A Tyler Harvey floater with 2.8 seconds remaining has extended the Illawarra Hawks' undefeated start to the NBL season in a 97-96 double-overtime home…
This is how the Kiwi outfit shaped up last season.
Scotty Hopson 9/10
He is one of the stars of the league. He is an absolute game winner who proved himself time and time again with many game-winning shots. He was the key component to the New Zealand Breakers’ late resurgence to a possible finals berth. Sadly an injury ruined his chances of winning the NBL MVP this season. He averaged nearly 20 points and led the Breakers in assists per game, which shows that he had a consistent year when on the court. Hopson also averaged nearly 40 per cent from the three-point line, which highlights his efficiency. He managed a plus-minus differential of almost 10-plus, showing he improved his teammates and his team when he was on the field. I hope we can see him in the league and if so with the New Zealand Breakers.
Sek Henry 7.5/10
He is another great import recruit for the New Zealand Breakers. He was player that always gave 110 per cent, even trying to play when injured. Henry showcased his athleticism all throughout the season and didn’t look like slowing down. His effort in defence and offence was a pleasure to watch and he recorded some pretty impressive numbers. He averaged 13 points a game and showed that he can shoot consistently at a high conversion rate. Henry had a 50 per cent field-goal percentage and nearly a 40 per cent three-point percentage for the season. Sek Henry has earned himself another contract in the NBL because he has proven that he can compete in this league.
Finn Delany 7/10
After an injury-interrupted start to the year, Delany ended up having a pretty good year. He progressed well and came up in big moments, especially in the Breakers’ run for a playoff spot. You can see that his NBA Dallas Mavericks stint in the Summer League helped him. Delany seemed to have worked on his three-point shooting as he averaged over 40 per cent. He just recently re-signed with the New Zealand Breakers, which works out well for both parties. Hopefully this job security can help even further with progressing his game to an elite level.
Tom Abercrombie 7.5/10
The New Zealand Breakers legend turned back to clock and produced his best year since 2015. He averaged over 46 per cent from the three-point line and was the second player in NBL history to record a 50, 40, 90, which is recording shooting conversion rates of 50 per cent or more from the field, 40 per cent or more from the three-point line and 90 per cent or more from the free-throw line. This is such an impressive effort stat for a 32-year-old. He was set to have another down year but he proved doubters wrong and showed that he still has what it takes to compete at a high level in the NBL.
RJ Hampton 5.5/10
He had an okay season without lighting up the league like he set out to do. He produced some alright numbers but never produced any big games. He was more played as a back-up point guard, which didn’t see him get as many minutes as he would have liked but I’m not sure if he really earned any extra minutes anyway. He did show enough potential that he will be a good NBA player in years to come. Like LaMelo Ball he suffered an injury before deciding to leave before the season ended, which is another reason for his lower rating.
Brandon Ashley 7/10
Despite having trouble with getting fouled out of games, when Brandon Ashley was on the field he played a great role. His role was increased in importance when Rob Loe was out with an injury. He did have some big games and still managed to average over ten points a game when most of his games and minutes were cut short due to his personal foul woes. If he avoided the personal fouls he could have had an even better year. Another import that the New Zealand Breakers have recruited this year that has a future in the NBL if he wants to.
Jarrad Weeks 5.5/10
Even though it was a fairly big drop in statistics, it was still a decent season for Jarrad Weeks, which saw the role-player journeyman see some big minutes in some games. He definitely held his own when needed. Volume was never at a high but he provided good cover for his teammates. He played well defensively and was able to make shots if required. Three-pointers were shot at a high rate. This year is a pass for him because he proved that he has life in the NBL.
Rob Loe 6.5/10
Rob Loe suffered a horrific skull fracture injury early in the season that hindered most of his season. He did manage to still play a considerable amount of games and in his return he had a great run of form. For a big man he can almost do everything – even shoot at a pretty good standard. He was even good enough to earn himself a fresh new three-year deal, which is very rare in the NBL. Hopefully he can have an uninterrupted season next year and improve his game even further.
Corey Webster 6/10
Wanting to leave before the season started, it also was an interrupted season for Corey Webster. When he did play, he put up some pretty good numbers. He averaged nearly 20 points a game and had a three-point conversion percentage of almost 40 per cent. He only managed 11 games this season as it was cut short due to the offer from Chinese Basketball Association team the Zhejiang Lions. He did sign a new deal to return to the Breakers next season so hopefully he can have a better year.
Glen Rice Jr 1/10
I commend New Zealand Breakers owner Matt Walsh for taking the chance on Glen Rice Jr because he is such an amazing talent. Even though it didn’t work out due to the off-field incidents, he certainly showed that he could play very well in the NBL. In his three games he averaged 25 points per game. It’s such a shame that we won’t see him in the league ever again.