News

ANALYSIS

NBL22 Awards Watch - Volume 6

Written for NBL.com.au by Peter Hooley

We are officially into the second half of the NBL22, and whilst there may start to be a couple of teams breaking away from the pack, the major awards are well and truly up for grabs.

Let’s see who sits where, as we enter the business end of the season.

 

Most Valuable Player

The MVP award is looking like a four horse race, and any of the four have strong arguments to be leading right now. It’s important to remember that this award is the only one (excluding coaches) that a team’s performance actually matters.

So far in the year 2022, it’s been the Jaylen Adams show in the NBL. Since returning from his injury on the 13th of Janruary, Adams has been one of the most electric players in the league.

Averaging 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists, Adams has well and truly put his name into the MVP conversation. Not only is he putting up some massive numbers, he’s also become one of the most clutch players we have seen.

From the game tying (and eventually winning) poster dunk against Brisbane, to the long three to defeat Adelaide, this might just be Jaylen Adams world… If that’s the case, I’m more than happy to be in it!

  1. Jo Lual-Acuil
  2. Jaylen Adams
  3. Bryce Cotton
  4. Mitch Creek
  5. Xavier Cooks

 

Best Defensive Player

I have highlighted previously how the true measure of who is the best defensive player in the league shouldn’t come down to just statistics. That’s why I currently have Matthew Dellavedova on top of the watch list, for his ability to set the tone on the best defensive team in the league.

Delly sits 16th in the league for steals, but if you watch any of United’s games close enough, you can see how his impact transcends that. Fighting over screens, getting in the lane, taking charges, he does it all. The hardest part for anyone right now, is picking any one of the five players from United listed below, as the true standout. They do it by committee, something Dean Vickerman has preached for years, and it’s working wonders.

  1. Matthew Dellavdova*
  2. Xavier Cooks
  3. Tahjere McCall
  4. Zhou Qi
  5. *Any one of - Shea Ili/ Jack White/ Jo Lual-Acuil/ Caleb Agada

 

Most Improved Player

If you’re an Adelaide 36ers fan, it’s hard to fathom just how the season would look, if it weren’t for the consistent production of Cam Bairstow.

He has been a revelation in NBL22 and has shown every Australian basketball fan just what he can do when he’s healthy and firing. A rebounding machine, Bairstow averages nine a game, with over 30% of those being on the offensive end.

He is the NBL's Mr Fundamental, doing all the little things well in his matchups with some of the league’s most dominant big men. It’s also hard to not forget how in the off-season not many teams were willing to take the risk on the injury prone Olympian. Thankfully the 36ers gave him another chance, and he’s taken it with both hands and hasn’t looked back.

  1. Jo Lual-Acuil
  2. Xavier Cooks
  3. Keanu Pinder
  4. Yanni Wetzell
  5. Cam Bairstow

 

Best Sixth Man

He could very well be one of, if not the most, underrated player in the league. Shea Ili is the type of player that any contending team would want to have.

Ili is a defensive nightmare for anyone he matches up on and makes sure that if you want to score 20, you’ll have to work the hardest you ever have for that.

From year to year, Ili has made big strides forward in his game. From a player that every team would force to shoot the ball, to a guy shooting 36% from the three, he has proven to be a dual threat for United. Combine all that with his ability to pass the ball, averaging 4 assists a game and you get a player that every team wants to have, and no one wants to play against.

  1. Kyle Adnam
  2. Xavier Rathan-Mayes
  3. Shea Ili
  4. Keanu Pinder
  5. Brandon Ashley

 

Rookie of the Year

What’s rarer than a solar eclipse? A lot of things, probably, but keeping one of the all-time great’s and league leading scorer to 0 points in a half, is up there.Yes, that takes a big team effort, but Izayah Le’afa was instrumental in that effort last round.

His defensive intensity and ability to be a nuisance to some of the NBL's best scorers is exactly why coach Simon Mitchell has fallen in love with playing the rookie in the big games.

After going through a tough shooting stretch, Le’afa has bounced back over the last few games and started to knock down some shots to go with his defensive assignments. The Phoenix are desperate to have that defensive pressure as part of their identity and Le'afa will lead the way.

  1. Luke Travers
  2. Bul Kuol
  3. Izayah Le’afa
  4. Mason Peatling
  5. Kyrin Galloway

 

Coach of the Year

If the season were to have ended two weeks ago, Scott Roth would have given Dean Vickerman a real run for his money in this award. Two teams with vastly different records on the season, but the Jackjumpers have already succeeded in their inaugural season.

To implant a new culture and watch it grow, is one of the toughest things for anyone taking over a new franchise to do. However Roth has done a tremendous job in the Apple Isle, for a team that went through some early growing pains.

Energy, toughness and playing for one another, are just a few of the traits that make up the JJ’s. if you’re not from Tasmania, it’s hard not to root for them unless they’re playing against your squad.

  1. Dean Vickerman
  2. Scott Roth
  3. Simon Mitchell
  4. Chase Buford
  5. Scott Morrison

 

The views on this page are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBL, its Clubs or partners.

NEWS

Jack White Joins Denver for Summer League

2 days ago

NEWS

“Speechless” Travers Explains NBA Draft Emotions

2 days ago

NEWS

3 NBL Players Selected in NBA Draft

2 days ago

NEWS

Luke Travers Drafted by Cleveland Cavaliers

2 days ago

NEWS

Hugo Besson Drafted by Bucks

2 days ago

NEWS

Dieng to Start NBA Career in OKC

2 days ago

NEWS

JackJumpers Sign Milton Doyle

3 days ago

NEWS

Wildcats to “Move Quickly” on New Coach

3 days ago

NEWS

Scott Morrison to Depart Wildcats for Family Reasons

3 days ago

NEWS

Travers Outperforming Fellow Draft Hopefuls

3 days ago

LaMelo Ball Leads Hawks, Taipans Beat Bullets Again

16 September 2019

Fourth Place Frustration for Boomers in China

15 September 2019

FIBA World Cup Bronze Medal Game | Australia v France Preview

15 September 2019

Prather Shines In United's Big Win, Taipans Smash Bullets

14 September 2019

Starting Five: World Cup Heartbreak

14 September 2019

Spain Again Breaks Boomers Hearts in Double OT

13 September 2019

Watch Live | Illawarra Hawks vs Melbourne United

13 September 2019

FIBA World Cup Semi-Final | Australia v Spain Preview

13 September 2019

Starting Five: Boomers Two Wins from Gold

12 September 2019

Australia Advance to World Cup Final Four

12 September 2019

NBL Partners

Naming Rights
Major Partners
Broadcast & Media Partners
Profile Partners
Suppliers
Associates