one. V NZ 1-3, -19. Series lost. V Perth 2-1, +18. Despite home loss, still in good shape to win this one, defending an 18-point buffer. V Sydney 2-1, +8. Very much wide open.

CAIRNS: V Adelaide 0-2, -29. Will take a lot to salvage this. V Brisbane 1-2, -20. Points difference is a worry. V Illawarra 2-0, +32. In a strong position with lead and spread. V Melbourne 1-3, -5. Series lost. V NZ 3-0, +20. This one is won. V Perth 1-1, -8. Still a long way to go yet in this series. V Sydney 1-3, -17. Series lost.

ILLAWARRA: V Adelaide 2-1, +13. Points difference still favours Hawks. V Brisbane 3-0, +21. Series is won with one game to play. V Cairns 0-2, -32. This will take some salvaging. V Melbourne 2-1, +15. Took a big win to be in the box seat. V NZ 2-1, +20. This one looks virtrually won. V Perth 2-2, -6. Have lost this one. V Sydney 1-3, -15. Series lost.

MELBOURNE: V Adelaide 2-2, +7. Series won on points differential. V Brisbane 2-1, +36. This is in the bag too. V Cairns 3-1, +5. Series won by United. V Illawarra 1-2, -15. Road blow-out has made salvaging this much tougher. V NZ 1-2, +13. Only need to win fourth one. V Perth 0-2, -6. Series can still be saved. V Sydney 2-1, -6. Will be defending a six-point buffer in last meeting.

NEW ZEALAND: V Adelaide 1-2, -2. Blew their big advantage in this but a 3-point win in Adelaide to save it isn't out of the question. V Brisbane 3-1, +19. Series won. V Cairns 0-3, -20. Beaten last round, this series is over. V Illawarra 1-2, -20. Need a 21-point win to steal this. Hard to envision. V Melbourne 2-1, -13. A win clinches it. V Perth 2-1, +11. Have a reasonable margin to defend but this will be tight. V Sydney 1-2, -1. This one definitely is up for grabs.

PERTH: V Adelaide 1-3, -18. Series lost. V Brisbane 1-2, -18. Going to need a 19-point win at home to get this one. V Cairns 1-1, +8. Quick chance to avenge road loss and regain series initiative. V Illawarra 2-2, +6. Won this series in Wollongong last round. V Melbourne 2-0, +6. Lots left in this series yet. V NZ 1-2, -11. Need a 12-point win. V Sydney 2-1, +8. Kings will need a 9-point win in Perth to steal this.

SYDNEY: V Adelaide 0-3, -15. Series lost, regardless of last game. V Brisbane 1-2, -8. Need a 9-point win. V Cairns 3-1, +17. Series done and won. V Illawarra 3-1, +15. Series won. V Melbourne 1-2, +6. Life left in Game 4 of this, for sure. V NZ 2-1, +1. Took a dent last round but still in a good position. V Perth 1-2, -8. Winning by nine in Perth will be a big challenge. 

IN the WNBL, and with all due respect, Melbourne Boomers and Adelaide Lightning are out of any finals contention, so I've left them out of these head-to-heads.

So the season-series between the clubs still genuinely alive in the race for the Final Four follows.

But just to keep at least one of those clubs happy, here's a nice picture.

GOOD WORK: Jess Good had some quality minutes for Adelaide against Sydney.

Bear in mind the WNBL draw has inequities, with some series going only three games and others four.

BENDIGO: V Canberra 2-0, +22. Two road games to come but in the boxseat. V Dandenong 2-1, +16. Best-of-3 series won. V Perth 1-1, -28. One left in this best-of-3, making the margin largely unimportant (Unless there's a three-way tie). V Sydney 1-3, 0. Series lost. V Townsville 1-1, +10. Still got the Fire twice, home and away, so this is there to be taken.

CANBERRA: V Bendigo 0-2, -22. This series is scheduled for four games, the last two in Canberra so the Caps remain alive. V Dandenong 1-2, -8. Best-of-3 series lost. V Perth 1-1,-1. The decider in this is in Perth. V Sydney 2-1, +1. This is a 4-gamer with the last one in Canberra. Up for grabs. V Townsville 2-1, -23. Scored the home upset needed to keep this series alive, despite negative points spread.

DANDENONG: V Bendigo 1-2, -16. Best-of-3 series lost. V Canberra 2-1 +8. Best-of-3 series won. V Perth 2-0, +41. This is a 4-gamer with a home and away fixture to come but the margin is very solid. V Sydney 1-1, -7. Best-of-3 with the decider away. V Townsville 1-0, +27. Best-of-3 with a lot of life left in this series yet.

PERTH: V Bendigo 1-1, +28. Best-of-3 with decider in Bendigo. V Canberra 1-1, +1. Best-of-3 with last one in Canberra. V Dandenong 0-2, -41. Four games in this so Perth can still tie it, but that margin, whoa. V Sydney 1-1, -21. Last game is in Sydney too. V Townsville 2-1, -11. Best-of-3 series won, points deficit only relevant in a three-or-more-way tie.

SYDNEY: V Bendigo 3-1, 0. Series won. V Canberra 1-2, -1. There's one to go in this traditional rivalry. V Dandenong 1-1, +7. This is only out of 3 so the decider is key. V Perth 1-1, +21. Best-of-3 with the last one in Sydney. V Townsville 2-1, +5. This goes 4 with the last one in Townsville. Well and truly alive.

TOWNSVILLE: V Bendigo 1-1, -10. Two to come so this is still open. V Canberra 1-2, +23. Shock road loss leaves this 4-game series up for grabs, despite great points buffer. V Dandenong 0-1, -27. Away and home to go in this 3-gamer. V Perth 1-2, +11. Best-of-3 series lost. V Sydney 1-2, -5. This goes four games, the last one in Townsville. Still alive.

Jan 18

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