By Liam Melrose and Ollie Nash
Should South East Melbourne's Mitch Creek be allowed to play? Photo: Getty Images
Mitch Creek shouldn’t be playing
Just like Scott Morrison, the NBL and South East Melbourne Phoenix have failed to read the room. With the state the country is in regarding sexual assault at the moment, allowing Creek back to play despite the charges against him, is very poor. The NRL have nailed it with their no-fault standdown policy, where any player facing criminal charges with maximum jail time of 11 years or more is sidelined. The fact Jordan De Goey is playing makes me uncomfortable and the fact Creek is returning makes me uncomfortable.
Grand Final Rematch disaster for the Kings
Sydney hosted Perth in round 11 in what was the 2020 Grand Final rematch. Throughout the offseason many associated with the Kings were upset the NBL awarded the 2020 championship to the Perth Wildcats, as the Grand Final series wasn’t complete. You would’ve expected Sydney to play with an extra chip on their shoulder in their first match in Sydney against the Wildcats since the Grand Final series. However, the Wildcats were all over them after half-time outscoring the Kings 43-21, and ultimately winning the match by 24 points 89-65, with Bryce Cotton putting on a show. The reigning back to back MVP finished with 29 points against fellow superstar point guard Casper Ware who finished with just six points. Sydney travel to Perth in round 12 where they’ll face the Wildcats in what is a massive opportunity to bounce back.
Bryce Cotton came out on top against Casper Ware in round 11. Photo: AAP
Casper Ware f*** you mentality
Every time Casper Ware plays Melbourne United he plays with such an edge that even he, a 177cm guard, is super intimidating. Every bucket he’s talking s*** to Dean Vickerman, he’s constantly going at his direct opponent and putting the defence under pressure. Then he goes and puts up six points, two rebounds and six assists on 20/0/100 shooting against Perth in a 24-point loss. He only shot the ball 10 times and got to the free-throw line twice. I want to see that f*** you mentality every game, especially against Bryce Cotton. He’s impossible to guard when he does and his physicality and mental edge rubs off on the team. If they’re going to qualify for finals they need bad man Casper.
You compare Ware to Bryce Cotton and there’s really no comparison. In the same game I mentioned earlier Cotton put up 29 points, three rebounds and four assists on 45/37/100 shooting, getting to the free-throw line six times. On the season he’s putting up 26 points, 2.8 rebounds and six assists on 43/35/89 shooting splits. All this while carrying Perth to a league best 13-4 record. The MVP and what Sydney need Ware to be for them.
Round 11 was a missed opportunity for the Bullets. Photo: Brisbane Bullets
The Bullets blow it
Going into round 11 the Bullets were looking good, sitting just outside the top four with a record of 9-7, at the end of round 11 they find themselves in sixth position with a 9-9 record after losing in overtime to the New Zealand Breakers at home, before being smashed by the Illawarra Hawks to finish off the round. Fortunately, the teams around them on the ladder didn’t have a great weekend either, however it’s a what could’ve been for Brisbane. If they won both games they’d be 11-7 sitting comfortably in the top four. With the league as close as it is it was an opportunity missed for the Bullets who had been in stellar form. They face the Kings next, who are also 9-9 in what looms as a huge clash in Sydney on Saturday night.
Cairns show a glimpse of what we expected in 2021
It’s been a horror season to date for the Cairns Taipans, however in their 79-65 win over the injury depleted Adelaide 36ers we were reminded of how good they can be when they perform. While Cam Oliver has had an inconsistent season to date, he finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, superstar combo-guard Scott Machado finished with 17 points and six assists and sharpshooter Mirko Djeric added 13 points. The Taipans were without starters Deng and Noi but this win reminded us of what they can do, maybe this win will give them some confidence going into the second half of the season? Two games against Melbourne United in round 12 is a big test to see if there’s any life left in the Snakes.
Cover Photo: Cairns Taipans