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Featured News / February 11th, 2017

Finals: Two in, Two more to come

Shots have been fired and the dust is starting to settle.

With half of Round 19’s games officially in the book we are finally starting to enjoy some clarity about the make-up of the Swisse NBL Finals Series.

Adelaide are in, we knew that, having locked up top spot a couple of weeks ago.

Cairns have now solidified a Finals position as well. The Taipans can still finish anywhere from second to fourth, but are no longer in any danger of slipping outside the top four.

Unfortunately, the news is not so good for the Sydney Kings and Melbourne United, who have both been eliminated from the Finals race after losing on Friday night.

Therefore, two of Illawarra, Perth and New Zealand will join Adelaide and Cairns in the Finals and one will miss out.

In terms of how it could all play out, we are now down to eight possible scenarios.

If Illawarra defeat Brisbane tonight, the Hawks will lock themselves in. Accordingly, here are the first four scenarios that could occur, all as a result of Illawarra defeating Brisbane:

1. ILL def. BNE / ADE def. CNS / PER def. MEL
1st – Adelaide
2nd – Perth
3rd – Illawarra
4th – Cairns

2. ILL def. BNE / ADE def. CNS / MEL def. PER
1st – Adelaide
2nd – Illawarra
3rd – Cairns
4th – New Zealand

3. ILL def. BN / CNS def. ADE / PER def. MEL
1st – Adelaide
2nd – Cairns
3rd – Perth
4th – Illawarra

4. ILL def. BNE / CNS def. ADE / MEL def. PER
1st – Adelaide
2nd – Cairns
3rd – Illawarra
4th – New Zealand

Now let’s go through the scenarios that involve Brisbane upsetting Illawarra.

5. BNE def. ILL / ADE def. CNS / PER def. MEL
1st – Adelaide
2nd – Perth
3rd – Cairns
4th – Illawarra

6. BNE def. ILL / ADE def. CNS / MEL def. PER
1st – Adelaide
2nd – Cairns
3rd – New Zealand
4th – Perth

7. BNE def. ILL / CNS def. ADE / PER def. MEL
1st – Adelaide
2nd – Perth
3rd – Cairns
4th – Illawarra

8. BNE def. ILL / CNS def. ADE / MEL def. PER
1st – Adelaide
2nd – Cairns
3rd – New Zealand
4th – Perth

ADELAIDE 36ERS: The ladder-leaders have not won a game since locking themselves into top-spot. In that time the Sixers have gone down to Illawarra, New Zealand and Cairns. It’s the first time they’ve lost multiple games in a row since November last year. As a result, head coach Joey Wright finds himself in an interesting situation; trying to strike a balance between freshening up sore bodies and maintaining winning form. An injury represents a worst-case scenario for Adelaide but a home win tonight would be a nice way to enter the postseason.

CAIRNS TAIPANS: Congratulations Orange Army, you’re in!


The Taipans would love home court advantage in the semi-finals so you can bank on head coach Aaron Fearne leaving nothing up his sleeve tonight in Adelaide. If the Snakes beat the Sixers there is still one scenario that would see Cairns not finish second (Brisbane defeating Illawarra and Perth defeating Melbourne) but it gives them their best possible chance.

ILLAWARRA HAWKS: The Hawks have their destiny in their own hands. If they beat Brisbane they will finish on 15 wins and are thus guaranteed to make the Finals. If they lose and Melbourne defeats Perth, Illawarra will miss out on the postseason.

PERTH WILDCATS: Victory over the Sydney Kings has placed the Wildcats in an excellent position to make the Finals. Firstly, if Brisbane upsets Illawarra the ‘Cats are locked in regardless of their result on Sunday. If the Bullets do not get over the Hawks, Perth will need to win against Melbourne in order to qualify.


NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS: After playing a major role in killing off Melbourne’s hopes, the Breakers are now completely relying on United in order to make it in. It’s a simple equation for New Zealand: if Melbourne wins on Sunday the Breakers are in. If Perth wins that game, the Breakers will miss out.

 

Written for NBL.com.au by Liam Santamaria and Mark Slocombe