Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019
Stats That Matter – Best Offence, Worst Defence And The Quarterman Factor
The first half of the Sal's NBL season has provided us with a good snapshot of the nine-team competition and if all goes to plan from here the stats tell us that this year's championship is a race in three - the Saints, Hawks and Rams.
The current top three teams are the only ones in a positive for/against position with the Saints a clear frontrunner, while it is the Rams' stingy defence that is of the most intrigue, particularly if you believe the age-old adage that 'defence wins titles'.
Let's take a look at the team stats behind the current Sal's NBL ladder. In all lists each team's current ladder position is in brackets.
POINTS FOR - THE BEST OFFENCE
- Hawke's Bay Hawks (2nd) - 105pts per game
- Wellington Saints (1st) - 104pts per game
- Southland Sharks (4th) - 98pts per game
- Manawatu Jets (9th) - 92pts per game
- Nelson Giants (6th) - 91pts per game
- Canterbury Rams (3rd) - 89pts per game
- Southern Huskies (5th) - 88pts per game
- Taranaki Mountainairs (7th) - 87pts per game
- Supercity Rangers (8th) - 83pts per game
POINTS AGAINST - THE BEST DEFENCE
- Canterbury Rams (3rd) - 76pts per game
- Wellington Saints (1st) - 83pts per game
- Southern Huskies (5th) - 91pts per game
- Nelson Giants (6th) - 93pts per game
- Hawke's Bay Hawks (2nd) - 95pts per game (94.8pts)
- Supercity Rangers (8th) - 95pts per game
- Taranaki Mountainairs (7th) - 99pts per game
- Manawatu Jets (9th) - 103pts per game
- Southland Sharks (4th) - 103pts per game (103.3pts)
POINTS SPREAD +/-
- Wellington Saints +21
- Canterbury Rams +13
- Hawke's Bay Hawks +10
- Nelson Giants -2
- Southern Huskies -3
- Southland Sharks -5
- Manawatu Jets -11
- Taranaki Mountainairs -12
- Supercity Rangers -12
FIVE TALKING POINTS
- The Sharks need to lift their defence in a hurry. While they can score (3rd best in the league) they are very vulnerable at the defensive end (worst in the league) and this is a huge worry for the reigning champs at the midway point of the season. If they can't rectify their defensive struggles in the coming weeks they will either be making up the numbers at the Final 4 or will miss the chance to defend their title altogether.
- The Rams are building their title hopes on hard-nosed defence. When you consider they have arguably the hardest schedule in the league, playing the Saints three times and the Huskies away twice, the Rams look very well placed to figure prominently when the business end of the season arrives.
- The Saints have ended the first half of the season with a dominant +21pts spread and from here they are easily the favourites to win this year's title. In fact, given their dominance over the competition thus far, anything less than the title could be seen as underachieving. When you consider one of their nine wins was a 2pt thriller against the Jets, their +/- is through the roof. Even at +21pts they are on average more than 10 made field goals better than any other team.
- The Giants sit 3-7 at the halfway mark and will most likely miss the Final 4 (they would need to at the very least win 6 of their last 8 games), but with a -2 rating they seem likely to finish as the 'unlucky loser' of too many close games.
- The Rangers are last for offence and would arguably be far worse off if not for Tim Quarterman's efforts. The former NBA Trailblazer is scoring a whopping 35.2% of his team's points, a huge haul when you consider Jalen Billups delivers 27.1% of the Huskies' points, while EJ Singler (18.8%) and Ethan Rusbatch (17.7%) are both offensive powerhouses for the Hawks, yet sit in a far more even team. When you look at his last five games the crafty guard is scoring 42.4% of his team's points. Quarterman will most likely finish as the league's leading scorer this season, however more to the point where would the Rangers be this season without him?
Photo Credit: Photorsportnz