COMING in to the 2022/23 season, the Brisbane Bullets were touted as one of the championship favourites.
After assembling a star-studded roster, the Bullets were catapulted into title contention given the stacked nature of their list. Things did not exactly go to plan for Brisbane, who finished second-last in the standings come season’s end, unable to make the most of the group they created.
Just eight wins on the season was below par for the Bullets given the expectations they had at the start of the campaign. They were unable to put together any sort of winning streak or momentum, although had glimpses of what could have been at stages throughout the season.
A series of off-field issues plagued the team, with a lack of consistency surrounding the coaching positioning resulting in an identity crisis at times. However, there were some positive performances over the course of the fixture, with Brisbane taking it up to some of the best sides in the competition.
2022/23 season – eight wins, 20 losses
The Bullets could not utilise the star power they rallied over the off-season, and will be looking to address their weaknesses in the coming months.
MVP – Nathan Sobey
Sobey has been a terrific contributor for the Bullets over the past few years, but was expected to shoulder less of the responsibility when the likes of Aron Baynes and Tyler Johnson arrived in the Sunshine State.
However, Sobey’s value to the team was still evident across all 28 matches, with the veteran proving the most consistent performer. He averaged 15.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists on the season in yet another solid campaign. Although he may not have been the most accurate shooter, Sobey continued to create good looks for himself despite some stagnant offence at times.
Surprise Packet – DJ Mitchell
The son of former NBL player Mike Mitchell, the import forward made his presence felt in his first season at NBL level. Standing at 6ft 8in, Mitchell used his physical attributes to his advantage and became one of the strongest weapons on the roster. Averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds on 46.8 per cent shooting from the field, the forward produced a solid campaign and stood out on a roster that had some of the league’s biggest names.
One to watch next season – Tyrell Harrison
The rising big man was given ample opportunity over the course of the 2022/23 season at times, with the Bullets coaching staff often opting to close game with Harrison rather than Baynes.
At just 23 years of age, there is still plenty of basketball ahead of the tall, but he delivered a number of eye-catching performances during Brisbane’s campaign. Harrison is continuing to make his presence felt in the paint and should continue his upward trajectory next season.
The Bullets will be looking to make some more big moves over the off-season, including finding some stability in the head coaching position. Once the team settles under a coach and finds a cemented style of play, Brisbane will no doubt find itself amongst the contenders again.