NBL | Stats Central – Round 16

ROUND 16 of the National Basketball League (NBL) saw some big scores as teams are starting to click ahead of the upcoming finals series.

The action took place from Wednesday to Sunday, and with the race for a spot in the finals and play-in wide open, each team was giving it their all. It resulted in blowouts, game-winners and some big individual performances across the competition.

Once again, it was the big names that delivered by posting some eye-catching numbers over the span of eight games, with the race for MVP becoming much clearer over recent weeks.

With that in mind, Rookie Me Central‘s weekly stat series continues, taking a look at the leading contributors in some of the key statistical categories that impact the game most.

Points per game

1. Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats) – 24.2
2. Anthony Lamb (New Zealand Breakers)- 20.6
3. Mitch Creek (SEM Phoenix) – 20.2
4. Nathan Sobey (Brisbane Bullets) – 20.0
5. Jaylen Adams (Sydney Kings) – 19.3

The race for the NBL’s highest individual honour is just about a one-horse race, with Bryce Cotton currently on the biggest tear of any player this season. Throughout the span of Round 16, the three-time MVP (who is certainly firming for a fourth) posted 57 points over Perth’s two games, and leading the team to a 2-0 record. The Wildcats are sitting in second spot in the standings, mostly due to Cotton’s excellent play. He went head to head against Jaylen Adams on Sunday, with Adams posting 29 points of his own in an excellent duel, showcasing the talent the NBL currently has.

Rebounds per game

1. Alan Williams (SEM Phoenix) – 10.9
2. Jo Lual-Acuil (Melbourne United) – 8.4
3. Sam Froling (Illawarra Hawks) – 8.0
4. Jacob Wiley (Adelaide 36ers)/ Luke Travers (Melbourne United) – 7.6
5. Ariel Hukporti (Melbourne United) Gary Clark (Illawarra Hawks)- 7.3

The rebounding category has been reasonably unaffected over the past two weeks, with the top two in Alan Williams and Jo Lual-Acuil both missing through injury. It appears Williams has the rebounding total sewn up, given he will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery in the past week, and his team has sorely missed his presence on the glass.

Assists per game

1. Matthew Dellavedova (Melbourne United) – 6.2
2. Parker Jackson-Cartwright (New Zealand Breakers)/Patrick Miller (Cairns Taipans) – 6.0
3. Tahjere McCall (Cairns Taipans) – 5.3
4. Jaylen Adams (Sydney Kings) – 5.0
5. Will McDowell-White (New Zealand Breakers) – 4.8

Although his side fell to the JackJumpers at MyState Bank Arena on Friday night, Matthew Dellavedova was still fighting hard to create scoring opportunities. The NBA Champion almost had a triple double with 11 points and eight assists, with plenty of his teammates benefiting from some crafty passing in pick and rolls and around screens. He also looked after the ball, committing just one turnover and helping keep United in the game for much of the contest.

Steals per game

1. Tahjere McCall (Cairns Taipans)/Shannon Scott (Brisbane Bullets)- 2.0
2. Parker Jackson-Cartwright (New Zealand Breakers) – 1.9
3. Keanu Pinder (Perth Wildcats) – 1.8
4. Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats) – 1.6
5. Jaylin Galloway (Sydney Kings)/Jordan Crawford (Tasmania JackJumpers) – 1.4

Taipans guard Tahjere McCall has some company atop the steals count after 16 rounds, after posting just two steals over two games throughout the weekend. Shannon Scott had a terrific game against the Taipans and McCall himself, recording three steals and moving up to equal first. A pillar of consistency on this front, Scott has been a defensive disruptor since returning from injury, and has been key to Brisbane’s finals hopes.

Blocks per game

1. Jo Lual-Acuil (Melbourne United) – 1.8
2. Will Magnay (Tasmania JackJumpers) -1.6
3. Ariel Hukporti (Melbourne United)/Tyrell Harrison (Brisbane Bullets) – 1.5
4. DJ Hogg (Sydney Kings) – 1.3
5. Isaac Humphries (Adelaide (36ers) – 1.2

With Lual-Acuil missing, the United big man remains as the best shot blocker in the competition, although a JackJumpers center is catching him quick. Against Melbourne, Will Magnay recorded three blocks as he continues to play an important role for a charging Tasmania side. His physical attributes are impressive, and his timing only improves his impact in the paint, with Magnay one of the most exciting players to watch throughout the final four rounds.

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