THE NATIONAL Basketball League (NBL) resumed hostilities over the weekend, with another batch of games seeing some entertaining action. It was a round of action that saw some defensive efforts shine through in the big games.
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
Randall shot to the top of the list after a 24-point showing in the win over the Sydney Kings on Friday night. It was a big stage given the strength of the two sides, and the import guard stepped up. He did not restrict his impact on the game to just scoring, but it is far and away his specialty. Able to score both inside and outside the paint despite being small in stature, he will likely continue to torment opposition defences for weeks to come. An impressive 31 points against the Bullets saw Creek climb into second spot, having made himself very comfortable on this list in recent years, and overtaking Cotton, who was well-restricted by the JackJumpers defence. Brown Jr. returned to the Breakers lineup and picked up right where he left off, while Pinder produced a career-best 26 points to boost his average.
Rebounds per game
Keanu Pinder (Cairns Taipans) – 10.3
Xavier Cooks (Sydney Kings) – 8.4
Rashard Kelly (Tasmania JackJumpers) – 7.9
Alan Williams (SEM Phoenix)/Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Melbourne United) – 7.5
Dererk Pardon (New Zealand Breakers)/Rayjon Tucker (Melbourne United) – 7.3
Pinder has been a class above in the rebounding battle after four rounds, proving to be a double-double machine and prompting head coach Adam Forde to call him the ‘best center in the league’. He is averaging almost two more than the next best and completely dominates the skies in every match. Cooks is sitting in second place, still contributing on the boards despite a quiet weekend scoring the ball. Kelly continues to lift as the season progresses, while Williams and Rathan-Mayes have been cleaning the glass at John Cain Arena.
Assists per game
Browne hit the court in Round 4 after some time off and maintained his spot at the top, with an average of 10 dimes over the two games. He kicked things off with nine assists to go with eight points against the Breakers before backing it up with 11 against the Bullets, helping Creek get to a season-high points total. It is no surprise that the Phoenix won both games that Browne suited up for and he will be key to the team’s ability to post a winning score this year. Scott continues to impress for the Taipans, while Walton Jr. still managed to find his teammates in scoring positions despite taking a fair few shots himself.