Any team can beat another on any given night in the NBL. It is this uncertainty and the many close games that are bringing fans back to the NBL.
Proving this point is the fact that 19 out of the 80 games played so far this season have been decided by 5 points or less. Almost a quarter of the games are going right down to the wire and it is creating a tremendous spectacle.
It is not only the close games that are great for the league, but the many upsets too. The Townsville Crocodiles beating league-leading Melbourne United back in November was one of the biggest upsets in recent memory. Just last week the bottom of the table Sydney Kings defeating Cairns Taipans, a team that is fighting hard to stay in the playoff hunt, surprised many.
In what was one of, if not the most exciting finish to a game this season, the Townsville Crocodiles fought back from 11 points down with 2:30 left on the clock to stun the Adelaide 36ers in December. The team never gave up and the video below shows the drama that unfolded in the last few seconds.
Fans want to see close games and they want to believe that their team has a chance to beat anyone in the competition. They also want to see high quality basketball being played and the local and import talent is producing this. The crowd attendance numbers speak for themselves.
The round 12 attendances in late 2015, was an extraordinary success and set the scene for what promises to be a huge 2016 for the NBL and Australian basketball. To start the round off, South Australian's came out in force to see their team take on Melbourne, with 7,641 packing into the stadium. The Sydney faithful welcomed their new stadium with open arms as a sold-out 3,561 watched the Kings battle the Breakers. The open-air game between Melbourne United and Perth Wildcats saw a sell-out crowd of 10,200 in attendance.
The sold-out crowd enjoys Melbourne v Perth with the roof open.
These numbers are a far cry from previous years when crowds were dwindling and there were calls for the NBL to take a break and reassess. Fast forward to today and the competition is solidifying its place in the Australian sporting landscape.
Now is the time to get out and support your team.