Match Details: MONDAY, JANUARY, 6, ADELAIDE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, 7:30PM
This should ideally turn out to be a one-sided contest on paper but weirder things have happened in NBL 2019-20. Adelaide 36ers have had a topsy-turvy last few weeks but they are 6th in the standings with 9 wins and 11 losses. They will be hosting the 9th placed Illawarra Hawks on January 6 and would be hoping to secure a win against the worst-performing team of the season to move to the top four in the table.
The two teams have clashed twice in the season already and both getting a win each. Interestingly, the last time Adelaide hosted the Hawks this season they were beaten 84:93. The 36ers would hope that they don’t face a similar result this time round as well.
Adelaide 36ers form:
Adelaide is coming off a deflating 77:91 on the road loss against Sydney in their first game of Round 14.While this defeat came against the best side of the season, it would still have punctured their confidence a bit as they had just won the game before that. Their 100:97 win against a top side like Perth at home in their last game in Round 13 had set them on the right track after suffering a shock defeat against New Zealand Breakers. Adelaide would now take confidence from that home win against Perth as they take on the Hawks.
Adelaide has now lost 4 of their last 5 games which is a worrying trend. In Jerome Randle, Daniel Johnson and Eric Griffin, Adelaide has a super trio that would be counted on to get the team back to winning ways.
Illawarra Hawks Form:
It looks like the Illawarra Hawks would be taking the mantle of the wooden-spooners of NBL 2019-20 the way things are going. Yes, they registered a sensational upset in their last game in Round 13 by toppling the No.1 team of the season, Sydney Kings. However, they got back to their old ways after starting Round 14 with a 91:104 loss against Melbourne United at home. They are still 9th in the standings with 5 wins and 14 losses.
The Hawks have shown glimpses of promise and that 85:80 victory against Sydney at home is proof of what they are capable of. It was a team performance where everyone contributed, most notably Josh Boone, Emmett Naar and captain Todd Blanchfield. If these three along with the likes of Tim Coenraad and Daniel Grida can perform together then they may well take don the 36ers again.
Adelaide 36ers vs Illawarra Hawks Prediction
The Adelaide 36ers, barring a few hiccups here and there, have been one of the better-performing teams of the season. Their Points Per Game is one of the best this season at 95.7. Compare this to Illawarra’s modest 87.47 and you would know the wide gap between the two teams. This, along with the home-court advantage and overall strength of the squad, and you would think that the 36ers should start the game as the favorites.
The Hawks would take confidence from their victory against Sydney. However, their away record hasn’t been pretty this season and they have been way too inconsistent to be a major threat to any team. Thus, backing the Adelaide 36ers as the winners of this contest is the wise choice.