From the NBA, Donovan Mitchell, what a Year He’s Had!

At Nellakir the team like to acknowledge real effort and focus – and this year Donovan Mitchell is a leading contender amongst the current NBA crop of potential All NBA Players. Nellakir are Victoria and Tasmania’s leading professionals in the installation and maintenance of all sports flooring, specifically FIBA approved timber sports flooring.

Read here about the rise of Donovan Mitchell:

(extract from SBNation article by Adam Bushman1)

Are “All-NBA” honors in the cards for Donovan Mitchell?

Donovan Mitchell’s tear since the All-Star break is putting him in serious contention for his first career All-NBA selection.

Donovan Mitchell celebrates a second consecutive rout of the Memphis Grizzlies, putting up 30+ in both outings. Photo by Jeff Swinger /NBAE via Getty Images.




Donovan Mitchell celebrates a second consecutive rout of the Memphis Grizzlies, putting up 30+ in both outings Photo by Jeff Swinger/NBAE via Getty Images.

BREAKING NEWS

Last weekend a severe breakout of arachnophobia took place in downtown Salt Lake City. Over a two night period, “Spida” Mitchell slung 70 points on just 40 shots to tie up the Memphis Grizzlies in consecutive losses.

From opening tip, Donovan Mitchell was aggressive and decisive. He had every shot in his arsenal dialed in. His passes countered every defensive adjustment. He even showed what he’s capable of on defense.

He ended the two game stretch with the following average stat line:

35.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, 3.5 turnovers on 77.3% TS

Relieve the best moments of what some have dubbed Mitchell’s second best regular season outing on Saturday night:

Honestly, what Donovan’s play is nothing new—as long as you’ve paid attention to the Utah Jazz since the All-Star break.

SLC Dunk’s own Calvin Chappell summarized beautifully the elite play Utah is getting from their leading All-Stars since the big game.

It’s pretty clear the spida-senses are tingling.

With what is easily Mitchell’s best campaign of his career in tow for the home stretch of the season, you have to wonder if Donovan merits consideration for an All-NBA selection (a recognition far more prestigious than an All-Star appearance if you think about it).

Let’s learn from the past few seasons what standards are needed to build Mitchell’s campaign, evaluate the competition, and pinpoint any areas of focus for the final 27 games of the season.

The Campaign

All-NBA selections are conducted by a large panel of media members across the world. Unlike the All-Star selection, no direct fan, player, nor coaching input is permitted. Such a format is inherently taken more seriously and scrutinized more deeply.

However, even in sportswriter and broadcaster circles you’ll find a spectrum of traditional and progressive approaches to basketball analysis. While many will certainly cite FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR and ESPN’s RPM as a medium to measure impact, most will undoubtedly adhere to the traditional stat line, a measure of efficiency, and team performance.

Therefore, we’ll concentrate our comparison with the same data points (though adjusted to per 75 possession averages to account for playing time and team pace of play).

See the below comparison for Donovan Mitchell’s 2020-21 season to the past 18 All-NBA selected guards:

Analytical comparison between Mitchell and the past 3 year All-NBA guards Stats via Basketball Reference, Adam Bushman, SLC DUnk.

The graphic above plots the range of each statistical category. Points, for example, ranged from a minimum of 16.9 by Ben Simmons last season to a maximum of 36.2 by James Harden the same year.

25%tile, average (or 50%tile), and 75%tile were also added to give perspective of where Donovan’s stats lie compared to the data distribution. The above may look vaguely like a number line or be attempting a box and whisker plot. That’s the exact idea, except with some more intuitive design.

Back to the data.

Mitchell meets the minimum “thresholds” for every category throughout the 18 guard sample. In fact, outside of assists, he’s virtually at or above the 25%tile in every category, with points and team win % pacing above average.

Take a look below at the entire list:

Raw data for the past 18 All-NBA guard selections across per 75 possession Points, Rebounds, Assists, TS%, and Team Win % Stats via NBA.com, Adam Bushman, SLC Dunk

Not one player from the sample was above average in every category. It is important, however, to exceed average in 2-3 categories (13 selections exceed average in two categories, 7 selections in three).

Donovan Mitchell hits on two categories. Sadly, there’s no time to approach average on a third category. But there is still more to be done (more on that later).

The jist: Donovan certainly belongs in the All-NBA talk.

The Competition

While clearly deserved for consideration, Donovan Mitchell isn’t the only play vying for a coveted spot on an All-NBA team.

All-NBA is comprised of three teams, each comprised of a five-man “starting lineup”. These teams require two guards, two forwards, and a center. That leaves just six opportunities for Mitchell to best the likes of Harden, Curry, Doncic, Lillard, and the like.

Donovan Mitchell guards fellow All-Star Damian Lillard on the first game of the NBA season for both teams Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Talk about a tough task.

The current list of NBA guards who meet the 25%tile in points (25.6 per 75) and meet the 25%tile in one other category of rebounds (4.9 per 75), assists (6.8 per 75), or TS% (0.586) with a minimum of 1,000 minutes played is 10:

Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, Luka Doncic, Stepen Curry, Zach LaVine, Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, Trae Young, and Jaylen Brown.

If the criteria is relaxed to 24-4-5-0.550, add 5 more players.

If the criteria is relaxed further to 22-3-4-0.52, add 3 additional players.

Thus far, 18 players. Ben Simmons, Russell Westbrook, and Chris Paul were all selected last season and missed the list of 18. Add them to the list you’re at 21 players…for 6 spots.

Filtering out players whose role won’t warrant All-NBA selection (Jordan Clarkson and Norman Powell, for example) and players whose team performance excludes them from consideration (De’Aaron Fox and Collin Sexton, for example), we’re left with 15 players.

Lillard, Harden, Doncic, and Curry are clear locks, leaving 2 spots for 11 players.

Let’s exclude Westbrook and Paul. Both are having worse years than last year and have teammates with better cases (via the above methodology) for All-NBA.

9 players left and it is TRICKY!

Phoenix Suns v Utah JazzDonovan Mitchell defends Devin Booker much like he’s working to secure an All-NBA spot. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

There’s no right answer at this point. Beal and LaVine have had better seasons than Mitchell, but far worse teams. Booker, Brown, Tatum, and Young have had the same season as Mitchell with mixed team results.

Irving and Simmons have similar team results and have a good case for a better season. As it stands, they likely get those last spots.

The Home Stretch

With so many future Hall of Fame guards in their prime around the league in Harden, Lillard, Curry, and Doncic, there are so few opportunities to make an All-NBA team. Stack that up with the highest season in frequency of volume scorers, there isn’t even elbow room in line for your turn.

Donovan’s best shot at an All-NBA team hinges on an appreciation for team success. As the favorite to finish with the league’s best record, the Utah Jazz success as a team may be the only weight that can tip the scales in his favor.

He can, however, ensure that he’s competitive across the board and that means getting four categories above the 25%tile, a feat accomplished by 10 of the 18 guards in the sample.

He needs just 0.3% in True Shooting efficiency and to keep his rebounds above 4.9 per 75. Assists will be tougher given that he’s 0.9 per 75 below the necessary mark.


Donovan Mitchell’s season isn’t just All-NBA worthy, it’s been one of the best seasons of franchise history and from a player in his 4th NBA season.

What an absolute treasure we have in Utah. Paired with Rudy Gobert (a perennial lock for one of the All-NBA teams having been selected 3 out of the past 4 years), the Utah Jazz are setup for incredible seasons for years to come.

Memphis Grizzlies v Utah JazzDonovan Mitchell warms up. Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Donovan is hitting his stride, but at 24 years old, he’s still got a good 3 years ahead of him before his prime, at such a time when Harden is 34, Curry is 36, and Dame is 33.

Mitchell’s time is coming, be it this year or those upcoming.

Soon the entirety of the NBA will live in fear—not just the Memphis Grizzlies.


Champion players, whether in NBA, NBL or Super Netball, all hone their skills on premium timber sports flooring. Nellakir have installed sports flooring in Victoria now for over 25 years with stadiums such as the Victorian Netball and Hockey Centre, the Victorian State Basketball Stadium in Knox and a range of metropolitan and regional stadiums such as the Bendigo, Casey, Eagle (Werribee) and Keilor facilities all featuring FIBA approved  Nellakir timber sports flooring.

As well as installation, Nellakir offer a premium maintenance program for all timber sports flooring in Victoria and Tasmania. Line marking, Recoating, Resurfacing, general repairs and other annual maintenance are carried out in a timely and professional fashion by Nellakir’s expert teams of flooring technicians. When required Re-Sanding is also undertaken.

For premium care of all sprung timber sports flooring Nellakir offer programmed professional court cleaning and regular maintenance of all removable stadium seating.

Call now on 039467 6126 to book a free no-obligation consultation with one of Nellakir’s sports flooring technicians to ascertain both current court condition and to plan a cleaning and maintenance program with the leading sports flooring experts in Victoria and Tasmania. Alternatively leave your details here for a prompt reply.

NellakirChampion Sports Flooring For Current and Future Champions.

Netball – it’s Back On! Here’s This Year’s Suncorp Super Netball Fixture.

After months of limitations it looks like it’s only a matter of time before we can enjoy the full indoor stadium experience of netball after 12 months of the more extreme COVID restrictions look like being lifted this Friday 26th March. 

To put some icing on the cake here is the Suncorp Super Netball Fixture for 2021. Now televised on Channel 9 via the Telstra app, the competition is really flying with the Olympic Games the next major advance well within reach. 

Netball is by far the most popular and fastest growing women’s sport in Australasia with significant growth in Malaysia and Singapore as well.

For your interest here is the fixture for 2021 – Suncorp Super Netball. 

2021 Season Fixture: Full 2021 fixture realeased 

12 MAR 2021 

Super Netball 2021 Fixture 

The 2021 Suncorp Super Netball fixture has been released, revealing that the Grand Final rematch between the Melbourne Vixens and West Coast Fever will open the season on May 1. 
https://supernetball.com.au/sites/supernetball/files/styles/con/public/2021-03/SSN_Fixture_Round1-14_Article_900x500.jpg?itok=SACZ0w1b

The Melbourne Vixens will host a 2020 Grand Final re-match against the West Coast Fever in front of fans at John Cain Arena to kick-off the 2021 Suncorp Super Netball season.

The release of the full 2021 Suncorp Super Netball fixture this morning has unveiled that the first match of the season will be played on Saturday 1 May at 3pm AEST with the action set to continue at the same venue that evening with the Collingwood Magpies taking on the Sunshine Coast Lightning at 7pm AEST.

See the full fixture here

Round 1 will then move north on Sunday 2 May where the Queensland Firebirds will host the NSW Swifts at Nissan Arena at 1pm AEST, and then across to Adelaide where the Thunderbirds will welcome GIANTS Netball to Netball SA Arena at 3pm AEST.

The 2021 fixture sees all teams hosting seven home games throughout the season with fans able to attend all matches*, returning the competition to normality following the condensed hub format the 2020 season was played in.

Netball Australia Chief Commercial Officer and EGM of Events, Dave Lee is pleased to release the full 17-week fixture today.

“The Suncorp Super Netball league is delighted to be welcoming fans back to matches across the country in 2021 for a full home and away season,” he said.

“The world’s premier netball league will be making a return to states that didn’t get to watch a match live in 2020 and we know the athletes are incredibly excited to have the cheer of a home crowd behind them. There is just so much to look forward to this season with team rivalries greater than ever before.

“With the uncertainty in today’s world, we have worked closely with clubs, broadcasters and venues to put strong contingencies in place for this entire fixture, ensuring we’re best placed to keep the 2021 season going if various borders close throughout the year.”

In other fixture highlights, the Finals Series will be played over three weeks culminating with the Grand Final on Sunday 29 August, the new home of netball in Sydney – Ken Rosewall Arena –– will be unveiled in Round 2, night matches will be played across the season and Collingwood will play at the Silverdome in Launceston.

Round 8 will be played over two weekends to allow each team to have a bye within the season and themed rounds for the 2021 season, such as Indigenous Round, will be announced as the season approaches.

Mim Haysom, Suncorp Executive General Manager Brand & Marketing said, “Suncorp is delighted to continue our support of Suncorp Super Netball and together with netball fans nationally, eagerly anticipate a season of exciting match-ups and hopefully plenty of opportunity for fans to get close to the live action in venues.

“Suncorp is proud to be committed to supporting women’s sport, and every level of netball, from our juniors in Suncorp NetSetGO programs all the way to the aspirational role models and high performing athletes we see on the court in Suncorp Super Netball.”

Teams are currently in full pre-season training with many practice matches happening between Suncorp Super Netball clubs around the country. See club websites for details.
The 2021 Suncorp Super Netball season will be broadcast live on Nine, Telstra TV and the Netball Live Official App.

*fan attendance/capacity will depend on health advice in each local jurisdiction.

To play the game at its highest level requires a premium, sprung timber playing surface. Right now Nellakir is completing the last of the new courts at the Victorian Hockey and Netball Centre in Royal Park. Nellakir installed the original indoor stadium courts there back in 2013 in time for the Commonwealth Games hosted in Melbourne.

Right now Australia-wide Nellakir and its sister companies in other states can provide your stadium, recreation centre, school or indoor sports centre with a premium playing surface for netball, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and other indoor sports.

Call Nellakir now on 03 9467 6126 to arrange a free, no obligation consultation with one of our expert technicians to ensure a practical and effective annual maintenance program. Alternatively, you can leave your details here for a prompt reply. 

For all installations, repairs, maintenance and complete refurbishment of timber sports flooring call Nellakir the leading professional in all sports flooring.

Nellakir Champion Sports Flooring For Present and Future Champions. 

Trade Deadline Approaches for the NBA

The NBA is a sea of rumours right now.  Who wants who? Who is staying, who is leaving? And the season schedule continues on toward the playoffs.  Read about it here:

Seven-way frenzy for $45m star; title heavyweight eyes two big names: NBA Rumour Mill

Staff Writers from Fox Sports

March 16th, 2021 12:30 pm

The NBA trade deadline is inching closer and the noise is only growing surrounding the future of a host of the league’s most in-demand names. 

Here is the rundown on all the key players who could be on the move. 

Welcome to the latest NBA Rumour Mill.

SEVEN-WAY CHASE FOR $45M MAGIC STAR

The Orlando Magic are one of the more intriguing teams to monitor ahead of the deadline. 

The Magic have the second-worst record (13-26) in the East and there have been growing calls for them to blow it all up, having kept Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic together for seven years now. 

They have just two playoffs appearance to show for it. 

The Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reports that “some rival teams believe Orlando can set the one for this year’s trade market”, not that Fournier, Terrence Ross and “to a far lesser extent” Nikola Vucevic have all been perceived as available in some sense. 

However, the biggest name to watch at the Magic according to multiple reports is Gordon, with both Fischer and Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reporting he is “open to a change of scenery.” 

Aaron Gordon is reportedly after a change of scenery. Elsa/Getty Images/AFPSource: AFP

It comes as The Athletic’s NBA insider Shams Charania revealed that the Magic “have been open” to calls from rivals on Gordon, with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers named as two teams taking interest. 

Fischer reported that the Timberwolves and Magic were actually close to an agreement on a package for Gordon which included Ricky Rubio and future draft capital.

That was until Gordon was sidelined by a left ankle sprain. 

He adds that the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors have shown “notable interest” in Gordon “dating back to November’s draft.” 

Meanwhile, Haynes also named the Nuggets, Trail Blazers and Rockets as three teams who have inquired about Gordon while adding the Detroit Pistons to total seven franchises publicly named. 

As for what the Magic would be after now in exchange for Gordon, Haynes adds they are understood to have put a “substantial price tag” on him. 

Gordon is set for $18.1 million ($A23.4m) this season and $16.4 million ($A21.2m) in 2021-22, which is the last year of his existing deal.

NETS NOT DONE YET

They may have added Blake Griffin but the consensus among NBA insiders is that the Brooklyn Nets are far from finished making moves. 

Charania reports that there are “whispers around the league” that Brooklyn have interest in Mason Plumlee, a passing big who already has two triple-doubles this season for Detroit. 

He is earning $8 million ($A10.3m) this season, which increases slightly to $8.1 million ($A10.5m) next year and has a partial guarantee in 2022-23. 

Meanwhile, the Nets are also understood to be a leading contender for Andre Drummond should he receive a contract buyout after the trade deadline, per Charania.

Andre Drummond was at Deroit before Cleveland. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The Lakers and Knicks are also reported to be key challengers to Brooklyn but the Cleveland Cavaliers are favouring finding a trade for Drummond. 

Charania adds that Cleveland want an asset such as a second-round pick for the center but that rival teams doubt it will happen via trade.

One name the Nets had been linked to in the past is P.J. Tucker but the report also claims Brooklyn are no longer interested. 

Instead, the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Lakers remain in the hunt although Houston’s hopes to secure a young talented piece in exchange has complicated matters. 

BOSTON’S BIG THREE TARGETS

One of the other teams to monitor in the lead-up to the trade deadline are the Boston Celtics.

With a $28.5 million ($A37m) traded player exception from Gordon Hayward’s move to the Charlotte Hornets, Boston could go after a big-name player.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge did previously say it was “most likely” that the franchise would wait until the off-season to use the money and would not use it on a single player. 

Still Boston have been linked to three top targets – John Collins, LaMarcus Aldridge and Harrison Barnes.

On Collins, Charania reports he is a “player of interest” but that the Atlanta Hawks want a “high-level first-round draft pick and/or talented young player” in return. 

John Collins is in Boston’s sights. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFPSource: AFP

Averaging 17.9 points and 7.7 rebounds, Collins would be a valuable addition alongside Robert Williams but he may cost too much. 

The Celtics are also reportedly among “leading suitors” for the 35-year old Aldridge, who is shooting a career-best 38.9 per cent from beyond the arc.

The Blazers and Heat are also circling although he could also be a buyout option after the deadline. 

Barnes though is the “more logical and likely target” according to Charania and Boston could work out a deal with the Kings given they have shifted to “seller mode” ahead of the deadline, per Sam Amick.

Nellakir provide professional maintenance and upkeep on all timber sports flooring in Victoria and Tasmania. From re-coating,line marking, re-sanding when necessary, through to scheduled cleaning and running repairs – Nellakir are the leading experts in sprung timber sports flooring. 

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Call 9467 6126 now to arrange a free consultation with one of our skilled flooring technicians or leave your details here for a prompt reply. 

Nellakir – champion sports flooring for present and future champions. 

The NBA – Planning for the Future

Each Team in the NBA has an eye to the future. Trade moves are ongoing. Current players are locked in. Planning to take the title starts 5 years out. 

It’s the same with your valuable Timber Sports Flooring. The quality of your competition is reliant on a premium competitive court surface. Nellakir install and maintain Timber-Sports Flooring of the highest quality – in Stadiums, Recreation Centres, Schools and Community Centres throughout Victoria and Tasmania. It’s exactly the same here with planning each year. A maintenance and cleaning program must be adhered to, in order to keep your Sports Flooring performing to the optimum level. 

In the NBA it would appear there are some interesting manoeuvres occurring with key personnel. Jason Dumas from KRON4 news has discussed the matter in the article below.

Inside Philadelphia 76ers’ Plans to Match Brooklyn Nets’ Firepower

If they weren’t already, the Brooklyn Nets are now the clear Eastern Conference favourites after their acquisition of Blake Griffin

FanDuel is currently giving them the best chance of all Eastern Conference teams of winning this year’s championship. And with the addition of Griffin, the Nets have become even more formidable.

“Blake makes them even more dynamic offensively because he’s a guy they can give the ball to and run off-ball stuff for their Big Three because of his passing,” one rival scout tells Bleacher Report. “He is also a great pick-and-roll partner because he can stretch the floor and make plays. Defensively, he’s on par with what they’ve been doing, so he won’t help in that aspect.”

That is high praise. Even skeptics have to admit it will take a Herculean effort to take down a team consisting of Griffin, Kevin DurantKyrie Irving and James Harden.

All eyes now turn to Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, who built a decade-long regular-season powerhouse with the Houston Rockets but never won a championship. 

Playoff basketball is a different beast. Personnel issues that can be masked in the regular season with analytics-informed bets often get exposed in the postseason when teams find creative ways to win with superior game plans.

The Sixers have roughly two weeks to answer the main question within the front office: Do we have enough? 

Right now, they have two All-Stars in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The former is the MVP front-runner, while the latter is one of the leading Defensive Player of the Year candidates. 

Morey and Co. are set on winning or failing with Embiid and Simmons. They are banking on those two, along with Tobias Harris, to continue producing in the postseason. But there’s a growing feeling among league insiders that they need another wing who can be a two-way playmaker and defend in space.

Be prepared, be ready. Call Nellakir now on 0394676126 for a free consultation with one of our trained consultants on all your maintenance and programmed cleaning needs – line marking, re-coating and specialist programmed cleaning, ensuring you provide a premium playing surface every time. 

Whether FIBA standard or simply the local sports centre, you can rely on Nellakir to prepare and present the perfect court surface every time. Call now, or leave your details here for a prompt response. 

You can trust Nellakir

Sports Flooring for present and future champions. 

Netball – the Constellation Cup

New Zealand defeats Australia in Game One 49-44

Four tests – all played in Christchurch. The first competitive game for the Australian team in over a year and a half due to Covid. Game One sees a narrow win for the home side in front of – no crowd – due to Covid. The result sets up a difficult task for Australia. It needs to win all three remaining games or tie the series 2 all with a healthier goal difference to retain the Constellation Cup, which it has won eight times consecutively. Read about it here for the full details of Game One:

New Zealand beats Australia 49-44 in game one of the Constellation Cup netball series in Christchurch

Posted Yesterday at 7:51pm

The Silver Ferns put Australia under pressure from the start.

AAP: John Davidson

The Diamonds have slipped to defeat in their return to Test netball, losing 49-44 to New Zealand in the Constellation Cup opener on Tuesday night.

Key points:

  • Australia’s national netball team, the Diamonds, have won the Constellation Cup series against New Zealand seven times in a row
  • However the Diamonds have lost game one of the 2021 series to the Silver Ferns in Christchurch
  • New Zealand led by seven goals at half-time, and although the Diamonds edged the final quarter, the home side won 49-44

Some 492 days since their last outing and just two days out of quarantine, Australia were beaten out of the blocks in Christchurch and never recovered.

The match was Stacey Marinkovich’s first as Australia coach and the victory will raise Kiwi hopes of winning the Cup for the first time since 2012.

Australia went in with five debutants. Kiera Austin started at goal attack, alongside her former Giants teammate Caitlin Bassett.

Four of the five players on the bench were also playing their first game for Australia; Sophie Garbin, Kim Jenner, Cara Koenen and Verity Charles.

The home side began strongly, going on a five-goal run to get out to a 10-5 lead. Australia responded with three goals in a row, but the Diamonds ended up trailing 14-10 at quarter-time.

Australia scored the first two goals of the second quarter to close within two, but that was as close as they got.

New Zealand gradually took control again and established a 28-21 lead at the main break.

The Silver Ferns’ lead blew out to double figures early in the third term before Australia stormed back.

Marinkovich rang the changes and had some success; captain Bassett and Austin in goal attack put on five straight goals.

The injection of Karin Burger in defence midway through the third term turned the tables and the Silver Ferns went to the last change ahead 40-31.

Constellation Cup game one:

TeamQTHT3QTFT
New Zealand14284049
Australia10213144

Scorers:

NZ: M Wilson 31/40, A Ekenasio 18/23

AUS: C Bassett 19/21, K Austin 18/24

Centre Liz Watson said the Diamonds made “basic errors” and “struggled to get through the zone defence”.

Australia shaded New Zealand in the fourth quarter, winning it 13-9, but left themselves too much to do.

Bassett, the regular skipper under former coach Lisa Alexander but the first of Marinkovich’s rotated leaders in this series, scored 19 goals from 21 attempts in a typically strong display.

The Silver Ferns were outscored in the final quarter, but they will take a 1-0 lead into game two against Australia.(

AAP: John Davidson

Against a steely Silver Ferns defence, Austin showed early nerves, missing four of her first 10 before finishing with 18 from 24 shots.

Charles played the second half at wing attack.

While Koenen took Bassett’s place for the fourth term and scored seven, shooting at 100 per cent.

For New Zealand, goal shooter Maia Wilson was the leader in attack with 31 goals from 40 attempts.

Skipper Ameliaranne Ekenasio shot 18 from 23, and added 12 handy assists.

Australia will need to win the final three games or tie the series 2-2 with a healthier goal difference to retain the Constellation Cup for an eighth straight time.

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua, who masterminded a boilover 2019 World Cup final win over Australia, served the Diamonds notice of their intent.

“We’re gunning for it. Now is the time for us,” Taurua said.

The series has been rearranged due to COVID-19, with all four Tests being played in Christchurch without crowds.

Game two is on Wednesday before the series concludes with matches on Saturday and Sunday.

ABC/AAP

Netball is by far the most popular sport for women and girls in both Australia and New Zealand. Here in Victoria the sport is experiencing astronomical growth, partially due to being fostered with superior facilities in both schools and recreational centres state-wide. 

Children and young adults compete on premium timber sports flooring from an early age. In Victoria and Tasmania Nellakir are the leading expert professionals in the installation, maintenance and programmed cleaning of all timber sports flooring.

Call now for an obligation free consultation with a Nellakir technician on all sports flooring requirements. Annual maintenance, repairs and refurbishment, line marking, re-coating and full service of all removable stadium seating – Nellakir provide expert advice and service on all facets of your valuable sports flooring. Call now on 03 9467 6126 and book an appointment.  Or if you prefer, leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – Premium Sprung Timber Sports Flooring for Present and Future Champions.