Basketball: Australia - NBL
Third place Melbourne Tigers will be hosting second place Perth Wildcats this afternoon in what should be the match of the Australian NBL round.
The past two times these two played this season Perth held Melbourne to 58 and 65 but I don't believe they'll be able to do that again here today. Too much has changed during the season to think this will happen again. The 65-74 loss at home in October was during a phase when Melbourne were struggling with their form. The most recent 73-58 in Perth in January I can only explain by the travel, Perth is the furthest travel destination for any team in the competition and I think we can safely ignore that low scoring result as well.
Since then, Melbourne has gone on to win 5 of their 6 games and move into playoff spots, confidence is riding high and Johnny Flynn has been hitting baskets from everywhere and tonight will go for 7 in a row scoring more than 20 points. They have scored 74 or more in 3 of their last five games at home.
Perth (along with New Zealand) have the most travel to do in the competition but they are also the two teams that handle it the best. They have scored more than 75 points in their last five away matches and more than 80 in their last 3.
While I do think the key to success here for Perth is to restrict Flynn, and slow down the transition from the full court to the half court, causing time pressure and bad shooting choices I'm not sure they are going to be able to stop him. Flynn went through a really bad patch a few games ago where he tried to control the entire game when they were losing and it really put him off, but having seen that I believe that coach Anstey will ensure that sort of thing doesn't happen again, especially in light of last week where he was happy to pull Flynn off the court for an extended period of time for an indiscretion. While he was off court the offense didn't suffer, so I'm happy enough that if Perth manage the impossible and shut Flynn down then the simple offensive plays the Tigers have will ensure the scoreboard keeps ticking over healthily.
This game will be streamed live at bet365
This tip is for over 147.5 points to be scored in the match @ $1.91 @ bet365