Match details: Saturday, January, 5, State Basketball Centre, 4:00 UTC
South East Melbourne Phoenix will be hosting New Zealand Breakers in this Round 14 clash that is crucial for both the teams. The Phoenix have suddenly lost out on steam it feels and are stuck at 6th on points table with 8 wins and 10 losses. The Breakers have moved to the 7th spot in the standings and are in a sensational victory spree. This sets up a mouth-watering clash which could well set the tone for the future of both the teams in the season.
The two teams have met twice this season and both registered a victory each. The last time South East Melbourne hosted the Breakers, they secured a thumping 103:78 win. But things have changed now and New Zealand Breakers are unlikely to be the pushovers again.
South East Melbourne Phoenix
South East Melbourne Phoenix have now lost 8 of their last 11 games. They have been off color and seem to have lost their mojo this season. In their last game, they were drubbed 84:92 by Cairns and have to quickly get back up to face a side that is looking surprisingly good.
One of the issues with Phoenix is that they are too dependent on their star performers. Even in the last game which they lost against Cairns, it was captain Mitchell Creek, John Roberson and Ben Madgen who did the bulk of the scoring. The likes of Dane Pineau and Tai Wesley really need to shoulder some responsibility if the team has to get back on track.
New Zealand Breakers
The Breakers have hit a purple patch out of the blue and are on a 4-match victory spree. They were languishing at the bottom half of the table for long, but suddenly the team has found form and are looking to make their way up.
The Breakers are coming off a fantastic 96:87 victory against Adelaide on the road. In fact, the most notable thing about their current run is that 3 of their 4 wins have come on the road. This should give them great confidence for their away match against South East Melbourne Phoenix.
Scotty Hopson and Sek Henry were the stars for New Zealand in the last match with 20-plus points each. These two along with Finn Delany will prove to be quite a handful if they find their rhythm.
S.E. Melbourne Phoenix vs New Zealand Breakers: NBL Betting Tips
This match is very tough to call. On recent form, it would be tempting to back the New Zealand Breakers for this game. However, one can’t ignore the home-court advantage that South East Melbourne will have.
This is likely to be a close game that can go right down to the wire. The Breakers have shown they can take down any team on their day, and even away from home. So, a 5th straight win cannot be ruled out for the New Zealand side.
However, we still back the South East Melbourne Phoenix to get back on track and win this home contest.