NBL Ones to Watch – Round 5

ROUND 5 of the National Basketball League (NBL) has arrived, with the season flying by as Australia’s premier competition continues to deliver quality action on a weekly basis.

It all kicked off last night with a pair of upsets, as the Adelaide 36ers knocked off the New Zealand Breakers at Spark Arena, before the Illawarra Hawks got back on the winners’ list by downing the Cairns Taipans in an unpredictable start to the round.

With that in mind, the action continues tonight with a pair of games, and with a whopping eight games for the round, there are a few players to keep an eye on over that time. Kicking things off is one of the emerging superstars of the competition.

Jordan Crawford – Tasmania JackJumpers

Crawford has stormed onto the scene as one of the most damaging offensive players in the NBL. The JackJumpers were big on the undersized guard when signing him to take the place of Josh Magette, and while it took him a while to get going, Crawford has erupted over the last couple of weeks. Against the Kings, the point guard posted 32 points, including 14 in the span of two minutes in the final quarter to drive Tassie to victory. He looks just about unstoppable at the moment, and opposition defences will have to put plenty of time into him.

Photo: via Yahoo Sports Australia

Alan WilliamsSEM Phoenix

‘The Big Sauce’ emphatically returned to the NBL last week, joining the Phoenix after some time on the sidelines with an injury. His importance to the team was shown when South East Melbourne went 2-0 last weekend. Williams delivered a pair of excellent performances and was the best player on the court in both games. Look for the Phoenix to get him involved offensively again, while Williams is also set to be an immense presence on the glass.

Photo: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Bryce CottonPerth Wildcats

Cotton and the Wildcats have been in the headlines throughout the week, but for all the wrong reasons. The team has stalled in a big way to start season 2023/24, and the man who has usually guided them to victory has been off. The three-time NBL MVP has not been able to hit the scoreboard on a similar level this season, and has been one of the more inaccurate shooters in the competition. However, Cotton has the talent and experience to bounce back, and is a strong chance of producing a statement performance this weekend.

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