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Illawarra Hawks vs SE Melbourne Phoenix Tips - Hawks to get rare win over Phoenix

  • SE Melbourne Phoenix vs Illawarra Hawks predictions for Thursday’s NBL match
  • 3rd meeting of the season between Phoenix & Hawks
  • Phoenix lead Hawks 2-0
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Illawarra Hawks
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Dan Hunter 31 Mar 2021
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SE Melbourne Phoenix vs Illawarra Hawks Tips


The South East Melbourne Phoenix take on the Illawarra Hawks in an NBL regular season clash on Thursday, April 1. Both of these teams are in the hunt for playoffs spots: Fourth-placed Phoenix are competing in only their second season in Australia’s National Basketball League, while the third-placed Hawks are the only team remaining from the league’s 1979 inception. 

The normally ultra-completive Hawks finished bottom of the table last season, but this year have been back to their old selves, and back in the top-four. The SE Phoenix have been a revelation, and have made huge improvements on the team that finished eighth last season. 

This will be the third time these teams have met this year, with the Phoenix winning their first two encounters, most recently in February by 93-76. I’m backing the Hawks to win this time, as they have defeated every other team in the league this year – barring SE Melbourne – and will be going all-out to put that right. There’s also the not-so-little matter of a Phoenix player and an assault charge that might disrupt that team’s focus.  

  • Phoenix 4th in Season Ladder 
  • Phoenix 10-8 this season
  • Hawks 3rd in Season Ladder 
  • Hawks 10-8 this season 

Head to Head


Historically the SE Melbourne Phoenix and the Illawarra Hawks have played each other five times, with SE Melbourne leading 4-1. They have played each other twice this season, with the Phoenix winning both. In their most recent encounter in February, SE Melbourne won 93-76. 

The reason for such few fixtures between these two teams is that while the Illawarra Hawks have been part of the NBL since 1979, the SE Melbourne Phoenix only entered the league last season.

SE Melbourne Phoenix Form


A brief history lesson: The SE Melbourne Phoenix came to be when in 2019, the NBL – looking to expand the league – sold a franchise to Romie Chaudhari, owner of English Championship soccer team Swansea City. In their first season SE Melbourne finished 8th, with a 9-19 record. 

Fast forward to now, and the Phoenix reached 3rd in the Season Ladder last week, but have dropped to fourth after losing to city rivals Melbourne United on Saturday 80-60. Regardless of that loss, what SE Melbourne have achieved in a matter of months is incredible. They go into Thursday’s game against the Illawarra Hawks – a team they’ve beaten twice this year – with a record of 10 wins against 8 defeats, and 4-1 in their last five games.

Illawarra Hawks Form


The Illawarra Hawks are currently third in the NBL Season Ladder, with 10 wins and 8 defeats. Last season the Hawks finished bottom of the Season Ladder, but this year Illawarra are a much improved team, and began the season with 4-straight wins. Although that rate of success proved impossible to maintain, the Hawks have been a constant fixture in the top-four, and look a cert to make the playoffs. 

Illawarra go into their meeting with SE Melbourne on a mission; the Hawks have beaten every other top team this season except the Phoenix, who have turned them over twice. SE Melbourne snapped their 4-match winning streak in early February 98-82, and repeated that result three weeks later, this time by 93-76. 

SE Melbourne Phoenix vs Illawarra Hawks FAQ

When is the SE Melbourne Phoenix vs Illawarra Hawks match taking place?

SE Melbourne Phoenix vs Illawarra Hawks takes place at 6:30 PM (AEDT) on Thursday, April 1

Where can I watch a SE Melbourne Phoenix vs Illawarra Hawks Stars live stream?

Our live streaming calendar shows you where you can watch a SE Melbourne Phoenix vs Illawarra Hawks live stream


US

Verdict

The Mitch Creek factor looms large going in to this game. Creek is SE Melbourne’s star player, but he is facing a criminal investigation pertaining to a domestic violence assault charge against a woman. Nevertheless the Phoenix look set to play him in Thursday’s game.
 
While Creek – who had a spell in the NBA – is normally key to SE Melbourne’s on-court success, might his off-court issues be a distraction to both himself and his team mates?
 
I’m backing the Illawarra Hawks to take advantage of any such chink in the SE Melbourne amour and grab their first win over the Phoenix this season. The Hawks will win this game by ten points of less, in a match that will feature around 175 points combined.
Best Bet: Hawks Winner @-138.89 at BetMGM - 1 Unit
Best Bet: Hawks 6-10 Winning Margin @400.00 at Caesars (Sport) - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Over 170.5 Total Points @-120.48 at PlaySugarhouse Sport - 1 Unit

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Illawarra Hawks v SE Melbourne Phoenix