Number Crunching: NBL – Round 17

NUMBER Crunching is back, and as always, we check in on the race for scoring champion, a left field look at the Most Valuable Player (MVP) winner, Bryce Cotton’s freakish half of basketball, the Bullets late season road woes, and a big round ahead for finals implications.

HERE WE GO. After tracking this all season, it comes down to 1 round. Both Melo Trimble and Bryce Cotton are STILL separated by less than a point. Once again, the margin is 0.1 of a point. This race has been extremely exciting from a statistical point of view, and one that readers of this column will be aware, I have enjoyed covering weekly. My prediction – the Rookie out of Maryland to pip the former MVP at the post and clinch the title!

The MVP is often said to be the “best player on the best team”, however recent history says that this isn’t the case in the NBL. Only 3 teams of last 14 NBL MVP winners finished 1st on the ladder. “So what position is the most common” you ask? The answer to that is 3rd place finishers who have 4 of the past 14 winners. Does this mean we see an MVP from the Sydney Kings?

Bryce Cotton’s 27 points on the weekend were seemingly average for the Perth star. However, what made this game unbelievable was that he scored 0 points in the first half! Cotton’s 27 second half points meant that he now is the NBL record holder for the most points after scoring 0 points in the first half. The previous highest was former Bullets star Shane Heal who scored 26 second half points in 1995.

The Brisbane Bullets have never won a road game after round 13 since returning to the NBL three seasons ago. They are 0 wins, 11 losses on the road in final six rounds combined.

The weekend’s results were terrible for the Sydney Kings, who are now mathematically unable to finish in first place this season. Top place will be decided in the very last game of the season between United and Wildcats on Sunday afternoon.

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