Best of NBL23 – Individual Performances

THE 2022/23 NBL season is well and truly into the postseason, with just a few games remaining before a winner is crowned.

In one of the best and most exciting fixtures in recent memory, there was plenty to enjoy as the competition reached new heights of quality and continued to gain international attention.

With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look back at some of the most memorable moments of NBL23 and highlighting what captured the basketball community the most. First up are some of the best individual outings seen across the fixture, with some big names posting some big statlines.

Mitch Creek (SEM Phoenix) – vs. Sydney Kings

In the best game of the season and an all-time classic, Creek stood up for the Phoenix as he did on so many occasions over the fixture. In Round 11, the forward went head to head with the next player on the list, and got the chocolates as South East Melbourne edged out a one-point victory. Creek delivered career-best numbers, and finished the match with a whopping 46 points (15/27 FG, 12/13 FT) and 10 rebounds in a masterful scoring display. Most importantly, he got his side over the line, as the Phoenix claimed a 113-112 win.

Derrick Walton Jr (Sydney Kings) – vs. SEM Phoenix

Creek was not the only player to post big numbers in that match, with Kings star import Walton Jr. matching his opponent in the Gippsland classic. Since joining the NBL at the start of the season, the talented guard had shown glimpses of his scoring potential, but his shotmaking ability often took a back seat as he looked to facilitate and create shots for his teammates. However, against the Phoenix, fans were treated to an outstanding offensive performance, with Walton Jr. finishing with 45 points and 10 assists, completely controlling the tempo for Sydney.

Xavier Cooks (Sydney Kings) – vs. SEM Phoenix

Although his performance came against the same opponent as his teammate in Walton Jr., Cooks’ eye-catching outing was on a different occasion. The following month in Round 17, the eventual MVP made headlines by posting the first triple-double in the NBL since Joshua Giddey in 2021. Lauded for his versatility, Cooks did a bit of everything and completely outplayed the Phoenix frontcourt. He finished the match with numbers of 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, showcasing how dynamic he has become as a player.

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