News

RANKINGS

NBL Power Rankings: Pre-season Edition

By Liam Santamaria

 

Every week this NBL season, I’ll be releasing power rankings. 

They’ll drop each Tuesday on NBL Overtime and then be published on nbl.com.au the following morning. 

Here’s my money-back guarantee: these rankings won’t ever correlate with the ladder. They also don’t reflect where I think each team will finish. Instead, like most ‘power rankings’, they represent how each team is currently tracking. They consider form, injuries, recent opponents, etc. In other words, the team on top is the one other teams do not want to be playing right now.

With that in mind – and despite the fact we’re still only midway through the pre-season – here are the first set of NBL22 power rankings:

 

1. ILLAWARRA HAWKS

Blitz record: 2-0

The Hawks are legit.

They have a great roster, are led by a legendary coach and are already playing well. The new imports look comfortable and star recruit Duop Reath showed over the weekend how tough he’s going to be.

We might not see Goorj rocking a bumbag all season but we are likely to see these guys settle in near the top of the rankings.

Remaining pre-season games: vs Sydney

 

2. SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX

Blitz record: 1-2

Talent, depth, culture, continuity… it’s all there for South East Melbourne this year, as well as a steely determination stemming from their recent finals heartbreak. 

Yes, they’ve dropped a couple of games at the Blitz, but both of those have been super close, and Simon Mitchell’s been playing with his line-ups. This is a squad that’s ready to take the next step.

Remaining pre-season games: vs Melbourne

 

3. NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS

Blitz record: 2-1

The Breakers landed this high on the back of consecutive pre-season wins over quality opposition. Then: whack… Covid. 

In all honesty: the gap between dropping these rankings on Overtime and publishing them today kind of bit me in the backside here as NZ’s latest setback would definitely have slid them down the rankings.

Remaining pre-season games: Nil

 

 

4. SYDNEY KINGS

Blitz record: 1-2

The ‘six seconds or less’ Kings are young, quick and athletic and Chase Buford’s fast-paced system plays well to those strengths.  

Xavier Cooks and Jarell Martin are a dynamic front-court pairing while make no mistake: point guard Jaylen Adams will be one of the best players in the league this season.  

Even without their full squad, this is not a team you want on your schedule.

Remaining pre-season games: @ Illawarra

 

5. BRISBANE BULLETS

Blitz record: 2-0

Flying under the radar, the Bullets are building nicely towards the start of the season. 

Nathan Sobey’s a star, Lamar Patterson looks terrific, and new import Robert Franks is very much the real deal as a versatile import big. 

Remaining pre-season games: vs Cairns, vs Adelaide

 

6. MELBOURNE UNITED

Blitz record: 1-2

United lost some key pieces over the off-season but, keep in mind, plenty of important contributors from that squad are back to defend the title. 

As for the new additions, Delly’s leadership will be big for this group while the big German, Ariel Hukporti, is oozing with NBA potential. The x-factor here is Melbourne’s only import, Caleb Agada, who started the Blitz slowly but is growing more comfortable with each passing game. 

All in all, this just feels like an experienced team, led by a master coach, which knows that the real stuff hasn’t quite started yet.

Remaining pre-season games: vs South East Melbourne

 

 

7. ADELAIDE 36ERS

Blitz record: 3-0

I know, I know… the Sixers are undefeated. And yes, they deserve credit for that. The thing is: they haven’t been overly convincing.  

Their game against Perth, for instance, was UGLY and the 36ers followed that with a disastrous first quarter against Tassie that saw them trail by 21 after just 10 minutes of action. Now, they were able to claw their way back but let’s be honest: Will Magnay was dominating and had Scott Roth not shut him down the JackJumpers would’ve taken that game.

I like Adelaide’s talent and am excited for CJ Bruton’s first year in charge… but we all need to see more from this squad before ranking them any higher.

Remaining pre-season games: vs Brisbane

 

8. PERTH WILDCATS

Blitz record: 1-2

The Wildcats are further behind than most teams right now as they integrate their new recruits and get to know Coach Morrison and his system. They’re also a bit banged up with key guys like Mitch Norton and Michael Frazier sitting out games. 

That said, these guys need to get a move one. Opening night is right around the corner and with five home games to begin their schedule, the Wildcats will need to tip things off with a bang.

Remaining pre-season games: @ Tasmania 

 

9. TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS

Blitz record: 1-2

They may be ranked near the bottom but the Ants have actually been pretty impressive across the Blitz.

Scott Roth’s got his guys playing with great energy and unselfishness and that’s kept them highly competitive in every single game. 

Magnay all over the rim is also a very good look.

Remaining pre-season games: vs Perth, vs Cairns

 

 

10. CAIRNS TAIPANS

Blitz record: 0-3

It has been a rough pre-season for the Snakes who have majorly underwhelmed so far. 

Tahjere McCall has been doing his thing but let’s be real: this is a shallow roster so ALL of their big guns need to fire for them to be successful. That starts with Scott Machado, of course, who has been struggling with his stroke across their first three hit-outs. 

Remaining pre-season games: vs Brisbane, @ Tasmania

 

The views on this page are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBL, its Clubs or partners.

NEWS

Illawarra vs Sydney Blitz Game Cancelled

15 hours ago

Sixers with Dusty Finish to Overrun Wildcats
GAME REPORT

Sixers with Dusty Finish to Overrun Wildcats

1 day ago

Magette Shines as JackJumpers End Blitz with Big Win
GAME REPORT

Magette Shines as JackJumpers End Blitz with Big Win

1 day ago

In The Post – Tassie sweats on Steindl scans
NEWS

In The Post – Tassie sweats on Steindl scans

1 day ago

Shoes and Sox Partnership Announcement
NEWS

Shoes and Sox Partnership Announcement

1 day ago

Hawks spar with UFC Champ
NEWS

Hawks spar with UFC Champ

2 days ago

In The Post – Broekhoff reveals NBL22 mindset
NEWS

In The Post – Broekhoff reveals NBL22 mindset

2 days ago

Cotton Signals Intentions as 'Cats Hammer 'Jumpers
GAME REPORT

Cotton Signals Intentions as 'Cats Hammer 'Jumpers

3 days ago

Bullets fire back at Williams
NEWS

Bullets fire back at Williams

3 days ago

In The Post – Kings Christmas wish
NEWS

In The Post – Kings Christmas wish

3 days ago

LaMelo Ball Leads Hawks, Taipans Beat Bullets Again

LaMelo Ball Leads Hawks, Taipans Beat Bullets Again

16 September 2019

Fourth Place Frustration for Boomers in China

Fourth Place Frustration for Boomers in China

15 September 2019

FIBA World Cup Bronze Medal Game | Australia v France Preview

FIBA World Cup Bronze Medal Game | Australia v France Preview

15 September 2019

Prather Shines In United's Big Win, Taipans Smash Bullets

Prather Shines In United's Big Win, Taipans Smash Bullets

14 September 2019

Starting Five: World Cup Heartbreak

Starting Five: World Cup Heartbreak

14 September 2019

Spain Again Breaks Boomers Hearts in Double OT

Spain Again Breaks Boomers Hearts in Double OT

13 September 2019

Watch Live | Illawarra Hawks vs Melbourne United

Watch Live | Illawarra Hawks vs Melbourne United

13 September 2019

FIBA World Cup Semi-Final | Australia v Spain Preview

FIBA World Cup Semi-Final | Australia v Spain Preview

13 September 2019

Starting Five: Boomers Two Wins from Gold

Starting Five: Boomers Two Wins from Gold

12 September 2019

Australia Advance to World Cup Final Four

Australia Advance to World Cup Final Four

12 September 2019

NBL Partners

Naming Rights
Major Partners
Broadcast & Media Partners
Profile Partners
Suppliers
Associates