NBL Season Comes Down to Melbourne and Tasmania

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
17/03/2024
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Melbourne and Tasmania Matching Up in NBL Championship Series

Only two teams remain in the hunt for the NBL Championship as Melbourne and Tasmania match up in the finals.  

News Insights

  • Melbourne holds off Hawks in game three to advance.
  • Tasmania completes upset of Perth on the road.
  • Milton Doyle leads the way for the JackJumpers.
  • Melbourne significant favourites for the championship.

The Tasmania JackJumpers and Melbourne United are both through to the NBL Championship after claiming victory in a pair of win or go home game threes. They will now match up in the five game championship series starting on Sunday in Melbourne.  

Melbourne Holds off late Illawarra Surge 

As the league’s overall number one seed from the regular season, Melbourne United were heavily favoured to dispatch of the Illawarra Hawks with relative ease.  
 
Illawarra had won just 50% of the regular season games while Melbourne went and impressive 20-8. Melbourne also won each of their three regular season meetings, two of which were 10+ point victories. 
 
Game one of the three game series followed that script almost to a tee as Melbourne took down the Hawks 115-106. 
 
NBA veteran Matthew Dellavedova was the biggest difference maker in the game with a 30 point, 10 assist, and 7 rebound performance. 
 
Illawarra then bounced back on their home court in game two. Thanks to a massive 31 points and 16 rebounds from Gary Clark the hawks were able to get a 113-108 overtime win.  
 
This meant the series went to a deciding game three. Again favoured, and playing on home court, Melbourne looked in control early but couldn’t pull away from Illawarra as they took a seven-point lead into halftime.  
 
By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the lead had stretched to 11 and the hosts looked to be well on their way to the win. Illawarra made it interesting however, dominating the fourth and forcing Melbourne to make some big shots down the stretch.  
 
As is expected of a top team however, they hit these tough shots and narrowly fought off the comeback attempt eventually winning 100-94.  

Milton Doyle & Co. Upset the Perth Wildcats 

Tasmania faced a different narrative than Melbourne in their semifinal matchup.  
 
The JackJumpers took on the two seed Perth Wildcats featuring projected top three pick in the NBA draft, Alex Sarr. 
 
Game one went the way of the favoured Wildcats as they won 89-81 behind Keanu Pinder’s 25-point performance. Sarr himself was a big factor defensively, picking up three blocks in just 14 minutes. 
 
The JackJumpers fought back in game two however and were able to force a deciding game three. Milton Doyle dropped 24 points while his running mate Jack Mcveigh wasn’t far behind with 22.  
 
They won the fourth quarter 28-21 to ultimately win the game 102-94. 
 
Game three, back in Perth, for a trip to the NBL Championship. After a tight first quarter, the JackJumpers exploded and took a 52-43 lead into halftime.  
 
From there, they didn’t let up. It was again Mcveigh and Boyle leading the way as the duo scored 27 and 24, respectively.  
 
They never allowed the Wildcats to get any sort of momentum to mount a comeback, pulling away for a 100-84 victory.  

NBL Championship Preview 

The final is set. Top seeded Melbourne United will play hosts to the Tasmania JackJumpers on Sunday afternoon for game one of the five game series.  
 
Melbourne are significant favourites heading into the series and for good reason. They have been the NBL’s top team all season, having lost only eight regular season games.  
 
For the JackJumpers however, who themselves were the third seeded regular season team with a 16-12 record, they have reason to not be intimidated.  
 
The two teams matched up twice this season and split the series 1-1 so Tasmania knows they have what it takes to defeat Melbourne.  
 
Also, not enough can be said about the recent backcourt play for the JackJumpers. Both Milton Doyle and jack Mcveigh have played incredibly for their squad and will look to continue their fine form in this Championship series.  

The end of the NBL season is nearly upon us. Only two teams remain in the quest for the 2024 NBL Championship. Favourites Melbourne United are looking to win their third title while the JackJumpers are looking for their first title since joining the league in 2021.