The clash between the New Zealand Breakers and the Cairns Taipans could be one of the most anticipated NBL games . It’s all happening this Friday night, 3rd November 2023. Both teams have been performing well, but who has the edge according to the bookies? Let’s analyse the strengths and weaknesses of both teams, the recent form, and their head-to-head record. I’ll also give you a prediction for the winner and the final score.
Full Court Press
The Breakers are coming off a convincing win over the Tasmania JackJumpers in their season opener, while the Taipans suffered a narrow loss to the Sydney Kings in a tight contest.
The major bookies are favouring the Breakers to continue their momentum and claim another victory at home, but the Taipans are not to be underestimated as they have a talented roster and a history of upsetting the Breakers in previous encounters. This game will be a key battle for both teams to establish themselves as contenders in the NBL.
The Breakers have a stronger offence and a more balanced roster, while the Taipans rely too much on their star player Scott Machado.
Why I think New Zealand could win
The New Zealand Breakers are one of the most successful teams in the NBL, having won four championships in the past decade. They feature a strong roster of experienced players, such as Corey Webster, Finn Delany and Tom Abercrombie. These guys can score from anywhere on the court. New Zealand have the home-court advantage, playing at the Spark Arena in Auckland, where there’s a huge loyal fan base.
- They have a better record than Cairns this season, winning 12 games and losing 8, while Cairns has only won 7 and lost 13.
- They have a balanced offence, averaging 88.6 points per game, with five players scoring in double figures. They also rank second in the league in three-point shooting, making 38.7% of their attempts.
- They have a solid defence, holding their opponents to 84.4 points per game, the third-lowest in the NBL. They also force 14.6 turnovers per game, the most in the league.
- They have more motivation to win, as they are fighting for a playoff spot, while Cairns is already out of contention.
New Zealand has a good chance of beating Cairns on Friday night, based on their performance, statistics and situation. They have proven themselves to be a formidable team in the NBL, and I expect them to show their quality and determination in this game.
Who to watch: Finn Delany
Jersey #: 70
Delany is a versatile and explosive player who can dominate both ends of the floor. He’s averaging 16.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season, ranking second on the Breakers in both categories. He’s also shooting 38.9 percent from three-point range, making him a reliable outside threat. Delany is captain and leader, and will be eager to lead his team to victory against the Taipans.
Why I think Cairns could win
The Cairns Taipans aren’t the favourites to win the NBL game this Friday night. They do have a bunch of factors in their favour that could give them an edge and bring the heat to New Zealand.
- The Taipans have a balanced scoring attack. They’ve got five players averaging double digits in points per game and makes them hard to defend. They’re good at spreading the floor and exploiting mismatches.
- They have a strong rebounding advantage and rank second in in rebounds per game. The Breakers rank last. This means they can limit the Breakers’ second-chance opportunities and create more possessions for themselves.
- The Taipans have a motivated coach, featuring Aaron Fearne is in his final season with the team. He has been with the Taipans for 10 years and he’ll want to end his tenure on a high note. His players will be ready to compete and fight for every possession.
The Taipans definitely don’t have the star power or the experience of New Zealand, but they have the heart and the hustle to challenge them. I think they could surprise everyone and bring the challenge this Friday night.
Who to watch: Tahjere McCall
Jersey #: 22
McCall is a versatile guard who plays the full court. He can score, rebound, assist and defend. He joined the Taipans in 2022 and is averaging 11.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game in his first season. He was also named to the All-NBL Second Team and the All-Defensive Team. McCall is a leader on and off the court, and he will be crucial for the Taipans’ chances of winning against the Breakers.
What do the bookies say?
Both teams are struggling in this NBL24 season. They’ve two wins each from their first six games. The bookies are favouring the home team, who have had a tough schedule due to their NBAxNBL commitments, but have shown some signs of improvement in recent games. The Taipans, on the other hand, have lost four in a row and are lacking confidence and consistency.
The odds are fairly similar across the board, but the Breakers are the clear favourites. The average odds for the Breakers are 1.53, while the average odds for the Taipans are 2.52.
The Bottom Line
Both teams have been struggling to find form in this NBL24 season, but they’re up against each other in a crucial Round 6 game. The Breakers have the home advantage and a slightly better record, but the Taipans have shown some signs of improvement in their last two games.
The bookies are favouring the Breakers, but not by much. This is a hard game to predict, but we think the Breakers have a slight edge over the Taipans, based on their experience and depth.
However, it’s not a sure bet and anything can happen on the court.
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