NBL Standouts – Round 16
ROUND 16 of the NBL is done and dusted, proving to be one of the surprising rounds of the 2022/23 season by the time the final match wrapped on Sunday afternoon.
There were a handful of impressive upsets as some of the sides that have struggled to date in the fixture managed to take down a higher ranked opponent. As a result of this, there was no shortage of standout individual performances, as some players finally got recognition in winning sides as opposed to being underrated in underperforming lineups.
As is the case every week, Rookie Me Central will be highlighting the three strongest individual outings, with plenty making quite the impact in their respective outings.
Tyler Harvey – Illawarra Hawks
Harvey produced a pair of impressive offensive performances over the span of Round 16, including a match-winning showing as the Hawks downed the Breakers in dramatic fashion on Thursday night. In that game, Harvey produced a game-high 25 points on 9/16 shooting from the field, a total that was boosted by six threes, including the final and deciding shot of the match. With his side trailing by two in the final seconds of the match, Harvey took the ball in the backcourt, and there was no doubt he would be taking the biggest field goal attempt of the game, although not many would have predicted the style he did it in. Harvey pulled up from the Hungry Jacks logo near midcourt, and heaved a shot from near mid-court that was reminiscent of NBA superstar Damian Lillard. The shot was good and the Breakers could not answer Harvey’s heroics. Although the Hawks lost a few days later, he was still a shining light with 22 points.
Tyler Johnson – Brisbane Bullets
There were plenty of expectations for Johnson and the Bullets coming into the 2022/23 season, and Round 16 was the closest thing to those predictions as fans have seen all year. The star import delivered the level of scoring input that many tipped him to produce for Brisbane, kicking off the round in style with 27 points (9/18 FG), six rebounds and three assists as he led the Bullets to an eye-catching upset over the 36ers. Johnson then showed he was capable of doing it at a consistent level in the future, by backing it up with a game-high 23-point performance as Brisbane made it two from two with a win over the Hawks.
Jarell Brantley – New Zealand Breakers
The Breakers had their backs against the wall for a large part of Sunday’s win against the Wildcats, and it was Brantley that was the guiding presence for the victors. The import was immense in the most crucial stages of the game, chiming in with a contribution on almost all facets of the game. Whether it was switching defensively or producing a much-needed bucket, the forward was a truly game-changing factor in the most important part of the match. He finished with 30 points (which was the most of any player on the court), nine rebounds and five dimes in a leader’s performance.