2022/23 NBL Player Stats Watch – Round 1
THE NATIONAL Basketball League (NBL) has kicked off its 2022/23 season, with the first round taking place over the weekend.
There was a lot to take out of the opening batch of matches, with fresh and familiar faces alike bursting out of the gates to deliver strong early performances.
With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look at the key individual stats on a weekly basis, to see which players are excelling in the most crucial of areas over the course of the season.
Points per game
Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Melbourne United) – 33
Derrick Walton Jr. (Sydney Kings) – 32
Kyle Adnam (SEM Phoenix) – 30
Majok Deng (Cairns Taipans) – 26
Chris Goulding (Melbourne United)/Xavier Cooks (Sydney Kings) – 24
A breakout game from Rathan-Mayes sees the United recruit top the scoring charts. Taking on primary ball-handling responsibilities, the guard had a blistering first half, as Melbourne broke away from the Breakers at John Cain Arena. Despite being held reasonably well in the second half, he delivered again in overtime, getting to the top of the key, and nailing a pair of threes from his sweet spot. Walton Jr. had one of the most memorable debuts we have seen in quite some time, producing a strong mix of inside and outside scoring, while Adnam had the best game of his 190-match career, setting a new career-high in points scored.
William McDowell-White (New Zealand Breakers) – 13
Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats)/Dererk Pardon (New Zealand Breakers) – 12
Sam Froling (Illawarra Hawks) – 10
Justin Simon (Sydney Kings) – 9
Aron Baynes (Brisbane Bullets)/Tahjere McCall (Cairns Taipans)/Alan Williams (SEM Phoenix)/Grant Anticevich (SEM Phoenix) – 7
McDowell-White was on triple-double watch for a while, rising above a court full of big men to fly third in and snatch the rebound. While it was not his best night scoring, he was always able to place himself in the right position under the hoop to secure the next possession. Even when he was standing at the perimeter, the ball found its way to him on a few occasions. Cotton set a new career-high in the rebounding department, while Pardon made an immediate impact for his new side, fighting against a plethora of United big men to help send the game to overtime.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Melbourne United) – 9
Justin Robinson (Illawarra Hawks)/Derrick Walton Jr. (Sydney Kings) – 8
Tahjere McCall (Cairns Taipans)/Luke Travers (Perth Wildcats)/Will McDowell-White (NZ Breakers) – 7
Josh Magette (Tasmania JackJumpers) – 6.5
Shannon Scott (Cairns Taipans)/TaShawn Thomas (Perth Wildcats)/Jason Cadee (Brisbane Bullets)/Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats) – 6
There are a few familiar names at the top of the list, with Rathan-Mayes headlining once again. When the defence began to collapse on him, he got the likes of Goulding and Rayjon Tucker involved with some nice hand-offs at the perimeter, while he worked the pick and roll to perfection too. Robinson made an immediate impact at the Hawks, finding young Lachlan Dent open at the perimeter on a number of occasions. Walton Jr. used the screens set by Sydney’s big men to either find the cutting player or dish out to the perimeter, while McCall, Travers and McDowell-White often dished out to players on the three-point line.