NBL final round - what's on the line?

Daniel Gilhooly

NBL FINALS PERMUTATIONS

FOURTH PLACE - Only one of the New Zealand Breakers, Brisbane Bullets or Melbourne United can fill the last finals birth.

Breakers (4th, 14-13, differential 101.55. Home to South East Melbourne on Friday) - Will want a big win over the struggling Phoenix to boost their differential and place huge pressure on their two rivals. A loss could be enough but they'd be praying for other results.

Brisbane - (5th, 14-13, diff 100.57. Away to Cairns on Saturday) - From the box seat to outsiders, the Bullets probably need other results to go their way. Will need to beat the classy Taipans by at least 25 points if NZ are victorious the day before.

Melbourne - (6th, 13-13, diff 101.80. Home to Cairns on Thursday, away to South East Melbourne on Sunday) - Could potentially win one game and advance but would need NZ and Brisbane to both lose. Win both and they're through if their differential stays highest.

TOP THREE - It will be Sydney, Perth, Cairns, almost certainly in that order although there's a slight chance the Wildcats could finish top or third.

Perth will snatch the minor premiership if they beat Adelaide by a large margin and Sydney are thrashed at home by last-placed Illawarra.

Perth will drop to third if they lose to Adelaide and Cairns see off desperate challenges from Melbourne and Brisbane.