Southland Sharks vs Otago Nuggets Prediction, Tips & Odds – May 27, 2022 09:30 CET
Despite all the big basketball leagues slowly fading away, the New Zealand NBL season has only just begun. After a couple of opening rounds in which teams had incomplete rosters and were still waiting for the arrival of their imports, this week they will finally have their strongest lineups.
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Under the leadership of experienced coach Rob Beveridge, who re-signed with the Sharks for the 2022 season, Southland was expected to do better in the opening five games. Currently sitting in 8th place with two wins and three losses, the Sharks haven´t lived up to the expectations so far.
After securing an Aussie NBL import in Mojave King from the Adelaide 36ers and a new towering Jamaican center Romaro Gill, they were expected to dominate from the start. Despite having the most efficient offense so far in the entire league, their short bench and a lack of chemistry have cost them but the real reason for their subpar results is the fact other teams have greatly improved their rosters compared to last year. That was most visible in their last game against the Taranaki Airs who had their new American scorers debut and immediately make the difference.
Their fans have plenty of reasons to get excited for their sole game of this week as their new American import Winston Shepard is finally expected to make his debut. His presence will add even more firepower to their offense but will it be enough to beat the star-studded Otago Nuggets?
The Nuggets are taking this season very seriously after investing huge sums of money to secure the signatures of two top Aussie NBL imports during the preseason. Let´s not beat around the bush here – with their starting five they could be competitive not only in the Aussie NBL, which is a class above the NZ NBL but also in some other much stronger leagues.
Otago built a strong foundation with Tahjere McCall and Todd Withers from the Cairns Taipans and the Adelaide 36ers. They are two of the best American imports from a league a class above the New Zealand NBL but that wasn´t enough for the Nuggets who also brought in a third American import. Keith Williams signed straight out of college making their scary team even stronger. Every team needs a tall and a strong center and the Nuggets found one in Sam Timmins who is their third Aussie NBL player from the New Zealand Breakers.
Their roster reminds us of the Warriors when they had Curry, Thompson, and Durant and were more or less unbeatable. The reason why the Nuggets lost their two opening games is because they were still waiting for the arrival of the aforementioned players. After they were integrated into the team no one has been able to handle them as the Nuggets have been winning games by double-digits playing in second gear.
Southland Sharks vs Otago Nuggets Prediction
We just don´t see who could stop this Otago team. They have one of the strongest lineups ever in the history of the league and have already developed nice chemistry. Their suffocating defense is already the best in the league so the Sharks will have their work cut out for them this Friday.
Prediction: Team Wins (incl. OT) – Otago Nuggets
Date and time: 27.05.2022 09:30 CET
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