NBL Round 7 Double Dribble: Imports come and go, Humphries’ bravery can be a game-changer


And we’re back after that brief break in transmission for the FIBA ​​International Window with NBL Round 7.

What happened during those 10 days or so?

Surprise, surprise, Melbourne United launched the import of Jordan Caroline after manager Dean Vickerman threw him under the bus at a press conference saying he was no match for it.

He was replaced by fellow American Marcus Lee, a 28-year-old who played in the G-League, Italy, Turkey, Puerto Rico and Spain.

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In an equally surprising move, Adelaide jettisoned star goalkeeper Craig Randall II after his clashes with coach CJ Bruton while Brisbane also bid an abrupt farewell to Devondrick Walker.

John Rillie is under pressure in his first year as Wildcats coach and has received public support from Tasmanian counterparts Scott Roth and Vickerman, urging everyone to be measured in their criticism of players and coaches.

That’s a little dishonest of Vickerman after his treatment of Caroline.

Oh yes, and Melbourne United center Isaac Humphries created a slice of history by becoming the NBL’s first openly gay active player in a brave and honest speech to his teammates that was heard around the basketball world.

The reaction has been mostly positive and it’s great that he’s now in a place where he can be himself in the macho world of men’s professional sport after admitting he’s been in ‘a dark place’ he years ago when he tried to take his own life.

For the small minority of people – who usually hide behind pseudonyms online – who have criticized or used the old “who cares” line, look at yourself in the mirror. When having to hide your sexuality can lead to issues that are literally life or death, everyone should care.

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Anyway, there are games to play. Here are all the pre-game talking points for the Round 7 fixtures.

Thursday

Melbourne vs Adelaide at John Cain Arena, 7.30pm AEDT

While Marcus Lee will make his debut for Melbourne (4-4), the eighth-placed 36ers (3-4) have yet to sign an import to replace Randall.

Shea Ili is sidelined again with concussion issues after a three-game comeback, but Mason Peatling will adapt after recovering from a knee injury that kept him sidelined of the first six weeks of the season, which gave Melbourne’s frontcourt a boost.

Perth vs South East Melbourne at RAC Arena, 9.30pm AEDT

Brady Manek and Corey Webster burst out of their scoring funks as Perth (4-5) snapped their five-game losing skid before the break in Adelaide, but if they don’t start consistently supporting Bryce Cotton the Wildcats will miss out the playoffs for an incredible second straight year. Horror shock.

Friday

Tasmania vs NZ Breakers at MyState Bank Arena, 7.30pm AEDT

Clint Steindl will make his first appearance of the season for the JackJumpers after the captain was sidelined with a knee injury, but former New Orleans Pelicans center Will Magnay is likely a week or two away. his return due to his persistent knee problems.

Saturday

South East Melbourne vs Melbourne at John Cain Arena, 5.30pm AEDT

The Phoenix (5-4) have a score to settle after their four-game hot streak was ended by United in the final game before the NBL break when coach Simon Mitchell was furious at their ‘trash’ defense in the beating 110-85.

Brisbane vs Cairns at Nissan Arena, 8pm AEDT

The Bullets (3-5) bounced back from a terrible start with three straight wins but that wasn’t enough to save Devondrick Walker’s job with Lual Diing being upgraded from the development roster as the club seek a new one. import.

To be fair to Walker, he wasn’t expected to be a star and Brisbane’s fortunes will hinge on Aron Baynes, Nathan Sobey and star import Tyler Johnson, who started getting a combination, but the team needs some big scalps like third-placed Cairns (5-3) to prove they’re legit.

Sunday

NZ Breakers vs Adelaide at The Trusts Arena, 2pm AEDT

The Breakers (6-3) were just points away from stealing top spot from Sydney before the break and Next Star prospect Rayan Rupert’s broken wrist is a terrible chance for the young French guard who was averaging 6 .22 points and was just getting used to it. to play against older opponents.

Hopefully he can get back on the court this season and more so the injury doesn’t hurt his NBA draft chances too much.

Sydney vs Illawarra at Qudos Bank Arena, 4pm AEDT

When the Hawks travel on the highway to Sydney, they traditionally go up another gear. At 1-8, Illawarra have never needed some of that traditional rivalry motivation more than they do now against a Kings side that sit atop the table at 7-2 and are growing stronger every day as favorites to go back to back.




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