Eddie Gill’s 27 points in a half, head to head against NBA point guard Patty Mills, is a game which fans in Melbourne won’t soon forget. Thomas Abercrombie’s career high 33 points against the Tigers in a double-overtime thriller was one of the greatest games ever seen in the land of the long white cloud. Even Mat Campbell in his final season gave us something to remember when he hit 17 points en route to the NBL Player of the Week award in round 17. But who had the greatest game of the season?
The Game Score formula is one used often by the NBA. It was created by John Hollinger in order to give a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game. Intended to be an extension of the Player Efficiency Rating Hollinger devised a simpler formula that quantifies how impressive a player’s individual performance is in a given game.
The Hollinger Game Score formula is:
PTS + 0.4 * FG – 0.7 * FGA – 0.4*(FTA – FT) + 0.7 * ORB + 0.3 * DRB + STL + 0.7 * AST + 0.7 * BLK – 0.4 * PF – TOV.
So using the formula we scoured through the box scores in order to determine the Top 10 Individual NBL Performances of the year.
10. Gary Wilkinson: 29 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block in 28 minutes
November 3 – New Zealand Breakers 99 dft. Adelaide 36ers 90
Unfortunately we may not see Gary Wilkinson play another NBL game. Europe seems a likely destination while New Zealand is focused on promoting Alex Pledger to the pivot, leaving no room for the ‘Big Red’. In a mere 28 minutes and shooting a ridiculous 72% from the field Wilkinson was at his best this game. Wilkinson has scored more before, he did so one month after this game when he had a 30 point haul, again against Adelaide, who unfortunately feature in heart breaking losses more times than any other team on this list.
9. Peter Crawford: 30 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals in 34 minutes
December 18 – Melbourne Tigers 93 dft. Townsville Crocodiles 80
Peter Crawford has improved year after year after year, since 2009 Peter Crawford has increased his scoring average every NBL season and in return he may be about to receive the biggest recognition an NBL player can get, a spot on the Boomers Olympic team. He is a deadly three point shooter, this statistic has also improved every season since 2009. Against the Tigers in December ‘PC’ caught fire and served up 30 points which included making 8 of 15 three pointers in 34 minutes. The Crocodiles were unable to get the win that day, but Peter Crawford showed he is a major star in this league.
8. Julian Khazzouh: 26 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks in 36 minutes
October 21 – Sydney Kings 94 dft. Adelaide 36ers 71
Julian Khazzouh was the best player in the NBL for the first two months of the season. The Golden State Warriors thought as much and offered Khazzouh a pre-season trial. Although the Sydney Kings big man’s performance declined after his return from San Francisco and rumours swirl regarding him returning to Europe next season there was no doubt he was the baddest dude in this league for a time this year, not least securing a massive 13 rebounds against the 36ers.
7. Diamon Simpson: 22 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block in 26 minutes
December 4 – Adelaide 36ers 96 dft. Perth Wildcats 84
Diamon Simpson entered the NBL mid-season and played like a man among boys for his entire stay. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this feat is the fact he did it against the incredible front line defence of the Wildcats. Simpson could not be stopped, he shot 83%, filled most statistical categories and led the 36ers to defeat Perth in Perth, which happened only four times this season (Adelaide causing two of them). Simpson has since earned a spot on the Houston Rockets bench and it seems unlikely we will see him again soon, but it sure was nice to watch him go to work like he did that night in Perth.
6. Thomas Abercrombie: 33 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks in 46 minutes
December 2 – New Zealand Breakers 108 dft. Melbourne Tigers 98
Thomas Abercrombie refused to let his team lose as a Patty-Less Tigers team fought valiantly in an amazing double overtime victory. Abercrombie hit big shot after big shot and played a huge 46 minutes while remaining deadly from behind the arc, making 6 from 9 from downtown. Abercrombie had as good of a game as anyone not named Kirk Penny has had in New Zealand. He was Finals MVP in the Breakers first title run and this year got New Zealand its second NBL title despite playing on one leg. Thomas Abercrombie is quickly making people forget about that former Breaker, Kirk…. ummm, whatever his name was, in a hurry.
5. Eddie Gill: 26 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 block in 26 minutes
December 23 – Townsville Crocodiles 100 dft. Sydney Kings 93
Most remember Eddie Gill playing out of his skin in Melbourne, putting 27 points in a half on Patty Mills, but few will remember this game played just prior to Christmas. In a quiet, but brilliant effort Gill hardly missed shooting 8/11 from the field and 5/6 from downtown and the charity stripe. He may have been hot and cold this season for the Croc’s but for 26 minutes, the least amount of anyone on this list, he was hotter than two mice going at it in a woollen sock. Here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of Mr. Gill.
4. Chris Warren: 31 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals in 35 minutes
February 3 – Melbourne Tigers 87 dft. Adelaide 36ers 81
Adelaide didn’t have much to be proud of this season. Propping up the rest of the league from the bottom of the ladder for the majority of the season and besides Daniel Johnson’s development and a couple of wins against the Wildcats, Chris Warren going off for 31 points was about as good as things got. Shooting a great clip of 55% (10/18) from the field, 50% (5/10) from downtown and 100% (6/6) from the free throw line, this was a scoring clinic. Although this night ended with another 36ers loss it was by no lack of effort from Chris Warren.
3. Oscar Forman: 29 points, 7 rebounds in 33 minutes
February 11 – Wollongong 80 dft. New Zealand Breakers 60
It was supposed to be an easy win for the Breakers, but for whatever reason that night Oscar Forman decided to single-handedly deliver the most prized scalp the NBL had to offer. Forman delivered the shooting performance of the year hitting 11/12 (91.7%) from the field which included an amazing 7/7 (100%) from long range. He didn’t even register a turnover during his destruction of the eventual NBL champions.. Wollongong had a difficult season compared to recent years but by building a team around the talented Forman, this team will always be able to knock a giant off its perch any given weekend.
2. Adris Deleon: 29 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steals, 1 block in 34 minutes
February 10 – Gold Coast Blaze 84 dft. Sydney Kings 72
1. Adris Deleon: 33 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block in 31 minutes
March 4 – Gold Coast Blaze 90 dft. Sydney Kings 83
Adris “2Hard2Gaurd” DeLeon must love to play against the Sydney Kings. Delivering 62 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his two games against them were spectacular no doubt, but add to the fact that they were also the top performances of the year is ridiculous. Perhaps if the Blaze are able to retain his rights for next season they should think of playing a couple of home games by the Harbour in 2013.
The “Dominican Destroyer” is comparable to a young Robert Rose in how he is able to keep the statisticians busy, tallying numbers in almost every statistical category. He was the most well rounded player in the NBL this season, exemplified by the top two individual performances for the year. When we spoke to him in our podcast, DeLeon said he loved Australia, so there is a chance there could be even better games from DeLeon in the future… if that’s the case, I would hate to think what those numbers would look like.
THE TOP 30 INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR
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