THE weekend has finally arrived, and so has another round of the National Basketball League (NBL), with the competition holding its 16th weeke of action. This round’s schedule has plenty of exciting games on the cards, and this action kicked off on Thursday night, with the SEM Phoenix travelling north to take on the Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre in what was shaping up to be a massive clash.
Both sides are pushing for a finals berth this season, so this could be a preview of what we may see in the postseason. After an enthralling battle for all four quarters, the Hawks pushed past the Phoenix to claim a fair upset and keep their chances of a top-four finish well and truly alive with a six-point win as they held off a fast-finishing opponent.
In this article, we take a look at some of the key statistical categories from the match, and how they may have shaped the final result.
|ILLAWARRA HAWKS||SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX|
|42/79 (53%)||FG||39/72 (54%)|
|35/54 (64%)||2P||30/47 (63%)|
|7/25 (28%)||3P||9/25 (36%)|
|12/13 (92%)||FT||10/19 (52%)|
You could not have asked for a closer shooting contest, with both sides producing a magnificent effort when putting up shots. Both teams were terrific on the offensive end, making over 60 percent of their shots from inside the arc, and over half from the field in general. The Phoenix could have given themselves a massive boost with their ability to get to the free throw line with ease. However they could not convert this into a signIficant level of production, only making 10 of their 19 attempts from here, and this proved to be costly.
The Hawks were clearly the dominant side in the rebounding battle, pulling down nine more boards than the opposition. This level of success was led by the efforts of Duop Reath, who reeled in a game-high 12 boards in his side’s win. It is evident that Reath has overcome his mid-season struggles, and looks back to his best over the past few weeks.
|Tyler Harvey (22)||Zhou Qi (25)|
|Duop Reath (22)||Mitch Creek (15)|
|Antonius Cleveland (16)||Xavier Munford (13)|
The Hawks were led by the terrific efforts of Harvey and Reath, both of whom were magnificent with ball in hand. Harvey was at his sharpshooting best for the entirety of the contest, particularly from mid-range, where he made seven of his 11 attempts. He formed a great partnership with Reath, who racked up a double-double in the win, while Cleveland was also expertly crafty in creating baskets. For the Phoenix, Zhou was fantastic in one of his best offensive performances of the season, proving too much for Illawarra’s interior defence.