Round 13 hits after a traumatic week for the top teams with all three losing. The mid table just got a lot more crowded and this round shapes like a belter. Here are the Palmerbet Sports team’s NBL Tips for Round 13.

NBL Tips – Illawarra Hawks V Adelaide 36ers

19:50 (AEDT), Thur 10th Jan @ WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong

Final Thoughts: Just two games seperate 4th place and 7th in a mid table that’s tightened right up! In a four way fight for fourth, the Hawks sit 7th and the 36ers fifth. Miraculously only one team has put together two wins in a row (the Breakers) and these games become four point results.

The Hawks had a gutsy win against the Kings last week, which turned into a rebound fest after both sides shot under 38% from the field. Import Brian Conklin was very impressive in his match up with Andrew Bogut, with 17 points and 12 boards from just 21 minutes. It was his fellow bench player, Tim Coenraad who made the difference with 18 and 6 and the Kings had no answer.

The 36ers came up against the single best performance of the season in Shane Long from the Breakers on Friday night. Long and Tai Wesley were breathing fire in the second half finishing with 28 & 18 and 19 & 14. It was Route 1 basketball straight through the paint and the 36ers had no answer. After single figure games from Conger, Wiley and Johnson, they must come back in a big way against the Hawks bigmen.

There’s not much different between these two. Both with good big men, perhaps the Hawks lack in the outside shooting, but home court advantage will come in to the picture.

Tip: TOTAL SCORE – UNDER 191.5 pts @ $1.89

NBL Tips – Sydney Kings V New Zealand Breakers

19:43 (AEDT), Fri 11th Jan @ Qudos Bank Arena – Sydney

Final Thoughts: As mentioned above, we’ve not seen a performance as impressive as Shawn Long and Tai Wesley in a long time. But they come up against the competitions premier big man this week. Its going to be a brutal clash.

The Kings remain top of the table after a 1 and 1 weekend. They weren’t far from dropping their second against the Taipans and if if weren’t for Bogut, they would have. The Kings conceded 25 of 27 2 pointers from within 2 metres of the bucket. Just an amazing stat. The Kings would have torn strips off Newley and Wear for leaving Bogut to do it all, conceding 17 offensive rebounds. 17! Outside shooters, Jerome Randle and Kevin Lisch need 45 between them in this one if they are to win.

The Breakers are the hot hand. We wouldnt have said that 4 weeks ago! Backing up last weeks performance is going to be difficult. Particularly in Sydney where the Kings suffocation game truly takes hold. Its that suffocation game that keeps the margin tight (Kings winning margin in last 7 is an average of 6 points)

Tip: BIG WIN LITTLE WIN – Kings 1-10pts @ $2.74

NBL Tips – Perth Wildcats V Cairns Taipans

21:43 (AEDT), Fri 11th Jan @ RAC Arena – Perth

Final Thoughts: The Taipans beating the inform Brisbane Bullets by 29 points last week was less likely than Santa bringing a slot car set to the Palmerbet office for Christmas! Fortunately for the Snakes, one of those things happened after their outside shooters went bananas hitting 14 from 24. It was bruise free ball from the Bullets after they pulled down just 24 rebounds for the entire game. This week, the Taipans take the long journey to Perth in their first game over two within 44 hours. Its a daunting journey.

The Wildcats sit second on the ladder and are the worst team in the league. Well, the worst team on form. They’ve lost four from five but its worth noting all five have been away games. Coming home against the team they beat in that period by 15 points must be a relief. The Cats have lost their energy and shooting skills. Averaging just 81 points in their last five, the Cats first five of the season were an average of 97. Expect a bounce back at home.

The Wildcats win this one on their home court. They need to and will, put the Snakes to the sword and get the mojo back for the back half of the season.

Tip: HANDICAP – Wildcats -6.5pts @ $1.89

NBL Tips – Adelaide 36ers V Brisbane Bullets

14:50 (AEDT), Sat 12th Jan @ Titanium Security Arena – Adelaide

Final Thoughts: Before the Breakers went crazy, the 36ers were the hottest side in the comp. Four on the trot, with a 10 point away win against the Bullets in the mix. Their early season form was terribly inconsistent but the fact remains they were a couple of points away from a Championship last year. Are they better? No, but they aren’t much worse.

Round 12 was crazy for the Bullets. Spanked out of the tropics by Cairns, they then beat Melbourne United. Shooting 52% from outside the arc was the difference. The Bullets are the best three point shooters in the league. They are also the worst rebounders. The 36ers 2 point shooting % is 10% more than the Bullets! That means the 36ers will continue to hunt the rim at all costs. Johnson, Wiley and co must bounce back from last week.

The 36ers big men versus the Bullets shooters. We’ll take inside strength every time. The home court is a bonus.

Tip: HANDICAP – 36ers -2.5pt @ $1.89

NBL Tips – Sydney Kings V Illawarra Hawks

14:50 (AEDT), Sun 13th Jan @ Qudos Bank Arena – Sydney

Final Thoughts: The return bout of last weeks surprise home victory for the Hawks. The second game for the weekend for both teams with the Hawks having an extra nights rest.

The Kings are a significantly better team because of two men. Jerome Randle, the star outside shooter, who sits 4th on the points per game chart. His 7 foot buddy, Andrew Bogut is also pretty good. Leading rebounder (by 30%!) and leading Blocks (by 50%!), he’s like a bouncer with a velvet rope guarding the key.

The Hawks don’t have the superstars but they have the grit. Maybe its the Coal Coast mentality, but the likes of Conklin, Andersen and Blanchfield play super tough ball. The Hawks beat the Kings last time from the strength of their bench, doubling the points output last week. We can’t see that happening again. Kevin Litsch, your time to step up.

Tip: H2H – Kings @ $1.47

NBL Tips – Cairns Taipans V Melbourne United

17:20 (AEDT), Sun 13th Jan @ Cairns Convention Centre

Final Thoughts: The Taipans big win at home should see a good crowd to this one. A two day turnaround after playing in Perth on Friday night is far from ideal preparation. Playing their 4th game in 13 days is even worse.

We wanted to see big Nate Jawai get angry last week and he played that way. It got results! 18 and 16 points doesn’t seem much, but its improving and getting more consistency. Its also relieving pressure on Melo Trimble, the early season MVP candidate. DJ Newbill is starting to come to the party and if Devon Hall can repeat his 24 pointer against the Bullets, the Snakes could trouble.

United’s early season form is gone. The Silly Season funk is in and has seen United win just 2 from their last 6. They just can’t get consistency. Put that blame down to star big man Josh Boone. Averaging well under double figure points in their last six, his early season form is long gone. He’s going to be heavily tested against the in-form Jawai big time. Luckily for United, Casper Ware is in MVP form. He’s carrying Dave Barlow and Chris Goulding somewhat, but its only a matter of time before the pieces click for last years champions and they climb from their slump.

Tip: H2H – United @ $1.50