NBL | Stats Central – Round 19

ROUND 19 of the National Basketball League (NBL) has wrapped, and although it was a shorter weekend in comparison to previous weeks, there was still plenty to enjoy.

In one of the closest seasons in NBL history, the race for a spot in the postseason continued to entertain, with some key matchups posting eye-catching results.

There were six games across the span of Friday to Sunday, and every game carried massive implications on the race for a spot in the top six. As a result of how it all panned out, the standings have been shaken on the eve of finals.

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) – 23.3
2. Mitch Creek (SEM Phoenix) – 21.1
3. Nathan Sobey (Brisbane Bullets) – 20.3
4. Parker Jackson-Cartwright (New Zealand Breakers) – 19.8
5. Dejan Vasiljevic (Adelaide 36ers) – 19.5

An important bounce back from the Wildcats was sparked by a return to form for MVP fancy Bryce Cotton in the win over the Taipans on Saturday night. Cotton averaged just 16 points coming into the clash, with other teams putting the star guard under immense physical pressure and disrupting Perth’s play as a whole.

However, he posted 26 points against Cairns in an impressive showing from the league’s best scorer. The most impressive offensive showing of the round came from veteran guard Nathan Sobey, who exploded for 37 points against the 36ers on Friday night, shooting 13/22 from the field and 6/8 from three-point land in a career-best showing.

Rebounds per game

1. Alan Williams (SEM Phoenix) – 10.9
2. Jo Lual-Acuil (Melbourne United) – 8.3
3. Sam Froling (Illawarra Hawks) – 8.0
4. Luke Travers (Melbourne United) – 7.6
5. Josh Bannan (Brisbane Bullets) – 7.4

Melbourne United claimed a solid win over the Breakers on Sunday afternoon, and Jo Lual-Acuil was a key figure. United had the game in control for the entirety of the second half, and the team’s star big man was influential. He pulled down 11 rebounds in a towering effort, getting the better of New Zealand’s undersized frontcourt. Sam Froling was strong on the glass in Illawarra’s triumph over the reigning champions with 11 boards of his own, while Josh Bannan was a presence in the skies with 11 rebounds in the win against Adelaide.

Assists per game

1. Matthew Dellavedova (Melbourne United) – 6.0
2. Patrick Miller (Cairns Taipans)/Parker Jackson-Cartwright (New Zealand Breakers) – 5.8
3. Tahjere McCall (Cairns Taipans) – 5.2
4. Jaylen Adams (Sydney Kings) – 5.1
5. Milton Doyle (Tasmania JackJumpers) – 4.8

There was not much movement on the assists front in Round 19, with the big individual scoring performances taking the cake in terms of offence. Parker Jackson-Cartwright was the biggest contributor in this area, posting 12 dimes across New Zealand’s two games. He initiated the offence in tremendous fashion, while also hitting the scoreboard himself. Many of the team’s scoring possessions started with his excellent passing, and the increased responsibility resulted in a decent weekend for the Breakers.

Steals per game

1. Parker Jackson-Cartwright (New Zealand Breakers)- 1.9
2. Tahjere McCall (Cairns Taipans)/Shannon Scott (Brisbane Bullets) – 1.8
3. Keanu Pinder (Perth Wildcats) – 1.7
4. Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats) – 1.5
5. Jordan Crawford (Tasmania JackJumpers) – 1.4

Again it was Jackson-Cartwright that was the standout in Round 19, and appears to be thriving after the unfortunate season-ending injury to star teammate Anthony Lamb. The guard recorded two steals in the win over the Hawks and three in the loss to United later in the round. His ability to predict the dribble and poke the ball free is unmatched, and he has been the premier disruptor on the defensive end.

Blocks per game

1. Jo Lual-Acuil (Melbourne United)/Will Magnay (Tasmania JackJumpers) – 1.5
2. Tyrell Harrison (Brisbane Bullets)/DJ Hogg (Sydney Kings)/Ariel Hukporti (Melbourne United)/Alexandre Sarr (Perth Wildcats) – 1.4
3. Isaac Humphries (Adelaide (36ers) – 1.3
4. Mangok Mathiang (New Zealand Breakers)/Rocco Zikarsky (Brisbane Bullets)/Luke Travers (Melbourne United)/Kyrin Galloway (Sydney Kings) – 1.0
5. Alan Williams (SEM Phoenix)/Jordan Hunter (Sydney Kings) – 1.1

The playing field on the blocks front got even tighter over the weekend, as demonstrated by the sheer volume of players listed above. Lual-Acuil and Will Magnay are still the kings of the jungle, but they have some strong competition. One of the most impressive names on the list is Alexandre Sarr, with the Next Star delivering another standout showing in the win over Cairns. He delivered three blocks in that game, and continues to make the most of his athletic profile.

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