NBL | Stats Central – Round 17

ROUND 17 of the 2023/24 National Basketball League (NBL) season has wrapped, and there was a lot to take out of one of the final weekends of the fixture.

With every team still a chance of qualifying for the postseason, each game held heavy significance in the context of the finals race. It resulted in some cracking contests across the competition, and a couple of sides securing their spots in the top two.

With eight games spanning from Thursday to Sunday, there were some familiar faces delivering big numbers in important matches for their respective sides.

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) – 23.6
2. Mitch Creek (SEM Phoenix) – 21.1
3. Anthony Lamb (New Zealand Breakers) – 20.1
4. Nathan Sobey (Brisbane Bullets) – 20.0
5. Jaylen Adams (Sydney Kings) – 19.3

Although it was a quiet weekend by his lofty standards, Bryce Cotton has still just about cemented his fourth Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. There is no one more important to their team, and that was reflected in Perth’s tough loss at the hands of the Hawks. Cotton was held to just 13 points, and the Wildcats struggled as a result of that. However, he bounced back with 21 points later in the round as the ‘Cats got back on track. It was an ultra-impressive weekend from Mitch Creek, who kept the Phoenix’s season alive with a match-winning performance against the Kings. The star forward posted 25 points in the first half en route to 31 for the match, in a memorable performance within his storied career.

Rebounds per game

1. Alan Williams (SEM Phoenix) – 10.9
2. Jo Lual-Acuil (Melbourne United) – 8.4
3. Sam Froling (Illawarra Hawks) – 7.8
4. Luke Travers (Melbourne United) – 7.7
5. Jacob Wiley (Adelaide 36ers)- 7.5

Having been ruled out for the remainder of the season with injury, Alan Williams will be the rebounding leader come season’s end, but others have been extremely damaging on the glass. The most impressive performance not only in terms of rebounding, but maybe overall was that of Jo Lual-Acuil. He led United to a win over the Bullets, and completely dominated the paint with 13 rebounds to go with 33 points in just 23 minutes of court time. Having struggled with injury over recent weeks, it was a tremendous return to form. Given he was named to an All-NBL First Team just two seasons ago, it was a true showing of Lual-Acuil’s capabilities at full fitness.

Assists per game

1. Matthew Dellavedova (Melbourne United) – 6.1
2. Patrick Miller (Cairns Taipans) – 6.0
3. Parker Jackson-Cartwright (New Zealand Breakers) – 5.8
4. Tahjere McCall (Cairns Taipans) – 5.4
5. Jaylen Adams (Sydney Kings) – 5.1

Former NBA Champion Matthew Dellavedova remains atop of the assists column, with United going 1-1 in Round 17. He had 10 assists over two games, with his numbers dropping with the return of Shea Ili, which was expected. Taipans duo Tahjere McCall and Patrick Miller combined for 13 assists in the loss to the 36ers, looking to create when their own shots were not falling. While Parker Jackson-Cartwright may have done most of his work scoring the ball (25 points), he still managed four dimes in the win over the JackJumpers.

Steals per game

1. Parker Jackson-Cartwright (New Zealand Breakers)- 2.0
2. Tahjere McCall (Cairns Taipans)/Shannon Scott (Brisbane Bullets) – 1.9
3. Keanu Pinder (Perth Wildcats) – 1.7
4. Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats) – 1.6
5. Jaylin Galloway (Sydney Kings)/Jordan Crawford (Tasmania JackJumpers) – 1.4

Jackson-Cartwright stormed to the top of the steals count, with his pesky defence on show throughout the span of Round 17. The guard delivered six steals over two games, and helped spark plenty of transition offence for New Zealand. Jackson-Cartwright has an excellent ability to poke the ball free from the opposition’s handle and it was on display, particularly against the Hawks, where he had four steals and almost got his team to a win.

Blocks per game

1. Jo Lual-Acuil (Melbourne United)/Will Magnay (Tasmania JackJumpers) – 1.6
2. Ariel Hukporti (Melbourne United) -1.5
3. Tyrell Harrison (Brisbane Bullets)/Alexandre Sarr (Perth Wildcats) – 1.4
4. DJ Hogg (Sydney Kings) – 1.3
5. Isaac Humphries (Adelaide (36ers) – 1.2

JackJumpers big Will Magnay has moved to equal-first on the blocks front, with the talented tall blocking a pair of shots in the loss to the Breakers. However, the big story of the week was the resurgence of Alexandre Sarr, who delivered a statement performance upon his return from injury. He posted a whopping five blocks to go with 18 points on 6/8 shooting. It was a performance heard around the world, and certainly did no harm to his chances of hearing his name read out first overall at the NBA Draft.

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