ROUND 12 of the National Basketball League (NBL) saw another big man challenge Andrew Bogut in terms of the best centre in the league, as Shawn Long had a round to remember for the Breakers. His teammate, Finn Delany also joined in on the party. The Wildcats had a round they would want to forget though, as their three-point shooting added to their poor form. The Taipans are another team who haven’t been in form, but were able to pull through for their second win of the season. Meanwhile for Brisbane, a big-name recruit took to the court.
Shawn Long’s breakout round
New Zealand centre, Shawn Long had an unforgettable round, featuring prominently in the Breakers’ two wins. Against Adelaide, Long recorded a monstrous double-double, notching up 28 points and 18 rebounds. He shot 57 per cent from the field in the win, which was the third highest shooting percentage in the Breakers’ line-up. In their victory over the Wildcats, Long topped his points from the last game with 33, and also grabbed eight boards. His field shooting improved to 66 per cent, giving him an average of 61.5 per cent from the field across the round. The Breakers big man also averaged 30.5 points per game and 13 rebounds in a huge round for him and his team.
Shooting threes not helping Perth
In their only game of the round, the Wildcats went down to the Breakers 97-84. Their strategy to fight back in this game was to shoot the ball from downtown, but the stats show that this plan did not work in their favour. Perth attempted the second highest amount of three-pointers in its franchise history, attempting 39 threes against the Breakers. This only amounted for 14 converted shots, giving the Wildcats a miserable three-point shooting percentage of 35 per cent. They attempted the most threes in their franchise history against the Sydney Kings in 2001, attempting 41 shots from downtown.
Cairns’ second win by the numbers
It was a long time coming for the Taipans, as they recorded their second win of the season – their first since Round 1 of the 2018/19 season. They upset the Brisbane Bullets on their home court, defeating them by 29 points. Cairns has become used to its home court, being the only NBL franchise to play its first 300 games at just the one home venue. At the Cairns Convention Centre, the Taipans played their first home game against Sydney in October, 1999. A month later, they secured their first home win against the same side in the Kings. Sydney was again on the end of history as the Taipans played their 100th home game against the Kings in December, 2005. In their 300th game at the venue, the Taipans recorded their biggest win against a Queensland opponent in their 20-year history, with their previous biggest winning margin being against former NBL side, Townsville Crocs in 2008. Cairns ended up getting the win that day by 24 points.
Finn Delany or Mr 100%?
Finn Delany almost stole the show from Long this week when he achieved an impressive feat. Delany scored the most points by a Breakers player at 100 per cent shooting, grabbing 18 points through six field goals, one three-pointer and five free throws against the Adelaide 36ers. The previous best perfect shooting record for the Breakers was recorded by Paul Henare, who scored 13 points on five field goals, two three-pointers and one free throw against the Hawks in 2008. With his game against the 36ers, Delany becomes just the 10th player in NBL history to post at least 18 points on 100 per cent shooting.
AJ Davis’ debut by the numbers
AJ Davis’ debut was highly anticipated by many NBL fans. Davis is the son of National Basketball Association (NBA) great, Antonio Davis, who was an NBA All-Star in 2001. Davis is just the fourth son of an NBA player to play in the NBL. Former NBA second draft pick, Rick Barry had two sons that played in the NBL, with Scooter Barry featuring for former NBL team, South East Melbourne Magic in 1995, and Drew Barry playing for the Sydney Kings in 2000. Ten-time NBA All-Star, John Stockton kept his family blood running in the NBL with his son, David Stockton making his way into the Breakers’ line-up in 2017. With AJ Davis taking to the court, he became the 30th player to make his NBL debut this season. But he is just the first player to take to the court for the first time at Carrara since Ira Bowman took to the court for former NBL side, Gold Coast Rollers in 1996.