The Best of the Day preview takes it to the hole with NBL tips for a crunch Tuesday night game between Illawarra Hawks and Adelaide 36ers. 

NBL Tips – Illawarra Hawks V Adelaide 36ers

19:30 (AEST) @ WIN Sports & Entertainment Centre, Wollongong

History: Played 48: Hawks 24 V 36ers 24

Last meeting: April 3, 2021: 36ers 84 d Hawks 72 at Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Final thoughts: The Best of the Day preview breaks down the NBL Round 18 opener between Illawarra Hawks and Adelaide 36ers.

With four rounds remaining, the fifth-placed Hawks are sweating on a late surge to carry them into the semis. The seventh-placed 36ers would need a slew of other results to fall their way to reach the playoffs but are hanging in contention.

The 13-14 Hawks lost six of their eight games in April to tumble down the ladder. But the early-season surprise packets got back on track last week with a 75-67 defeat of the Breakers.

Tyler Harvey went off for 29 points, while Justin Simon (12 pts, 7 reb) made a solid contribution.

Adelaide have improved to 13-16 courtesy of three straight wins. They have accounted for the Bullets (101-79), Taipans (92-76) and Kings (97-88 in OT) in the past 10 days.

NBA-bound Josh Giddey (11 pts, 12 reb, 12 ast) produced a triple double in the overtime thriller in Sydney on Sunday. Daniel Johnson (20 pts, 9 reb) and Brandon Paul (19 pts, 6 reb) also shone.

The Sixers have won four of their last six against the Hawks, but they’ve split their two games so far this season.

The Hawks took out the NBL Cup showdown 98-89, Tyler Harvey (24 pts, 7 ast) starring with six three-pointers.

The 36ers responded with a resounding 84-72 home victory last month. Johnson (26 pts, 15 reb) had a monster game and Giddey (13 pts, 11 reb, 8 ast) stuffed the stats sheet.

Recent form favours the visitors here – but their short turnaround could be a concern.

Illawarra are a modest 3-4 at home and I have to give the Best of the Day edge to narrow favourites Adelaide given their current momentum and combination of Johnson and Giddey.

Tip: Result – 36ers @ $1.87