NUMBER crunching for Round 8 sees the tight race for the National Basketball League (NBL) scoring champion break open, a young star get his first taste of action, an ugly game from a New Zealand star, and a massive comeback from the Bullets.
Cotton flexes his muscles
The battle between Bryce Cotton and Melo Trimble in the scoring race has been neck and neck all year. Round 6 and 7 saw the scoring title separated by less than 1 point. But Round 8 saw the two stars match up against each other, with Cotton clearly winning the points. Melo Trimble had a poor weekend for his lofty standards, scoring eight points against Perth and 19 points against Illawarra, which saw his average drop to 22 points per game. Cotton scored 21 against Trimble’s Taipans, and kept his consistence season rolling. Just 1.9 points now separates Cotton and Trimble from the top of the leader board, and we must ask the question if Trimble can recover?
Young star emerges
Wani Swaka Lo Buluk debuted for Perth on the weekend, and at 17 years and 6 months old, he is the fifth youngest ever player to score in the NBL. The others include Australian Boomers coach, Andrej Lemanis and NBL legend, Shane Heal.
Youngest players to score in the NBL:
Sixteen years, four months: Andrej Lemanis, 1985
Sixteen years, five months: Cameron Dickinson, 1988
Seventeen years, one month: Daniel Egan, 1996
Seventeen years, three months: Mike McKay, 1983
Seventeen years, five months: Shane Heal, 1988
Seventeen years, six months: Wani Swaka Lo Buluk, 2018
Corey Webster is a talented player, and an important cog in New Zealand’s line-up. However, he has struggled with consistency. The weekend saw the ugly side of Brewer’s game. His 0-9 from the field was the third worst shooting game by any Breakers player.
Worst shooting games by Breakers players:
Zero from 11: Paul Henare vs 36ers, 2005
Zero from 10: Phill Jones vs Razorbacks, 2004
Zero from nine: Corey Webster vs Kings, 2018
The Brisbane Bullets pulled off two enormous victories against Melbourne United on the weekend. Their first victory of the round was especially significant, as the Bullets overcame the biggest three-quarter time deficit of any team this season to win on Saturday.
Lead at three-quarter time:
Eleven points – Brisbane Bullets vs United, Round 8
Nine points – Wildcats vs Breakers, Round 7
Five points – United vs Taipans, Round 5