NBL | Stats Central – Round 8

ROUND 8 of the National Basketball League (NBL) delivered some seriously exciting action over the weekend, with some tremendous individual performances across the courts.

Returning to a typical amount of matches, seven games took place from Thursday to Sunday, with some teams doubling up once again. The round had it all, from blockbuster matchups to game-winning shots, as the NBL showcased how strong Australian basketball has become, particularly in the last five years.

The best players were once again firing throughout the round, with the big names starting to firm as the most consistent contributors on a nightly basis. Some familiar faces are also beginning to step up as the season has rolled on, and are now posting some of the best numbers of the 2023/24 fixture.

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

  • Parker Jackson-Cartwright (New Zealand Breakers) – 20.5
  • Anthony Lamb (New Zealand Breakers)/Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats) – 20.1
  • Nathan Sobey (Brisbane Bullets) – 19.6
  • Dejan Vasiljevic (Adelaide 36ers) – 19.2
  • Zylan Cheatham (New Zealand Breakers) – 18.8

The rise of Bryce Cotton and the Wildcats has been one of the stories of the season, with the three-time MVP delivering back to back 25-point games over the weekend. Perth has won five games on the trot, and Cotton has been a massive factor in the team’s turnaround. Anthony Lamb has still been on a tear for the Breakers, and delivered 20 points in the first half to help New Zealand claim a season defining win over the JackJumpers.

It seems Dejan Vasiljevic has settled into the 36ers extremely well, single-handedly steering his side to victory against the Phoenix on Friday night. The former Kings guard was immense, looking like the player many expected him to be, and finished with 29 points for the match.

Rebounds per game

  • Alan Williams (SEM Phoenix) – 10.1
  • Sam Froling (Illawarra Hawks) – 8.9
  • Ariel Hukporti (Melbourne United) – 7.9
  • Jacob Wiley (Adelaide 36ers) – 7.8
  • Jonah Bolden (Sydney Kings)/Jo Lual Acuil (Melbourne United) – 7.6

The rebounding count remains unchanged for the most part, with Jacob Wiley replacing Marcus Lee in the top 10. Wiley and Alan Williams went head to head on Friday night, with the former taking home the win and the rebounding count between the two, 14-11. Lee was the victim of Will Magnay‘s increase in minutes, with the pair set to share big man duties moving forward.

Assists per game

  • Patrick Miller (Cairns Taipans) – 5.6
  • Parker Jackson-Cartwright (New Zealand Breakers) – 5.4
  • Shannon Scott (Brisbane Bullets) – 5.3
  • Jaylen Adams (Sydney Kings)/Justin Robinson (Illawarra Hawks) – 5.1
  • Matthew Dellavedova (Melbourne United)/Will McDowell-White (New Zealand Breakers) – 4.8

Patrick Miller remains at the top of the table for the assist leaders, doing much more damage as a playmaker in Cairns’ first game of the round against the Wildcats. During the Taipans’ second outing, the import guard was used as more of a scorer, but still managed four dimes for the match. Parker Jackson-Cartwright continues to be the conductor of New Zealand’s offence, which looked extremely potent in the win over the JackJumpers.

Steals per game

  • Shannon Scott (Brisbane Bullets) – 3.2
  • Jaylin Galloway (Sydney Kings) – 2.5
  • Parker Jackson-Cartwright (NZ Breakers) – 1.9
  • Keanu Pinder (Perth Wildcats) – 1.8
  • Will Cummings (SEM Phoenix)/Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats) – 1.7

Again there is not much movement within the steals category, given the top two players are still on the sidelines recovering from injury. Jackson-Cartwright maintains his impact on both ends of the court, proving a master at poking the ball free from the opposition’s grasp. Cotton’s influence on games is also translating defensively, using his veteran smarts to unsettle the opposition.

Blocks per game

  • Will Magnay (Tasmania JackJumpers) – 2.0
  • Jo Lual-Acuil (Melbourne United) – 1.9
  • Tyrell Harrison (Brisbane Bullets) – 1.8
  • Jordan Hunter (Sydney Kings)/DJ Hogg (Sydney Kings) – 1.4
  • Isaac Humphries (Adelaide 36ers)/Alexandre Sarr (Perth Wildcats) – 1.2

There is a new king of the blocks in the NBL, after Magnay had a monster game against the Breakers on Thursday night. Although the JackJumpers fell to New Zealand, the Tassie big man delivered an astounding individual performance with four blocks to go with 20 points and 13 rebounds in just 16 minutes of play, marking an emphatic return to form. Next Star Alexandre Sarr had two blocks in each of Perth’s outings in an excellent weekend for the draft prospect.

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