Chris, a content producer, YouTube host and commentator, casts his eye over the five games involving NBL Division One teams from Week 15, including the three BBL trophy first round ties
Have your say on this week's choices and give a shout-out to the players you think deserve one using the hashtag #NBL2021. Don't forget to tag us!
The Basketball England NBL Player of the Week goes straight into the starting line-up.
The other four players are picked with the following factors in mind:
Travis Charles produced one of his best performances for Team Solent Kestrels versus an 8-1 (11-2 in all competitions) Derby Trailblazers side to secure a spot in the BBL Trophy second-round draw.
Charles managed the above stat line in less than 27 minutes of play, shooting a very efficient 15-20 FG - the king of mid-range wasn’t going to be stopped.
The third quarter was the highest scoring for Solent as so often is the case, as they led with a 33-18 quarter score. From seven minutes of action, Travis contributed 10p/2r/1a/1s. One of his rebounds was for a second-chance 2-pointer and his sole assist set up captain Elliot Dadds for a three.
Greg Poleon had two great games this weekend. First up versus a BA London Lions side the former Pace University forward pushed his side to the victory. Six points in the final quarter ensured his side got the three-point win.
In the BBL Trophy, Poleon was the most efficient player in the game, even on the losing side against BBL outfit Cheshire.
The tie felt effectively lost in the 29-13 second quarter even though Hemel won the second half 34-29. When Poleon was subbed out in the second quarter, Cheshire went on a 20-3 run to finish the half 48-29 up.
Taylor Johnson was two rebounds and an assist shy of a triple-double as Thames Valley Cavaliers almost secured a second-round place in the BBL Trophy against the top league’s Surrey Scorchers.
On three occasions in the fourth quarter the former Leicester Warriors star’s buckets regained the lead but unfortunately it was not enough to win the game. With 4.6s remaining Johnson’s three looked to have won the game before Cameron Hildreth’s game-winner for Surrey.
Johnson shot the light out in the first half only missing two trey balls and finished the game on 10-15 FGM and 2-6 3PM and almost perfect 10-11FTM.
O’Showen Williams stacked the stat sheet against Bradford to help Reading to seventh place with a 3-3 record. It was a shooting masterclass from the former App State guard and shot 6-10 threes. O’Showen has previous for multiple threes in a single game. Almost a year ago Williams went 10-20 from beyond the arc for his college side.
The US import’s performance versus Bradford further backs up claims that the skilful guard is one of the league’s premier shooters. O’Showen current average of 20.8PPG is eighth in the league’s leaderboard.
Williams backed up last weekend’s top performance with a 26-point 10-rebound double-double as Leicester go 1-10. The 7”0 big is tough to guard and led all scorers in this game.
The former BBL, NCAA D1 and GB under 20 star is a great acquisition for the East Midlands side.
Leicester started the final quarter trailing by two points and Williams helped his side at both ends in the fourth. He led his side in scoring with eight points and , in the dying moments of the game, it was William’s defence that got his side the dub. In the last 95s Williams got a vital block and two defensive rebounds.
This weekend Thames Valley Cavaliers, Hemel Storm and Derby Trailblazers all played well and showed just why you should not sleep on NBL sides. But after the first round of the BBL Trophy it was Team Solent Kestrels left as the only NBL side remaining in the competition.
They will face Surrey Scorchers away as they look to repeat last season’s heroics of reaching the final.
The Kestrels love a third quarter and it was no different against Derby with a 33-18 third-quarter score.
They started the quarter in full steam with back-to-back defensive stops with Elliot Dadds getting back-to-back blocks to lead all players on two.
As a team, Solent shot 15-22 (68FG%) in the third and from 6 minutes of action in the period Travis Charles got 10p/2r/1a/1s.
Defensively Solent really caught the eye, with an above average seven team blocks and they out-rebounded Derby by 19. Solent did concede 11 turnovers but limited their hosts to six points from turnovers.
Honourable mentions to Orlan Jackman 14p/7r/1a/1b/+34/13eff and Ian Smith who was three rebounds shy of a triple-double with 10p/7r/12a/1s/1b/+26/22eff.
Reading Rockets managed back-to-back road wins in the 21-point win versus Bradford. This is their second win in as many weeks at the Wildcats Arena.
O’Showen Williams led his side in scoring once again, this time with 30 points. Williams and Reading Rockets seem to like playing in this gym. This Bradford side are no pushovers and Reading at times seemed to struggle for answers on how to face Great Osobor.
However, the Rockets managed to keep veteran duo Ricky Fetske and Rihard Sulcs to 21 points combined which is no easy task.
The likes of Sam Toluwase, Reis Pinnock and Leome Francis earn honourable mentions for vital contributions at both ends. There were also impressive cameos off the bench for Latrell Maitland and Live Kivuvu.
Hakeem Sylla (THA) – (@SS) 22P/13R/1A/1B/27EFF – (@NEW) 27P/13R/1A/1B/33EFF
Zaire Taylor (WOR) – 16P/2R/6A/6S/1B/23EFF
Howard Crawford (WOR) – 24P/8R/4A/28EFF
Victor Olarerin (NOT) – 25P/9R/2S/1B/32EFF
Great Osobor (BRA) – 27P/6R/1A/2S/1B/27EFF