My Picks

Boti Nagy released his NBL predictions today and he had a few surprises in there. He picked Perth, Melbourne, New Zealand and Cairns to make up the top 4. Yep, Melbourne No 2. We had a back and forth on Twitter and he cited Melbourne's effort to be the key factor to him picking them for a playoff berth.
I looked over the teams and decided it's pretty much a crap shoot as to who'll make up the top 4 but here's my most likely outcome.

How They'll Make The Playoffs
Redhage and Martin don't suffer a drop off, Knight returns soon and to his best, Wagstaff lifts his game another level, Ennis stays the season and plays at an MVP type level, Beal is solid, the bench gives a spark and the referees forget the new rule interpretations.

How They'll Miss
Redhage and Martin start to slow, Knight struggles with injury, Ennis gets an early-mid season call up from the Heat, Beal turns out to be a middle-income man's Everard Bartlett and the referees embrace the new rule interpretations.

Predicted Finish: 3rd

How They'll Make The Playoffs
Ervin plays at an MVP type level, Gibbo stays healthy and improves his outside game, DJ's defense starts to catch up to his offense, Petrie backs up his 2012/13 campaign, Schensch impacts 5-8 games, Creek finally has his breakout year, Frye erases all the bad Tyndale/Winder/Christopherson memories and Darren Ng realises he can help the team far more as a player than a doctor

How They'll Miss
The backcourt doesn't mesh, Schensch turns into Bill Walton (not the '77 or '86 version) and Frye has fans calling for Christopherson to be given another go.

Predicted Finish: 5th

How They'll Make The Playoffs
Ubaka returns to his NBL-best, Wortho/Ballinger/Walker/Goulding all avoid recurrences of injury problems, Morrison proves to be a stud, Tomlinson sorts out his offensive game and Anstey starts to make Lindsay Gaze look like a hack.

How They'll Miss
The injury curse continues, Ubaka plays so bad that the Tigers hold a "Seamus McPeake appreciation night" and Anstey starts to make Trevor Gleeson look like Lindsay Gaze.

Predicted Finish:6th

How They'll Make The Playoffs
Carmouche and Sanders both turn out to be elite, "Hammer" starts being referred to more as a great coach who also used to play a bit, Brad Hill wins MIP, AJ and Ellis prove to be the best returning Aussies from a strong bunch, Madgen captures last year's form and Sydney plays all year with a chip on it's shoulder over everyone always going on about how they have a chip on their shoulder.

How They'll Miss
The imports flop, Hammer returns to his playing-coach form, Brad Hill plays more like the 2008 Adelaide one, Madge's injury woes resurface and Sydney starts so well that it stops playing with a chip on it's shoulder and consequently goes into a tailspin.

Predicted Finish: 2nd

How They'll Make The Playoffs
Rotnei Clarke keeps up his promising early form, "Mystery Import 2" turns out to make Durrell Summers look ordinary, the veterans turn back the clock and Gordie McLeod coaches so well people finally start to think he's under-rated.

How They'll Miss
Clarke's shot deserts him, Mystery Import 2 turns out to be a "Glover-type", the veterans drop off and Zac Delaney ends up getting a recall.

Predicted Finish:8th

How They'll Make The Playoffs
Have you seen their roster? If everything pans out we might have another New Zealand on our hands.

How They'll Miss
Have you seen their roster? They may score 120 in some games but could give up 150. If Jamar plays like last year or loses another step and McCamey  doesn't bring enough the backcourt will be it's soft spot.

Predicted Finish:4th

How They'll Make The Playoffs
Coach Dennis proves to be a masterstroke, the fans will their team to some wins, Pace and Conklin cause a rethink on import selection, the Djeric/Markovic/Norton backcourt realises it's full potential, Holmes/Hinder/Crawford provide the leadership and smarts to guide this team and the club promises to avoid "The Birdman".

How They'll Miss
Coach Dennis reminds everyone why he couldn't get a head coaching gig for the last 20 years, Pace and Conklin prove you get what you pay for, the kids don't progress enough, the veterans start mummifying and the club chases down those "Forte and Withers" guys.

Predicted Finish:7th

How They'll Make The Playoffs
Um, they resemble something similar to the last three years?

How They'll Miss
Johnson proves to be no Jackson, Vicko proves to be now Lemanis, CJ plays so badly the club swaps him for his dad and Darnell Lazare plays like former Sydney King Darnell Lazare.

Predicted Finish: 1st

Yikes...I've left Adelaide out of the 4! They still have a strong chance but will really rely on Cairn's being appalling defensively (very possible) or Sydney struggling to mesh so many new guys (also possible).

Every team has a legit chance to make the playoffs all going well but I think the eventual champ will certainly come from the Top 5 I've picked.


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