NBL Matchup to Watch – Bryce Cotton vs. Craig Randall II
THE SIXTH round of the 2022/23 NBL season is underway, with some big matchups on the cards over the course of the weekend.
While there are many clashes to watch from a team perspective, there is arguably an individual matchup that is set to be the most entertaining part of the round. Two of the league’s best scorers over the first five rounds are set to do battle, as Bryce Cotton and the Perth Wildcats take on Craig Randall II and the Adelaide 36ers at Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Saturday night, in what should be an insanely watchable battle from an offensive standpoint.
The duo have been a class above in scoring the rock in most of their matches, and there are a fair few similarities in their game. Cotton has been the competition’s bona fide superstar since joining the Wildcats, but Randall has made quite the impression too, and should challenge the three-time MVP with the home court advantage on Saturday.
Craig Randall II – 21.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, three assists
Bryce Cotton – 21.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists
These are the two players that give the opposition a headache the most, and require the most preparation to try and stop.
Cotton has dominated the NBL since joining the league in 2017, and is showing no signs of slowing down, having turned 30 in August. He continues to be the toughest assignment in the entire competition, but faces some tough competition with Randall joining the fray in this past offseason.
He has been back to his best in recent weeks, and apart from one hiccup against the JackJumpers, has been able to impact games with his scoring, playmaking and most recently, his rebounding.
While Round 5 saw the Wildcats fall to both Melbourne sides, Cotton was still able to hurt the opposition defence with his offensive work. Producing 46 points over two games, he used his signature ability to create space, and should look to do so against Adelaide as Perth aims to bounce back.
Randall has made quite the impression over the last month, hitting the competition with force and producing some seriously dominant offensive performances in that span. After nailing nine threes in the 36ers’ exhibition match against the Phoenix Suns, he has gone from strength to strength.
Combining his sharpshooting with an ability to drive downhill and either pull up from midrange or finish at the rack makes him an extremely damaging prospect, and will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing performance against the Breakers last weekend, which saw him take just seven shots.
In terms of scorers, you will not find a better duo than these two, and they should make for some high-scoring action at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.