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Perth Wildcats vs Brisbane Bullets
2016/17 NBL Season, 3 February 2017
|Perth Arena, Perth, WA|
|Perth Wildcats||Brisbane Bullets|
In what seems like the closest thing to a sure bet in the NBL, the Perth Wildcats will be out to move back into the top four when they host the struggling and out of finals contention Brisbane Bullets. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 9:30pm (AEDT).
As a crazy NBL regular season draws to a close, there are still six teams in contention for three spots, with the 36ers qualified and Bullets, unfortunately out of contention.
It’s been something bordering on horrific for the Bullets during the second half of the season, as they have gone from injury to injury, cut Jermaine Beal and slumped to the bottom of the table where they are likely to remain.
But, given the club is still in their first season since returning to the league and have a youthful squad – many of who are contracted next year – these last couple of games are important for them to build and begin working the jigsaw out for next season.
The Bullets form is understandably atrocious and they lost both matches last weekend, going down to the Kings in a close one before being blown off the floor against the Cairns Taipans.
Most of the focus for this game is rightly on the Perth Wildcats. They currently sit just outside the top four, but so do the two teams behind them who are still in contention.
The closeness of the competition means that a single victory has the power to move them from fifth to second in one foul swoop depending on other results, something they will be badly wanting to do.
While the Wildcats form has looked solid, there are issues bubbling away in Perth. Casey Prather and Matty Knight both don’t appear to be at full fitness and Damian Martin is not in top form. Couple that with Bryce Cotton having too many quiet games and this match still poses some serious risk.
There is no underestimating the importance of this for Perth though, and besides the fact they have pulled out of some incredibly close ones this season, they will also know that containing Jeremy Kendle and Torrey Craig will get 90 per cent of the job done.
It’s hard to see Perth losing at home. Brisbane will be in the fight for the first three quarters, but a sell-out crowd at The Jungle should see the Wildcats over the line.
Perth by 9.
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Follow Scott on Twitter @sk_pryde