RD 8 Game Preview V New Zealand Breakers
Round 8 – Tasmania JackJumpers v New Zealand
Thursday 18 November, 7.30pm tip-off
Watch LIVE on ESPN via Kayo and Foxtel
State of Play
One of Tasmania’s biggest rivals, New Zealand Breakers head back to familiar territory to face the JackJumpers for the first time since last year’s semi-final series.
The teams met at the Silverdome last season where things got particularly heated and the raucous Launceston crowd let the visitors know they had outstayed their welcome as Barry Brown and Dererk Pardon made their presence felt.
However, the Breakers had the last laugh in NBL23 when they beat Tasmania 2-1 in the Semi-Final series to end the JackJumpers finals campaign.
Both sides look vastly different than that meeting, but the rivalry still runs deep and the Launceston crowd will surely have short memories.
Ironically, New Zealand is arguably more familiar with the Silverdome than the home side, given they spent a large portion of the covid-affected 21/22 season based in Tasmania, playing 6 home game at the venue in that season.
The JackJumpers lead 6-5 in the head-to-head meetings with the Breakers since the start of the 21/22 season and will be looking to keep that record above 50% in this game and move to 7 wins ahead of a tough road trip to Cairns.
- Tasmania has won each of its last seven Thursday night games
- Tasmania ranks 1st in the league for offensive rating this season (118.5).
- New Zealand has lost each of its last six away games.
- New Zealand ranks 1st in the league for effective field goal percentage this season (54.4%).
- Jordon Crawford is the only player in the league to have made 5+ threes in consecutive games this season.
Last time they met
HUNGRY JACK'S NBL FINALS – PLAYOFFS SERIES 1, GAME 3
NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 92 (Brown Jr 32, Pardon 15, Brantley 14)
TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS 77 (McVeigh 22, Kelly 16, Macdonald 14)
Precious little separated the two teams in a hotly contested Playoffs Series but an offensive explosion from Barry Brown Jr has inspired the New Zealand Breakers to beat the Tasmania JackJumpers 92-77 in Game 3 and reach the Championship Series.
With two such defensively minded and physical teams doing battle, it was never going to be a high-scoring or offensive flowing series which meant that a performance like Brown delivered at Spark Arena ultimately proved the difference.
The JackJumpers raced out to a 13-2 lead but the game changed once Brown hit the floor. It was an arm wrestle for much of the second and third quarters but the Breakers blew the game open in the last with a 13-2 run in the last quarter with Brown scoring 11 of those points to lead his team to the win and into the Championship Series.
SRT Logistics Coaches’ take
Assistant Coach Mark Radford said “Mody Maor and we know he's very passionate coach and coming out of Perth the way they were the other night, he wasn't obviously happy with that. I expect an absolute dog fight and the only thing I have in mind about New Zealand is last year's playoffs. That sits front and centre for me. If you want to be in the finals, you've got to almost go through them, even though they're not there right now, they'll get better, they'll improve, they'll get guys back, but they're a hungry team and I expect nothing but their best effort on the Thursday”.
Ins & outs
Tasmania JackJumpers: N/A
New Zealand Breakers: Zylan Cheatham is likely to be unavailable after suffering a leg injury late last month.
Opponents on the Radar
Parker Jackson-Cartwright ranks 1st amongst qualified players for points per game (20.4) this season