SYDNEY Kings lead the way in Draft Central‘s first National Basketball League (NBL) Team of the Week, with three players narrowly missing out on starting spots, but filling up the bench. Perth Wildcats had two of the five starters, with Melbourne United also having two representatives in the 10-player team, while Illawarra Hawks, South-East Melbourne Phoenix and Brisbane Bullets each have one representative.
The Team of the Week has plenty of talent across the board, with American import LaMelo Ball making the side in his first game courtesy of a double-double for the Hawks, while recording a round-high four steals. He shares the guard spot with the consistent Bryce Cotton who, along with Nick Kay lead the Wildcats to a first round one-point win over Melbourne United. Cotton and Kay shared in 39 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, one block and four steals, with Kay shooting at an eye-opening 87.5 per cent from the field.
Melbourne’s Shawn Long was the standout centre over the weekend, averaging 20.5 points and 8.0 rebounds across two games, while Melo Trimble impressed on his United debut with 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 rebounds from his two matches. Mitch Creek returned to the NBL with the newest side in South-East Melbourne Phoenix, finishing with a round-high 28 points as well as 11 rebound, four assists and a block to round out the starting five.
Brisbane’s Lamar Patterson has the versatility to play at either end of the court, but was named as a forward in this team, finishing the weekend with 25 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. The Kings had three players all fill out the bench with Casper Ware, Jae’Sean Tate and last year’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), Andrew Bogut rounding out the 10-player side.
Among those in contention for a spot in our Team of the week were Illawarra’s Aaron Brooks, Melbourne United’s Mitch McCarron and Cairns Taipans’ Scott Machado all of whom impressed in the guard spots, while Taipians’ forward Kouat Noi and Bullets’ centre Matt Hodgson were also standouts and came close to squeezing into the final 10.
G: Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats) – 21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 blocks, 1 steal, 46.7% FG%
G: LaMelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks) – 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 4 steals, 35.3% FG%
C: Shawn Long (Melbourne United) – 20.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 0.5 assist 1.5 blocks, 1.0 steal, 59.3% FG%
F: Mitch Creek (South-East Melbourne Phoenix) – 28 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 0 steals 50% FG%
F: Nick Kay (Perth Wildcats) – 18 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block, 3 steals, 87.5%
G: Melo Trimble (Melbourne United) 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 0 blocks, 0.5 steals, 37.8% FG%
G: Casper Ware (Sydney Kings) 23 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 blocks, 1 steal, 33.3% FG%
C: Andrew Bogut (Sydney Kings) – 4 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 blocks, 0 steals, 25% FG%
F: Lamar Patterson (Brisbane Bullets) – 25 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 blocks, 2 steals, 53.8% FG%
F: Jae’Sean Tate (Sydney Kings) 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 steal 54.5% FG%