NUMBER crunching for Round 9 sees a star guard throw his hat in the ring for scoring champion, an up an coming point guard from the Hawks in great form, the New Zealand Breakers forward who had a rare 5/4/5 game, and a worrying stat for Perth’s championship hopes. P
Casper Ware coming from the clouds
The battle for scoring champion has been an incredible one all season, with Cotton leading now for five consecutive weeks. Melo Trimble has closed this gap to less than a point again, as Cotton had seemingly broken away with a big lead. However, another star guard has started to stake his claim as a contender if both men have a bad week. Casper Ware has recently been in terrific form, and taken his average to 19.1 points, above Jerome Randle’s 19.0 points per game. Despite the gap of four points, anything can happen in this league.
Illawarra point guard, Emmett Naar currently has the bestassist/turnover ratio of any first year player in National Basketball League (NBL) history. Naar’s 47 assists and 10 turnovers gives him a ratio of 4:7. Even more impressive are the figures from Naar’s last six games, where he has 27 assists and just one turnover!
On the weekend, Tai Wesley had five assists, four steals and a career-high five blocks. The last man to have 5/4/5 in a game was Larry Davidson for the Hawks in February 2010. This is the first time that any player from the New Zealand Breakers has had five blocks and four steals in an NBL game.
Averaging 1.43 blocks per game, the Perth Wildcats are currently the worst shot-blocking team in the history of the NBL. The previous worst is Hobart, who averaged 1.65 blocks a game in 1993. The biggest concern for Perth is the historical trend between shot blocking and championships. No team in the history of the NBL that has finished last in shot- blocking in a season has won the championship that year.