Perth coach Rob Beveridge is adamant the NBL is not a two-horse race between the Wildcats and New Zealand - even though the ladder suggests otherwise - at the half-way stage of the season.
The final round of 2012 - which included three matches on New Year's Eve - ended with the perennial contenders firmly entrenched in the top two spots and a gap between the top four and the rest.
Two-time defending champions New Zealand (11-3) consolidated top spot by winning 71-66 in Adelaide (5-9) and 66-61 in Cairns (4-9).
"We are at exactly the halfway point and to be where we are is a good place," Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis said after the game against the Taipans.
Perth (9-4) also performed impressively on the road, delivering a 95-61 thrashing to fourth-placed Sydney (9-6).
Third-placed Wollongong (8-5) lost ground on the top two with a 80-72 overtime home loss to struggling Melbourne (4-8), who scored their first road win of the season at their fifth attempt.
A campaign season that started full of optimism for a revamped Adelaide continues to disappoint, with an 86-82 away loss to Townsville (4-10).
It was a sixth successive defeat for the fifth-placed 36ers, who face a crucial double next weekend at home to Townsville and away to Sydney.
Conversely, the surging Crocs have won four straight after starting the season with 10 consecutive losses.
Beveridge wasn't prepared to declare New Zealand and Perth as the class outfits of the competition just yet.
"I think it's way too soon that you can say that," Beveridge said.
He said Perth had "sucked" offensively through the season, but was pleased with a much-improved performance against Sydney.
Perth shot 15 three-pointers, while Sydney hit just one of 15 from beyond the arc.
"We know we've got so much room for growth," Beveridge said.
He hopes to have star forward Matt Knight back from a calf injury for next Saturday's game in Cairns.
Sydney had won six of their past seven before the thrashing by Perth, who provided a sobering reality check to the Kings.
"It will show our guys the level that we have to be able to get to if we're really going to be able to compete at the highest level in the competition," Sydney coach Shane Heal said.
"Maybe teams will look at what Perth did and start pressuring us a lot more to see whether they can do the same thing, so we have to be ready for that."