So the Tigers are out of the playoff race and now we can focus on the playoffs. First off without looking at the fox sports schedule for the last round ..... PACK YOUR BAGS AND TELEVISE THE PERTH V TOWNSVILLE GAME.... it's what the fans want. First versus third, Homicide verse Martin/Robbins and the Jungle, and basically a gift of a playoff game a week early.
Perth, Gold Coast and Townsville should be scratching and clawing there way to try and get top spot on the ladder. It's no secret that if Perth get home court advantage they'll be the toughest team to beat in the finals. It's something about playing over there. It's not the crowd or Lachy Reid, who both do a great job in getting involved in the game it's something I can't put my finger on or able to write about, one of the two.
Gold Coast I thought had hit there straps at the right time but a loss to the gong away has pushed them back to third. Gibbo is playing at a high level and the bigs have been animals on the boards.
I expect Perth to end up on top with a win against Townsville while GC might slip to third due to having to face a white hot New Zealand in NZ Thursday followed by an emotional Tigers outfit Saturday at the cage who will send out two NBL legends Anstey and Mackinnon.
Townsville will slip into second with a win against the 6ers Wednesday at home followed by what should be a cracker on Saturday with the Cats. Townsville have been the quietest team in the playoff picture but could possibly make the loudest noise. The big question is this year's NBL MVP Homicide going to deliver on his promise of bringing a championship to the swamp.
Wollongong need to win there last two games games to keep New Zealand out. I expect them to split there last two with a loss against the Tigers at home followed by a win in Adelaide Saturday. New Zealand need the Hawks to drop at least one and win both of there games against the Blaze and the Snakes.
Overall Wollongong would be the feel good story of the year if they make the playoffs. People will be looking in the rear view mirror a little closer if the Breakers make it in. Anyway you look at it the finals should be exciting viewing.
As I end this post I would like to take this time to thank 3 legends of the NBL. Chris Anstey, Sam Mackinnon and Tony Ronaldson. I got to win a gold medal at the commonwealth games with Sam and Bear while I shared my Olympic experience with Chris. All three I have admired since I remember starting to watch basketball. Chris and I built our friendship on respect initially but have turned into great mates since I moved to Melbourne. Sam was someone I idolized as a kid. I was nervous as all hell the first time I met him but enjoyed our time with Boomers commitments before becoming teammates this season. Bear was awesome for me at the Comm games and everyone would agree that he is a champion on and off the court. The NBL will have a big void to fill with three NBL Champions not lacing up the boots next year.
Until next time I'm having a beer cause we are out the playoffs.