The Sydney Kings and the Perth Wildcats are gradually pulling away from the rest of the clubs in the 2019 – 2020 NBL Premiership competition.
It is coming toward the conclusion of the 28-game season.
The top four qualify for finals.
Cairns Taipans are third and Melbourne United are fourth, but both those clubs have only narrow margins over Adelaide 36ers, currently fifth rung and Brisbane Bullets on sixth.
Cairns and Sydney squared off recently, with Sydney coming out on top 92 – 83, a measure of revenge after the Taipans won over the Kings earlier. The Taipans have won their past five before the loss to Sydney.
The nine-point differential in the game score was a comfortable win for Sydney, which led for the entire game on a balanced effort that saw both Daniel Kickert and Casper Ware score 18.
Perth beat Illawarra in Wollongong 99 – 77 with a display of long-range shooting and now seem well poised for the run home with five of their remaining six games on their home court.
The post-game comments of Perth coach Trevor Gleeson mentioned that his team had been predominantly road warriors all season by playing 12 of 17 games as tourists.
“Through November until now, we’ve played the majority of our games on the road. There’s a little bit of fatigue there from the guys from so much travelling,” Gleeson said.
Perth has a new ex-NBA big man in Miles Plumlee, who must play some portion of the Wildcats remaining games to be eligible for finals.
He played 16 minutes in his Wildcats debut, with a stat line of six points, three rebounds and two shots blocked.
Plumlee played 346 regular season games in the NBA, but just one playoff game for Milwaukee Bucks in 2015.
“What he (Plumlee) does is he gives us a great target inside – defensively a couple of blocks; he made some really good plays,” Gleeson said.”Now he’s just got to get some rhythm and understand how Australian basketball is played. He’s really going to help us.”