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Boomers: Best NBL Performances

The Australia Boomers hosted the New Zealand Tall Blacks for Game 1 of the 2015 FIBA Oceania Series on Saturday night, and superstar point guard duo Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills helped the home side grab a late 71-59 victory. The sold-out game at Rod Laver Arena was one of the largest basketball crowds in over 15 years, and with all eyes on the strong NBL contingent representing the country, we take a look at their best performances at home. David Andersen As an 18-year old out of the AIS, Anderson linked up with the then Wollongong Hawks for the 1999 season, playing in 25 games. In the Hawks’ historic first ever game at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre, the power forward made a handy debut with nine points and six rebounds in 29 minutes on the floor. His season-high was 12 points against Sydney at the Kingdome. Interestingly, none of Andersen’s 134 shot attempts were from long-range in close to 450 minutes played over the season. The 1999 season is also remembered for the Hawks becoming the only NBL team in history to go down 0-2 in the first round of the playoffs, and based on the lucky loser system, still advanced to the semi-finals, where they were again swept 0-2. Adam Gibson Adam has been a long-time winner in the NBL with seven trips to the semi-finals in a decade of dedication that resulted in two NBL Championships. It’s rare that a player can continue to increase their contribution ten years into their career, but that’s exactly what Gibson has managed, ending 2015 with career-best numbers in rebounds, steals and assists. Last November, Gibson played the most statistically significant of his 313 games in an important win over the New Zealand Breakers at Adelaide Arena, posting a career high 34 points and six steals, as well as adding nine assists and six rebounds. It had been 18 years since any other player had posted 30-points alongside six steals, assists and rebounds in a game. This is a feat made even more impressive when considering 12 of those seasons were 48-minute NBL games.

Cameron Gliddon

Cameron Gliddon was one of the few Aussies that started every game in their debut season and was duly rewarded by being named NBL Rookie of the Year in 2013, and followed up the accolade with Cairns Taipans club MVP in 2014.

His career-high 26-points was scored in March 2013 when he posted 26-points, five rebounds and five steals against the Perth Wildcats at the Snakepit. It was the only time any player in the League had at least 25 points, five rebounds and five steals in a game that season.

Gliddon has led the Taipans in steals in each of his three seasons with the Queensland club, a particularly impressive feat last season, defeating defensive specialist Scottie Wilbekin in the category.

He also made more 3-pointers than any other Taipan in their record-breaking 21-win season that booked them a spot in the Grand Final.

Chris Goulding After tipping off his career as a development player with the Brisbane Bullets in 2006, Chris Goulding approached the 2013/14 NBL Season with a career-best return of 27-points from 142 games across seven seasons. In Round 4, he surpassed that mark with a 34-point exhibition in an away clash against Cairns. However the record only stood until March, as the shooting guard put on an impressive 50-point display that remains the highest score by any player in the past seven years. Chris is just the fifth Australian player ever to reach the half-century mark in an NBL game. He registered a season average of 23.0ppg, winning both the league’s scoring title and winning a place on the All Star 5 first team. Nate Jawai Following an impressive stint with QBL outfit Cairns Marlins, Jawai was signed by the Cairns Taipans in 2007 and debuted in Auckland with 14-points and seven rebounds. This was quickly followed up at home with a team-high 27-points in his first Reptile Rumble to begin his NBL career. Jawai set a career-high rebounds total against the Sydney Kings in just his fifth game, before once again torturing the Townsville Crocodiles with a 28-points and 15 rebounds display. After being selected for an All-Star appearance after 15 NBL games, Jawai dunked his way to 24 points and a dozen boards in a dominant display that earned him the game MVP nod. “Outback Shaq” averaged 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game in his rookie season, shooting at 56.6 per cent from the field and was awarded the NBL’s Rookie of the Year award for his efforts. Just four months after completing his first season, he became the first indigenous Australian to be selected in the NBA Draft, where he played the next two NBA seasons for Toronto and Minnesota. Patty Mills The San Antonio Spurs Champion played 74 games for Portland in his first two NBA seasons, before returning to Australia during the NBA lockout in November 2011. Mills signed with the Melbourne Tigers, putting up 28-points in his debut outing to help the club to defeat Sydney at The Cage. His 28-point contribution was the second-best scoring debut by an Australian in NBL history, equaling the feat of his uncle Danny Moresau 32 year’s prior. After just nine games, Mills’ NBL stint was over. Though he saved his best for last, scoring a career-high 32-points against the Adelaide 36ers at Adelaide Arena, boosting his average to a more than respectable 18.6 points per game. Brock Motum Brock joined the Adelaide 36ers six games into the 2014/15 NBL season and made an immediate impact with 28-points and six rebounds. His best performance came in Round 15, where the Sixers beat the Wildcats 106-102 in one of the most memorable games of the season. He scored a career best 31 points and 13 boards and that win was the 2nd of 10 straight victories that Adelaide completed the regular season with. Motum was the only player to feature in the Top 10 across both the field goal and three-point percentage categories and finished as the League’s fifth best scorer with 18.6 points per game. The 24-year old also led the League in offensive rebounding average. His efforts subsequently earning him the power forward spot in the 2015 All-NBL first team. Brad Newley Brad Newley burst onto the NBL stage in 2005 straight from the AIS and took no time to adjust to the senior level in Townsville. After 26 games, the small forward was averaging 14.6 points per game and had set a new personal scoring-high of 26-points the week leading into his first All-Star appearance, all a month before his 20th birthday. Newley’s Aussie All-Stars would go on to triumph over the World team 156 – 140, with the young South Australian making headlines with 35-points at 14-from-26 shots. Newley’s scoring effort remains the fourth highest tally in All-Star history and earned him the coveted All-Star MVP award, making him the first ever player to achieve this as an NBL Rookie. All-Star game single-game scoring record: 43 – Andrew Gaze (1989, 1992) 39 – Mike Mitchell (1992) 35 – Brad Newley (2005) 32 – Leon Trimmingham (1996) The awards continued to flow for Newley in 2005, earning the Rookie of the Year and also the Best Sixth Man award – the only occasion where any player has won both accolades in the same year. Newley continued with the Crcodiles for three seasons at the before heading to Europe, but not before surpassing his All-Star scoring feat with a 46-point display against Cairns The Australian Boomers visit the Tall Blacks tonight in Wellington for Game 2 of the FIBA Oceania Series, where a victory or a loss of less than 11 points will see the Aussies qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Watch the live stream HERE from 5:30pm AEST (Australia only). TOMORROW: The New Zealand Tall Blacks and their best NBL performances
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