All offence, less defence: can the Perth Wildcats win in the postseason?
They're the best offensive team in the NBL, but they're also the league's worst defensive unit. Could the Perth Wildcats shoot their way to a deep postseason run?
Credit: JBC Studios
All stats from Spatial Jam are correct as of January 28, when last updated.
The Sydney Kings were flying high heading into round 16 of the NBL season. Winners of their last six games and sitting comfortably atop the ladder, they had every reason to think they would just keep on rolling. Instead, they were taken down a notch by the Perth Wildcats, who welcomed the defending champions into RAC Arena and handed them their first loss in more than a month.
How did it happen? According to Kings coach Chase Buford, the answer was simple. “They shot the piss out of it,” Buford said following the loss. “Credit to Perth, they played super well offensively… [it] seemed like they made a lot of shots over hands sometimes – all the big ones they needed to make, they made.”
It’s hard to fault Buford and his team for that – after all, the Wildcats have been ‘shooting the piss out of it’ for the vast majority of the season. They have been the league’s best offensive team by a wide margin, scoring 118.2 points per 100 possessions to sit almost two full points ahead of the next team, per Spatial Jam. With three-time NBL MVP Bryce Cotton once again leading the way and supported by a wealth of offensive weapons, they have poured in 90 or more points in 14 of their last 15 games, blowing away some of the league’s best defensive units.
Why, then, are Perth still stuck on the play-in bubble, sitting sixth with a 14-12 record?
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