South East Melbourne vs New Zealand Breakers Prediction, Tips & Odds – Dec. 04, 2021
South East Melbourne Phoenix and New Zealand Breakers start their new NBL campaign this Saturday. Phoenix will look to get an important opening win and take advantage of covid issues which have recently shaken up the Breakers.
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New Zealand Breakers
After some solid roster moves and good performance during the NBL Blitz preseason, Breakers had an outbreak of covid cases in their team. Their coach Dan Shamir and nine other players were infected which meant their last preseason game had to be canceled. Since they had to enter isolation they had a forced 10-day break but this season opener will go ahead despite their roster not being complete.
In John Cain Arena in Melbourne, they will try to keep up with the hosts without two unidentified starters and also without their coach who is still recovering. On top of that, they will also not be able to count on their longtime regular and captain Tom Abercrombie.
They had a pretty solid showing during the preseason beating not only Phoenix but also Sydney Kings. However, without the aforementioned players and their coach facing a very strong home outfit they are aware their chances are slim.
The NBL has a new record 117 different first names rostered this year.
The are 96 players that have a first name that is exclusive to them.
Mitch and Jack are the most common first names with four players each.#NBL22
— NBLfacts (@nblfacts) December 3, 2021
South East Melbourne
After a great previous season, Phoenix managed to keep almost all of their most important players. Led by experienced Ryan Broekhoff and Kyle Adnam along with the addition of American import Xavier Munford they will be expected to enter the playoffs once again. Their biggest off-season addition was Chinese center and former NBA player Qi Zhou who was impressive during the preseason. During the recent international break, he injured his ankle representing his home country China against Japan. He returned to Australia and will be a game-time decision for the season opener.
During the preseason, Phoenix played some solid basketball. They started off with a win against Sydney Kings and then lost to Illawarra after overtime. A couple of days later they faced the Breakers. The New Zealand team had almost a full roster and managed to beat them narrowly so this Saturday Phoenix will have an excellent chance of getting revenge against their decimated team. In their last friendly, they got the better of their main rivals and defending champions Melbourne United which definitely improved the morale in their dressing room.
T🏀NIGHT IS THE NIGHT!#NBL22 tips off from 7:30pm AEDT 🙌
First up the JackJumpers make their official debut taking on the Bullets, followed by the Wildcats and 36ers battling it out in the Jungle at 9:30pm AEDT
Live on @ESPNAusNZ + @kayosports 👀 pic.twitter.com/LXKngElfXA
— The NBL (@NBL) December 3, 2021
South East Melbourne vs New Zealand Breakers Prediction, Tips & Odds
With the form they were showing during the preseason, Breakers would have good chances in this game with a complete roster. Because of covid issues that are not the case so we think the value is in Phoenix covering the first-half spread in front of their fans. After not playing for almost two weeks and missing three key players and their coach, we expect the Breakers to be below their usual level in the opening twenty minutes of the game.
Prediction: 1 Half Handicap (-2.5)
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