NBL1 West Players of the Week – Round 8

ANOTHER round of National Basketball League (NBL)1 West action saw several games decided by eight points or less, showing how close the 2024 season has been to date.

Round 8 of the fixture saw a massive 20 games take place as the action ramps up past the halfway mark of the season, with divisions in the midst of a tight race for a finals spot with a plethora of teams putting together a solid campaign.

As is the case every season, there is an abundance of star power in the NBL1 West, particularly on the import front, and one in particular caught the eye with a monster offensive showing.

With that in mind, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look at the standout performances from both divisions, after some big numbers were posted over the weekend. This time, Joel Murray and Georgia Pineau stood above the rest, with the latter posting an enormous score.

Joel Murray (Mandruah Magic) vs. Willetton Tigers

50 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals

Murray was far and away the best men’s player of the round in any NBL1 competition over the weekend with a simply superb scoring performance as the Magic bested the Tigers by 18 points at Willetton Basketball Stadium on Friday night.

The game was essentially decided in the first half, with Mandurah taking a massive 27-point lead into the main change on the back of some terrific work on both ends of the floor. Although the home side managed to cut that lead back in the third quarter, it was too late as the Magic cruised home to a 99-81 win.

There was no bigger factor in the result of the match than Murray, who was the single driving force in getting the Magic to a win on the offensive end.

He poured in a massive 50 points, accounting for over half of his team’s score and showing exactly what happens if he is allowed to get off the chain with a lack of consistent defensive coverage, having threatened to do so in recent weeks.

Murray shot an efficient 19/28 from the field, conjuring makes from all sorts of methods, but mainly inside the arc. Whether it was driving inside, absorbing contact and finishing at the rim or using crafty footwork to create space and knock down the floater or mid-range shot, Murray was just about unstoppable, despite the defence’s best efforts at times.

From the free throw line, he was nearly perfect with 11 makes on 13 attempts, punishing the defence for panicking when he was driving inside and in good scoring position.

It was a masterful offensive showing from Murray, who appears the favourite for the MVP and could lead his Magic team to the ultimate prize.

Georgia Pineau (Rockingham Flames) vs. Eastern Suns

31 points, 13 rebounds

Pineau recorded a huge double-double to help the Flames keep their unbeaten record intact by defeating the Suns by 31 points at Mike Barnett Sports Complex on Friday night.

Despite Eastern’s best efforts in the opening term to keep things tight, Rockingham broke away with a 31-13 second period to take some momentum into half time. The home side only built from there, putting the game out of reach en route to a 102-71 win.

Pineau delivered her best performance of the season in the big win over the Suns, proving too much for the defence to handle.

She poured in a game-high 31 points on 13/24 shooting from the field, given the license from the Flames coaching staff to be the focal point of the offence. Her teammates looked to get the ball in her hands, and she rewarded that effort with some excellent makes close to the basket.

Pineau took advantage of a Suns frontcourt that could not get the defensive stops required to slow her down, and she was the catalyst that helped the Flames build their match-winning lead.

On the glass, she was just as strong, pulling down 13 rebounds for the match, with six of these coming on the offensive end. Her ability to generate second chance scores were integral in helping the hosts maintain their momentum.

It was a classy double-double from Pineau, who has been vital in leading Rockingham to a perfect 11-0 record on the 2024 season.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments