SEM Phoenix vs Illiwara Hawks Match Preview
South East Melbourne Phoenix have fallen badly in the last few weeks and if they don’t change their course soon, this season might well just slip away from their grasp. Currently, they are placed 6th in the standings with 7 wins and 9 losses. They do have a relatively easy game coming up against bottom-placed Illawarra Hawks at home. The Hawks, despite a surprising win against Adelaide last week, are still 9th in the table with just 4 wins and 12 losses.
South East Melbourne had hosted Illawarra Hawks earlier in the season and had clinched that high-scoring game 106:102. They have a chance to repeat that performance when they host the Hawks again on December 28.
South East Melbourne Phoenix Match Form
South East Melbourne have had a horrible last couple of weeks where they have lost 4 of the 5 games they have played. They are coming off a crushing 98:110 loss against Sydney on the road and would really need to get their act together for round 13.Embed from Getty Images
There was a sliver of sunshine for Phoenix in the loss against Sydney as John Roberson and Kyle Adnam scored 25 and 24 points each. Their bets player, Mitchell Creek, has also been scoring well which is good news. Ben Madgen and Tai Wesley provide further stability to the squad.
Illawarra Hawks Match Form
Barring that surprising 93:84 win against Adelaide on the road, the Illawarra Hawks have continued their horrible form this season in the last few weeks. They have lost 4 of their last 5 games and are coming off a deflating 89:91 loss against New Zealand Breakers. That loss will hurt as it was at home against the 8th placed team in the season.Embed from Getty Images
The Hawks failed to take the home-court advantage and allowed the Breakers to dominate. Barring captain Todd Blanchfield, Andrew Ogilvy and Emmett Naar the others simply failed to score regularly. This has been the biggest issue of the Hawks this season: they have been too dependent on their star players to do the bulk of the scoring every game.
The likes of Josh Boone, Darington Hobson and Sam Froling have to contribute more of the Hawks hold any hope of making a comeback in this season.
SEM Phoenix vs Illiwara Hawks Betting Tips
The game against the Hawks is the best chance for South East Melbourne to gain some points and confidence and climb up the ladder. The Hawks have had the worst season possible and it is unlikely that they would be able to manage resurrect their fortunes.
Another point worth noting is that while Melbourne’s Points Per Game is an impressive 98.5, the Hawks have a miserable PPG of 86.5. The two teams might have had a close game the last time they met, but things can get a little one-sided this time given how the two teams are placed at the moment.
The home advantage and overall strength of their squad makes South East Melbourne Phoenix the favourites for this contest.