22/04/2024

Who rose and who fell in our Round 18 NBL Power Rankings? (Photos: @MelbUnited; @CairnsTaipans - Twitter)

The Three in the Key Podcast’s NBL Power Rankings have dropped for Round 18, with United soaring back into the top three as the Taipans' strong form sees them rewarded.

The Three in the Key Podcast’s NBL Power Rankings have dropped for Round 18, with United soaring back into the top three as the Taipans’ strong form sees them rewarded.

These NBL Power Rankings are predicated on current form and short-term expectations for the squad. They aren’t a prediction of where teams will finish the season on the ladder, but rather an expectation on how they will perform in their upcoming games with consideration given to injuries and form.

This is the Three in the Key Podcast’s NBL Power Rankings ahead of Round 19 of the 2021/22 season.

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1. Sydney Kings

Record: 15-7, Previous Ranking: 1st

Another week on top of the power rankings for the Kings, as they begin to make a genuine push for first place on the NBL ladder.

The win streak continued for the Kings in Round 18, after a convincing 20-point victory over the JackJumpers.

As Jaylen Adams continues to make his case for MVP, Sydney has firmed into the equal-favourites to win the grand final series – tied with Melbourne United.

With limited games remaining, the Kings have hit their stride at the right time and look tough to be beaten in its current form.

The Kings will be on the road for Round 19, as they look to take out first place against the 36ers and Breakers.

2. Illawarra Hawks

Record: 16-8, Previous Ranking: 2nd

It’s an NSW front-row lockout, with the Hawks once again remaining in second place after another impressive round of NBL action.

The Hawks kicked off Round 18 with an impressive 18-point win over the Bullets, before doing the double on United in another classy victory.

Beating United twice in as many weeks has led many to believe the Hawks are firmly back in the race for a title, with the stars getting back into their early-season form.

With more positives coming from each game, the team-play from the Hawks has become key as Brian Goorijan enjoys another successful patch of form.

Illawarra moves into Round 19, looking to inflict more damage to the Bullets as they head to Brisbane in its lone game of the round.

3. Melbourne United

Record: 16-7, Previous Ranking: 4th

Coming into Round 18, the reigning champions were coming off a loss against the Hawks and were hoping to turn their fortunes around in the rematch. However, for the second time in less than a week, Melbourne couldn’t get the better of Illawarra.

The consecutive losses made United’s victory against the Wildcats on Monday night even sweeter.

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Dean Vickerman would have been impressed by his side’s ability to get back to their defensive best holding the Wildcats to 75 points.

Although Vickerman would be been ecstatic with his team’s defence, we would have loved seeing guards Matthew Dellavedova and Shea Ili’s offensive performance, as the pair finished with 17 and 12 points respectively.

We already know Melbourne’s elite defensively but if it can get Dellavedova and Ili among other players to continue to stand up here and there, they will be hard to beat come playoff time.

United will look to continue its momentum in Round 19. They match up against cross-town rivals, the Phoenix before facing the Taipans in Cairns.

4. Perth Wildcats

Record: 14-9, Previous Ranking: 3rd

After losing to Melbourne United, the Perth Wildcats are currently on a three-game losing streak. It’s the first time since 1999 that Perth has lost three games in a row at home.

After all the John Brown III drama, the Wildcats are still without their defensive leader and starting point guard Mitch Norton and it’s starting to hurt them.

We all know how dangerous Bryce Cotton and Vic Law are and we’ll never rule out the men from the west, but Perth needs to stop its patchy form now, if they want to solidify its spot in the finals with Tasmania breathing down its neck in fifth.

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Perth will look to snap its losing streak in Round 19 when it faces New Zealand.

5. Tasmania JackJumpers

Record: 13-11, Previous Ranking: 5th

Can Tasmania dream of an improbable finals berth in its first season?

After going down to the Kings, the hope of finals seemed dead in the water, however considering the drastic fall in form from the Wildcats, they remain just two games off a coveted fourth-place finish.

The JackJumpers got past the 36ers in an up and down game, before completely falling apart defensively against the Kings.

There were worrying signs from the Kings game and given the injury to Will Magnay, the JackJumpers now face a tough uphill battle for the rest of the season.

The depth and quality will be tested throughout the final stretch of the season as Tasmania will look to some key rotational pieces to fill in the hole left by Magnay.

With just one game in Round 19 against the resurgent Taipans, this game is a must-win if the JackJumpers want to keep their finals hopes alive. 

6. Cairns Taipans

Record: 8-14, Previous Ranking: 9th

The biggest movers this week, the Taipans are enjoying a purple patch of form with four wins from its last five games.

With all its starters in double figures, the Taipans continued to add to the Phoenix’s poor run of form and asserted themselves away from the bottom of the ladder in the process.

Scott Machado and Keanu Pinder stood out in a workmanlike performance from the entire team, in what is undoubtedly its most impressive win of the season.

Although it may be too little too late for Cairns, these types of performances have given the fanbase hope of a much-improved outing next season, along with the rumours of Aron Baynes linking up with the hometown side.

The Taipans will be a team to look out for next season.

The Taipans will look to roll on and pull off more upsets in Round 19, as they take on the JackJumpers and United.

7. South East Melbourne Phoenix

Record: 12-11, Previous Ranking: 6th

South East Melbourne take a slide down the power rankings this week, after losing to the Cairns Taipans.

It might be a little early but it looks like finals look out of reach for the Phoenix. They seem to have lost their energy in the process of this skid.

South East Melbourne has lost six of its past seven games, a record coach Simon Mitchell will want to turn around.

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The Phoenix’s clash against United in the Throwdown and their other match up in Round 19 against the Breakers are must-wins to keep the small chance of finals a possibility.

8. Brisbane Bullets

Record: 9-15, Previous Ranking: 7th

The Bullets fall down one in the power rankings due to the Taipans’ strong recent form. Another reason for their demotion is that they’ve lost six of their last 10 games.

Nathan Sobey has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, however, that just means the minutes will continue to be spread around to other guys on the roster.

Brisbane’s schedule this week is almost the same as last week, however, it faces Illawarra at home and Adelaide away.

9. Adelaide 36ers

Record: 7-15, Previous Ranking: 8th

After its high in Round 17 against South East Melbourne, Adelaide finds itself back down near the bottom of the power rankings. The 36ers caught two losses in Round 18, in their clash against the Bullets, they were almost able to grasp victory.

Although CJ Bruton and co have been competitive in the last few weeks, the reality is that the 36ers have lost eight of their last 10 games. With six games left in the season, Adelaide should continue to play around with its roster so they can plan for next season.

In Round 19, the 36ers will travel to Sydney and Brisbane to face the Kings and Bullets.

10. New Zealand Breakers

Record: 5-18, Previous Ranking: 10th

The Breakers, unfortunately, find themselves bottom again after a disappointing outing in Round 18.

Going down to the Taipans in tight fashion, after being out-scored in the fourth quarter, the Breakers look deflated and lacking confidence.

Although there were some positive performances coming from the likes of Yanni Weztell, Ousmane Dieng and Hugo Besson, the Breakers are still finding themselves in patches of lacklustre offence.

New Zealand will be counting the days until the end of the season as they aim to rebuild for next season.

The Breakers head to Perth to face the Wildcats, before returning to Victoria to prepare for a match-up with the Phoenix in Round 19.

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