Chris, also a YouTube host and commentator, gives his view based on three NBL D1 games and the lone L Lynch trophy game from this past weekend, involving six NBL D1 sides.
As part of our regular coverage, you can also check out FocusHoops' Darren Paul and his take on the WNBL1 team of the week!
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 led both teams in scoring as Solent were the run away winners in Saturday’s clash with Loughborough. With the Kestrels remaining unbeaten this season in all competitions, Charles is currently second in the league for average points per game with 25.5ppg.
In an era when players seem to favour the three, Travis Charles proves that it can be just as fruitful to live in the paint and is adept as a face up shooter or with his back to the basket, including a great looking hook shot.
The American forward plays a highly efficient game; shot selection and footwork are both strengths, highlighted by his league second best ranking for total efficiency.
You can catch his highlights below!
On Saturday, the former Barry University student had an impressive NBL debut. According to his former side, Moya possesses a high basketball IQ, is a leader and also very competitive. All that was evident and more against Derby, leading his team in both points (21) and assists (7).
Trailing 31-40 at half time, Moya also stepped up a gear to contribute a further 12p/1r/6a/1s across the game's final 20 minutes, swinging the contest in the Knight's favour.
These two teams locked horns again in the Lynch Trophy 22 hours later with Moya putting together a 9p/4r/8a performance. Unfortunately Derby got revenge on the score board but on the back of these two performances, the Florida native is quickly becoming a playmaker to watch out for.
In an impressive double-double performance, NBL debutant Williams exerted his dominance in Reading's game vs Worthing.
Displaying some great energy to pull down defensive boards, start fast breaks, find his team mates and generally filling up the stat sheet, the former Appalachian State man led his team in points (23), rebounds (13), assists (7) , +/- (17) and efficiency (29).
The US import's NBL debut followed up from some strong performances in the L Lynch Trophy, adding weight to presumptions that Williams may well be one of the stand-out players this season.
Orlan Jackman makes the team this week following a solid 20 minutes of play in the emphatic win vs Loughborough. The 2018 Commonwealth Games man showed strength in the paint at both ends of the court and earnt the most trips to the charity strip for the Kestrels, making 7-8 including a converted and-one possession.
From a playmaking perspective, Jackman was one of five Kestrels' players to record four or more assists, and two of those were 3-point plays. Quite the performance from the former BBLer.
Derby may not have won Saturday’s game against Newcastle but captain Oliver Stanley put on a mammoth double-double performance that kept the Trailblazers in contention. Stanley led his team in points (22), rebounds (20) and was tied leader for steals and blocks (1 each).
A 14p/12r/1a double-double first half performance from 15:35 on court was a major factor in Derby’s nine-point half time lead.
Looking through Basketball England’s database, 20 rebounds also represents an NBL1 personal best for Stanley, who recorded eight double-doubles last season.
Solent Kestrels so often put the Team in Team Solent Kestrels. It was a dominant performance in which a handful of players made cases for a Team of the Week selection or a place in our honourable mentions.
Solent almost doubled Loughborough’s 20-assist performance with 36, shared across all but two players.
As always, American guard Ian Smith was a catalyst to the Kestrels' success. Smith was on the floor for seven of Solent's 10 made 3’s, directly assisting on two of them. Solent shot 50 3P% with Smith on the floor compared to 27% without him (7-14 to 3-11).
The Rebound preview show panel, myself included, were unanimous in predicting a tough day at the office for the newly promoted Team Newcastle. Boy did they prove us wrong with their win versus Derby!
A key to that was veteran Charles Smith proved age is just a number with a 13p/9r/4a/1s/2b performance. Last seen at BBL side Newcastle Eagles in 2016, Charles Smith was part a quintet of players who scored double digits in the home win.
US import Ronald Blain looks like one to watch, provided 18 points off the bench whilst adding athleticism and flair to a side that averaged over 20 fast break points this weekend.
The likes of Blain, Smith and Brandon Federici were not too far from making our honourable mentions.
Ian Smith (TSK) - 9P/5R/7A/3S/1B/21EFF
Brendan Okoronkwo (TSK) - 19P/4R/4A/2S/20EFF
Blake Bowman (DTR) – 18P/5R/2A/3S/1B/24EFF (Sunday in L Lynch Trophy)
Malcolm Smith (DTR) - 23P/5R/7A/27EFF (Sunday in L Lynch Trophy)
Leome Francis (REA) – 15P/10R/1A/2S/21EFF
Main image credit - Luke Simcock
18 Jan 2021