Brisbane Bullets v Cairns Taipans
When: Friday, October 11 at 7:30pm (AEDT) LIVE via SBS On Demand
Where: Queensland State Netball Centre, Nathan
The Brisbane Bullets will be out to christen their new home court at the Queensland State Netball Centre with a win against rivals Cairns Taipans on Friday night.
It will be a derby of the competition’s two Queensland teams with state pride going on the line.
Brisbane were brilliant on the road last week with a 90-81 win against the LaMelo Ball-led Illawarra Hawks.
Lamar Patterson starred for the Bullets, scoring 25 points and grabbing eight rebounds, while Nathan Sobey also chipped in with 17 points.
Cairns didn’t have as much luck in their opening game, suffering a heartbreaking 79-71 loss to the Sydney Kings despite leading for most of the match.
The Taipans were outscored 22-8 in the final period at the Snakepit and coach Mike Kelly is sure to have made closing out games a priority at practice in the lead-up to this clash.
Kouat Noi’s performance on debut was one positive Cairns could take out of the game, with the exciting rookie claiming a double-double.
The big matchup to watch in this game will be how Cairn’s forward Majok Deng can contain the scoring of Patterson. The big man is sure to have his hands full.
The Bullets struggled on the defensive glass last week and, if the Taipans can take advantage, it could send Brisbane’s fans home disappointed.
Perth Wildcats v Illawarra Hawks
When: Friday, October 11 at 9:30pm (AEDT) LIVE via SBS On Demand
Where: RAC Arena, Perth
Reigning NBL champions Perth Wildcats will be out to make it two wins from two games when they host LaMelo Ball and the Illawarra Hawks on Friday.
It’s the second match of a big double-header to start Round 2 and there is plenty of firepower on the court, making this a match you can’t miss.
The Wildcats were the only home team to win in Round 1, when they narrowly edged Melbourne United 94-93 after a courageous second-half fightback.
Nicholas Kay and Bryce Cotton were the main men for Perth, with Boomers big man Kay scoring 18 points, grabbing 7 boards and dishing out seven assists.
Illawarra paid the price for a third quarter slump last Sunday as they went down 90-81 at home against Brisbane.
Ball and ex-NBA guard Aaron Brooks excelled as expected for the Hawks but the big question after the match was why coach Matt Flinn started Brooks on the bench.
While Illawarra has one of the youngest line-ups in the league, they will have the experience of veteran Australian centre David Andersen, who will play his 100th NBL game this weekend.
Two big matchups will help decide this game as superstar rookie LaMelo Ball will go up against one of the NBL’s best ever defenders in Wildcats guard Damian Martin, while streaky scorers Brooks and Cotton hope to capitalise on their team’s chances.
This game has the potential to be the best of the weekend and is definitely one you don’t want to miss.
Sydney Kings v Adelaide 36ers
When: Saturday, October 12 at 5:30pm (AEDT) LIVE on SBS Viceland and via SBS On Demand
Where: Qudos Bank Arena, Homebush
NBL star Jerome Randle is back in an Adelaide 36ers jersey and what better way to start than a road trip to take on another one of his former sides in the Sydney Kings.
Randle returns to the club where he has arguably played his best basketball and will be determined to prove that he can return to the form which led him to win the 2017 NBL MVP award.
The match is the 36ers' first of the NBL season but comes on the back of an embarrassing 52-point drubbing at the hands of NBA side Utah Jazz last week.
Coach Joey Wright will be hoping his team’s NBA humiliation spurs them into gear and towards a win against the high profile Kings.
The past seven days were much more in Sydney’s favour as they fought their way back with an incredible come-from-behind win on the road against Cairns last Friday.
There is a lot of excitement around this Kings team and they will be savouring the chance to play in front of a raucous home crowd at Qudos Bank Arena for the first time this season.
The real marquee matchup for this game will be between the guards as Randle and Casper Ware of the Kings collide.
This game is set to be a spectacle and could easily become a shootout.
South East Melbourne Phoenix v Brisbane Bullets
When: Sunday, October 13 at 3:00pm (AEDT) LIVE on SBS Viceland and via SBS On Demand
Where: Melbourne Arena, Melbourne Park
South East Melbourne Phoenix started life in the NBL with a win in week one and will be determined to prove they’re more than just a flash in the pan when they host the Brisbane Bullets this Sunday.
The Phoenix edged cross-town rivals Melbourne United in the Round 1 Throwdown, with Mitch Creek’s unbelievable stat line of 28 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists forming a big part of their success.
Creek will be once again the man to watch as he shows national team coach Andrej Lemanis, who also coaches the Bullets, why he shouldn’t have been overlooked in the Boomers' initial squad for the FIBA World Cup.
One big challenge for South East Melbourne will be finding a way to win without Tai Wesley, with the talented power forward expected to spend an extended stint on the sideline after going down injured in Round 1.
The Bullets come into this game with limited preparation as they back up from Friday night’s match against Cairns in Brisbane.
Coach Lemanis might need to change up his rotation to get the most out of star players Lamar Patterson and Nathan Sobey, which could give more minutes to role players such as Jason Cadee.
The battle between Creek and Patterson will be worth the price of admission alone as the two scorers go toe-to-toe in a matchup that could decide the match.
Illawarra Hawks v Cairns Taipans
When: Monday, October 14 at 7:30pm (AEDT) LIVE via SBS On Demand
Where: WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong
NBL fans will get a second dose of LaMelo Ball in week two as the Illawarra Hawks back up for a clash with Cairns Taipans on Monday night.
This is a game headlined by two of the most exciting rookies in the league in Ball and Cairns' up-and-coming big man Kouat Noi.
The Hawks will be hoping to come into this game after a big win on the road against Perth - if not, they could be looking at 0-3 to start the season.
Coach Matt Flinn will likely keep to the formula of Illawarra’s first two games and give Ball plenty of opportunities to shine while also calling on experienced stars David Andersen and Aaron Brooks to steady the ship and chip in with scoring.
The Taipans could be in a similar situation ahead of this game and will be out to make life difficult for Ball and the rest of the Hawks stars.
Nathan Jawai has been slowly brought into the rotation for Cairns but the team’s skipper could be required to step up into a bigger role at the WIN Entertainment Centre this week.
The Hawks struggled with Brisbane’s spread offence in their opening match and could expect a similar approach from Cairns through sweet-shooting Majok Deng.
A big match for both teams and nothing less than a win will be enough.