Former NBA lottery pick Jonny Flynn has been cleared to make his NBL debut on Friday when Melbourne hosts the Adelaide 36ers at Hisense Area.
Melbourne won their first game of the season last week demolishing a winless Townsville 91-66 and addition of Flynn, the 39th import in Melbourne history, gives the Tigers every opportunity to knock out the 3-2 36ers from the playoff bracket.
Doing that will be no easy task; Flynn has just cleared all the necessary visa permits after landing Down Under earlier this week and has had just a handfull of training sessions with his new team. The two sides met in Round 1 as Adelaide came away with an easy 84-61 win.
Daniel Johnson had a breakout season in 2011 but has complied just 13 points in his last two outings. The big Perth product had a career-high 31 points against the Tigers last year and scored 21 in their Round 1 matchup.
Sydney has shown some real fight early in the season, but they will be tested again when Wollongong heads into town Friday night.
The 5-0 Hawks are coming off a week in which super sub Adris DeLeon won the NBL Player of the Week award and has led his team in scoring in each of the team’s previous three outings.
Sydney have dropped their previous two home games, losing by 20 to Cairns and then by 7 to Adelaide. A win could see them enter the playoff picture.
New Zealand play the winless Crocs on Friday, the first of a back-to-back schedule, before taking on Cairns a day later.
The Breakers escaped the Kings with a three-point, last second Mika Vukona heave last weekend and are second on the standings with a 4-1 record. Vukona was the Player of the Week when the Breakers met Townsville in Round 3.
The main threat resides in one of the league’s top point guards, Gary Ervin, who shut down Cedric Jackson while still scoring 21 of his own last time they met. Townsville’s current nine-game losing streak is the second worst in club history.
The Taipans are looking to move above .500 win a win against the Breakers on Saturday and they’ve managed that in each of their past three home meetings with the Breakers. Cameron Tragardh is having a nice season, he’s averaging over 20 points per game at home in 2012.
The third placed Wildcats will be hoping to bounce back from last week’s awful 100-67 demolition at the hands of the Hawks. Although they take to the road to play the 36ers, their task will be slightly easier knowing that Adelaide will be weary from an encounter with the Tigers less than 48 hours earlier.
MVP Kevin Lisch managed just six attempts last week after scoring over 18 a game during Perth’s first three contests. Expect a bounce back from him.
Image and video appear courtesy of the NBL.
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