The Wildcats have started the season winning their first five games coming off losing the last two NBL grand final series' to the New Zealand Breakers, and Perth takes on the Wollongong Hawks at the Perth Arena on Friday night.
The Breakers won their opening game at home coming off winning the last three championships, but have lost their last three games and now host the Adelaide 36ers at the North Shore Events Centre on Thursday.
Other games this weekend sees the Townsville Crocs take on the Sydney Kings at The Swamp on Friday, the Cairns Taipans hosting the Melbourne Tigers on Saturday and then on Sunday, the Adelaide 36ers face the Sydney Kings and the Hawks host the Breakers.
The round tips off on Thursday in Auckland with the Breakers looking to snap a three-game losing run after going down on the Sunshine Swing to Townsville and Cairns, and then losing at home last Thursday to Perth.
New Zealand only lost four games all of last season on the way to its third straight championship, and the club reacted swiftly letting struggling import Darnell Lazare go and forced to put back up big Jeremiah Trueman on ice for the returning two-time championship star Gary Wilkinson.
Wilkinson was a huge part of New Zealand's first two championships before spending last season in Estonia after being informed he would be losing his starting spot that was promised to centre Alex Pledger.
However, Wilkinson is back now to resume his NBL career against the 36ers on Thursday and pick up where he left off as one of the most versatile bigs in league history – equally capable of doing damage in the post as he is outside by hitting the long shot.
Adelaide has also not won in New Zealand since November 6, 2008 but this is a totally different Sixers line-up under coach Joey Wright to the one that claimed the last two NBL wooden spoons.
The Sixers have a team that should be a championship contender and they can make a real statement of intentions with a win over the Breakers on Thursday, but the home team will be going hell for leather to avoid a fourth straight loss.
Both the Crocs and Kings will be desperate for a win when they meet at The Swamp on Friday.
Townsville did score an impressive Round 2 win over New Zealand, but either side of that lost to Cairns and Wollongong to now sit on a 1-2 record and needing a win in its third home game of the season already.
The Kings, meanwhile, also sit on a 1-2 record having lost twice to the Wildcats the last two weeks, home and away. Both games have seen Sydney fall away badly in the last quarters and coach Shane Heal will not want to see another fadeout in Townsville – or it will be one long flight to Adelaide.
The other game on Friday night pits the unbeaten Wildcats against the 1-2 Hawks at the Perth Arena.
Wollongong has not won in Perth since November 5, 2005 and it's going to be quite the task for Gordie McLeod's men to pull it off this time with the Wildcats having been supremely impressive so far this season led by James Ennis and Shawn Redhage, and more recently Jermaine Beal.
However, Hawks imports Rotnei Clark and Kevin Tiggs led the way in last week's win over Townsville and will need to fire again on Friday, with plenty of help from the likes of Larry Davidson, Oscar Forman and Tim Coenraad.
There is just the one game on Saturday with the Taipans looking to bounce back from a home defeat and the Tigers out to continue their momentum from their first win of the season on Sunday.
Cairns started the season with two straight wins over Townsville and New Zealand, but lost a thriller at home last weekend to Adelaide while the Tigers got the 36ers on the back end of that road double and pulled out a strong win on Sunday led by Chris Goulding and Lucas Walker.
The Taipans could very well have the squad with the most depth in all areas in the league with import guards Jamar Wilson and Demetri McCarney, two/three men Cameron Gliddon, Stephen Weigh and Clint Steindl, and Cam Tragardh, Alex Loughton, Matt Burston and Mitch Young up front.
However, the Tigers have plenty of pure talent in their midst not the least being in the form of Goulding, Walker and Olympian Mark Worthington so it should be an enthralling battle in Cairns on Saturday night.
The two games on Sunday then sees all four teams coming off having played earlier in the weekend.
Adelaide faces Sydney at the Adelaide Arena after the Sixers take on New Zealand on Thursday while the Kings will be coming off a trip to Townsville to play on Friday.
Wollongong then hosts New Zealand with the Hawks coming off a trip to Perth to play on Friday and the Breakers having hosted the 36ers in Auckland on Thursday.
New Zealand Breakers v Adelaide 36ers at North Shore Events Centre
Townsville Crocodiles v Sydney Kings at Townsville Entertainment Centre
Perth Wildcats v Wollongong Hawks at Perth Arena
Cairns Taipans v Melbourne Tigers at Cairns Convention Centre
Adelaide 36ers v Sydney Kings at Adelaide Arena
Wollongong Hawks v New Zealand Breakers at WIN Entertainment Centre