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Rd9 NBL23: Time to tidy up a few areas

TECHNICAL fouls. The NBL's referees should start giving them out. In an NBL round full of surprise results and JackJumpers import Milton Doyle scoring a season-high 33 points, the moaning and whining of players and coaches at almost every call is a bigger blight on the league than any "delay of game".

Coaches on the court carrying on like children, players pouting or over-reacting on any call against them ... with United, feeling the pinch this season, arguably the worst offenders.

Their record now at 5-10 after it once was 5-5, the season has taken on a vastly differing complexion and the pressure is evident.

Yes, we need our game to have "characters" but most of us will embrace a larrikin. But few of us like a cry baby.

Only the refs can change this, unless they are under instructions not to. Truly though, for the self-proclaimed and never justified "second best league in the world", these antics are amateur hour.

Speaking of which, not sure the league website had the table correct ...

Though I suspect Adelaide and Illawarra might like it.







TRAILING 15-18, New Zealand was sparked into another level when guard Barry Brown hit the hardwood and the Breakers peeled off a 10-0 run against the startled South East Melbourne crew. By the first break, NZ had compiled 37 points, the club's record for an opening quarter in this second 40-minute era. Brown was unstoppable en route to a career-high 31 points at 61 per cent, 4-of-6 triples. Will McDowell-White was instrumental in the Breakers execution, pairing 14 points with 11 assists. He also had five rebounds and a steal. Keep an eye on this young man.

NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 110 (Brown 31, Brantley 18, Loe 17, McDowell-White 14; Pardon 10 rebs; McDowell-White 11 assts) d SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 84 (Williams 29, Creek 19, Kell 8; Williams 13 rebs; Adnam 5 assts) at The Breakwind, Christchurch Arena. Crowd: 3,500

THIS was supposed to be a statement game by Perth but the Wildcats stammered when the chips were down as Brisbane seized total control of overtime. Tied at 92-92 courtesy of a Luke Travers hammer, the game went into the extension where Perth could muster a meagre three points - all from the mercurial Bryce Cotton - as Brisbane rattled on 14 for a great confidence-building success. The Bullets still were down Aron Baynes and Tyler Harrison but Nathan Sobey (28 points), Tanner Krebs before he was hurt, Jason Cadee (15-8-8) and Tyler Johnson had a night out.

BRISBANE BULLETS 106 (Sobey 28, Krebs, Johnson 18, Cadee 15, Mitchell 10; Froling 13 rebs; Cadee 8 assts) d PERTH WILDCATS 95 (Cotton 30, Manek 17, Thomas 13; Travers 8 rebs; Travers 4 assts) in Overtime {92-92} at The Armoury, Nissan Arena. Crowd: 2,427

THIS was heading for a home humiliation as Cairns sped out to a 27-12 lead at the first quarter break, then extended that buffer to 19 during the second period. But the 36ers grafted their way back and all it took was a few stray shots and a few conversions to return this to a ballgame. Adelaide came home strongly in the last with Antonius Cleveland inspirational. The match was locked away at 75-75 when Tahjere McCall bit on an up-fake by Robert Franks, who retrieved the ball and was fouled with heartbeats on the clock for three free throws. He made them all, then intercepted a Taipans long pass but ran with the ball when there still was time left. Cairns had time for an inbounds and a DJ Hogg heave which only just missed. 

ADELAIDE 36ERS 78 (Cleveland 23, Franks 15, Johnson 10; Johnson 9 rebs; Dech 5 assts) d CAIRNS TAIPANS 75 (McCall 24, Pinder 12, Waardenburg 8; Pinder 8 rebs; Scott 6 assts) at Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Crowd: 7,198

YOU know you've already ignored the gameplan when, after one opposition offence, your coach calls a timeout. That's exactly what Perth's John Rillie had to do after New Zealand controlled the opening tip, missed a shot, ran another one down and scored. With just 26 seconds lapsed, JR already had seen enough of the familiar "we'll work a bit harder later" attitude, took his men onto the hardwood and gave them a short and sharp tongue-lashing. Well what do you know? Seems this crew just needs a rocket now and then because Corey Webster, at home and ready to roll, set the tone with a season-high 26 points. The Wildcats even played some D as the Breakers produced a rare falter in what otherwise has been a stand-out season.

PERTH WILDCATS 92 (Webster 26, Manek 18, Cotton 17; Thomas, Manek, Cotton 6 rebs; Cotton 7 assts) d NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 84 (Brown 27, Pardon 13, Abercrombie 10; Pardon 14 rebs; McDowell-White 9 assts) at The Breakwater, Spark Arena. Crowd: 4,884

WE'VE had so many Throwdowns - there's another one coming up soon, surely? - that it's almost blase to have the two Vics fighting yet another derby game. South East needed a bounce-back win after being pantsed in New Zealand and Melbourne just needed a win. But for long stretches, it appeared neither was particularly committed to the task. Alan Williams, with an 18-point, 12-rebound double, paced the Phoenix which also had Gary Browne collate a fine stats line of 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. Dean Vickerman tried virtually everyone but they could not bring it home.  

SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX 78 (Williams 18, Browne 17, Creek 16, Kell 14, Broekhoff 10; Williams 12 rebs; Browne 7 assts) d MELBOURNE UNITED 72 (Rathan-Mayes 15, Goulding 13, Tucker 12, Lee 10; Peatling 11 rebs; Rathan-Mayes 7 assts) at The House of the Rising Sun, John Cain Arena. Crowd: 5,651

XAVIER Cooks is developing a fun habit of throwing down wicked dunks on the NBL's biggest players. His dunk of the year (so far) was over United's Isaac Humphries and he almost topped it with his slam over Adelaide's Kai Sotto. Coming into Sydney off a narrow win over a Cairns team which just days earlier had beaten the Kings, the 36ers had reasons to feel good about their prospects. But despite Daniel Johnson starting strongly, it quickly was evident Sydney was having none of it. Derrick Walton delivered 16 points and 11 assists as the Kings won every quarter, sending Adelaide back to the drawing board regarding recruiting a third import.

SYDNEY KINGS 97 (Soares 18, Walton 16, Cooks, Vasiljevic 15; Cooks 7 rebs; Walton 11 assts) d ADELAIDE 36ERS 78 (Johnson 21, Franks 16, Sotto 13, Cleveland 12; Cleveland 6 rebs; McCarron 5 assts) at The Kingdome, Qudos Bank Arena. Crowd: 9,389

ANYONE in any doubt about how good Tasmania JJs import Milton Doyle might be saw it all for themselves as he broke open the match at Brisbane with a season-high 33 points. Riding high from their win over Perth, the Bullets were highly competitive, Gorjok Gak on his way to a career-best 14 points, with the first 8 all dunks. Tyler Johnson and DJ Mitchell appear to be relishing the new regime but when the game came down to winning, the JackJumpers knew how. Jack McVeigh was solid throughout but inside the final five minutes and down by two, Doyle led a 14-0 charge, not only making big shots but creating for teammates.

TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS 99 (Doyle 33, McVeigh 16, Magette 13, Stiendl 11 Magnay 10; Doyle 9 rebs; MacDonald 4 assts) d BRISBANE BULLETS 84 (Sobey 20, Johnson 17, Mitchell 16, Gak 14; Gak 9 rebs; Cadee 5 assts) at The Armoury, Nissan Arena. Crowd: 3,811 

THE tension on Melbourne United was evident as Illawarra won its first game in two months and again over a Victorian NBL club. The Hawks, having had time now to settle in Michael Frazier, had a career-offensive game from Sam Froling who finshed with 29 after a 22-point first half. Illawarra was playing with passion and simply to win whereas it often appeared United, staring down its fifth straight loss, was playing not to lose. That mindset difference was huge as Illawarra, with Peyton Siva active, never lost focus, even after Siva and Froling fouled out. Rayjon Tucker seemed more concerned with "getting his" and mouthing off than winning as United's lack of chemistry shone though.

ILLAWARRA HAWKS 93 (Froling 29, Frazier 16, Harvey 15, Deng 11, Hickey 10; Deng, Froling 9 rebs; Siva 7 assts) d MELBOURNE UNITED 79 (Tucker 27, Goulding 13, Lee 10; Lee 6 rebs; Okwera, Goulding, Rathan-Mayes 3 assts) at The Sandpit, WIN Entertainmenmt Centre. Crowd: 2,248

Dec 5

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.