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Illawarra Hawks vs. Adelaide 36ers Prediction, Tips & Odds – Feb. 25, 2022
Australian NBL games will continue to take place this week despite the international qualifying window. Because of Covid protocols season has been stagnating. Australia decided to field a weaker team in the Austroasian qualifiers so all of the NBL teams can have their key domestic pieces available, including the Illawarra Hawks and the Adelaide 36ers.
The Hawks haven´t achieved the results they wanted so far and find themselves just below top 4 and the playoff zone. At the moment they are nowhere near their performances from the end of last season which is surprising considering the fact they didn´t make any drastic changes to their roster. They have a very efficient starting five but their bench production has been lacking. Along with the inability to gather any momentum and enter a winning streak the Hawks are currently bouncing around the playoff zone.
After a shock loss to the New Zealand Breakers at the start of the month in Tasmania(67:90), they rebounded by beating the Taipans twice at home(87:81, 79:54). However, facing the most pleasant surprise of the season the Tasmania JackJumpers in the last round, their weaknesses came to surface once again losing unexpectedly at home by 10 points(86:96).
Their defense hasn´t been at the desired level which could be a big problem against the 36ers. Adelaide have stepped up their defense recently conceding below 80 points in their last three out of five games. They are trying to regain their form after their roster was affected by certain Covid-related absences at the end of January. With an incomplete roster they gave away a couple of games they should have won, but lately with their key starters coming back they are looking much better on the court.
One of their most notable wins was taking down the reigning champions Melbourne United after overtime three weeks ago at home(88:84). After that game they failed to hang on away from home in Brisbane losing to the Bullets(73:77). Their latest game was last Sunday when they went down big early against the Taipans at home but managed to recover and turn the game around winning 82:71.
Illawarra Hawks vs. Adelaide 36ers Prediction
Both teams should have all of their main players available which makes them evenly matched at the moment. Even though Illawarra have the home-court advantage, the 36ers definitely have the potential to give them a run for their money. Adelaide have been significantly better at home so it is vital they win some points away from their fans.
Playing against the Hawks in Wollongong is never an easy task. Illawarra seems distraught at the moment with no real consistency nor any momentum. Their inside defense and rim protection has been very unstable which could be a huge issue against Adelaide´s very strong and physical frontcourt.
In the only head-to-head game of the season the Hawks were victorious at home around a month ago(100:89). The 36ers were still out of form back then so this Friday is an ideal chance for them to stay more competitive and perhaps even surprise the hosts.
Pick: Alternative Point Spread – Adelaide 36ers +6.0
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