Breaking Down the NBL's Most Improved Players

The Contenders SHEA ILI (New Zealand) – Big difference in preparation coming into this season compared to last and it definitely showed on the floor. Played at a near starter level during the first half of the season which saw him as the clear front-runner for this award. He’s had a huge usage rate, has closed a bunch of games and has looked in far more control of his shot-creation and play-making. Still a bit inconsistent as a shooter and scorer but he has had his moments there to go along with his good defensive efforts. Season MINS PTS FTA REB AST EFG% TS% TOV% AST% OREB% USG% PER 36 +/- 2017-18 540 9.3 3.4 2.8 3.0 44.3 50.6 15.5 23.5 7.3 30.8 2.3 2016-17 312 4.4 2.0 1.9 1.5 37.9 44.1 24.1 11.8 3.4 21.7 -6.6 TAI WESLEY (Melbourne) – Rounded his game out like never before with improved decision making. Made the leap to be an ‘All NBL’ level player. Wesley had been almost a black hole at times in the past but he is now an improved passer and more selective with what shots he is taking. His scoring efficiency has gone way up as he’s found the right balance of three-pointers and when to pass and post up. He’s a smart defender and rebounder who can play both big man positions and contribute to winning on both ends. Season MPG PTS REB AST PAINT FG% 3P% TS% AST% DREB% OREB% PER36 +/- 2017-18 24.3 11.4 5.4 2.8 56.4 38.6 57.7 20.3 17.4 8.8 7.9 2016-17 18.2 8.8 3.5 1.3 50.4 30.1 49.3 12.2 14.9 7.0 0.8 MITCH MCCARRON (Cairns) – Significant increase in minutes and role. Went from impact player to the team’s Most Valuable Player. Strong enough, quick enough and smart enough to be able to play positions one through three and impact the game on both ends. Stepped up his ball carrying duties and created more for his teammates, whilst his rebounding went up another level – elite for his position. His scoring also went up with his increased role, although he still needs to be better than a below average finisher in the paint. Season MPG PTS REB AST STL AST% STL% BLK% DREB% OREB% 2017-18 30.7 11.3 6.8 3.0 1.3 17.0 2.3 1.1 18.1 9.1 2016-17 20.2 7.2 3.8 1.3 0.5 11.0 1.3 0.5 15.7 7.1 MITCH CREEK (Adelaide) – A player who has always had potential but injury has largely held him back. He is now one of the best locals in the league playing at an ‘All NBL’ level. He is completely in control of his game playing to his strengths and limitations perfectly. He’s a Defensive Player of the Year contender, switching onto almost anyone from positions one through five, whilst he is also a physical force on offense getting to the rim or free throw line and finishing at an absurdly efficient rate. Season MINS PTS TS% PAINT FG% FT% FTR TOV% 2017-18 648 14.4 71.1 71.0 78.5 61.1 12.9 2016-17 511 12.1 63.5 62.1 69.5 50.0 15.6 REUBEN TE RANGI (Brisbane) – Looks like he has cemented his spot in the league again after a couple of lost seasons. Played some handy roles to good effect, including some more time at power forward. Stepped up his usage and importantly shot the ball well enough that he can be seen as a three-and-D option again. Season MPG PTS REB EFG% 3P% FT% DREB% OREB% USG% TOV% 2017-18 19.1 7.0 2.6 53.4 38.2 74.3 11.0 5.2 23.3 16.0 2016-17 13.1 2.6 1.4 47.1 26.9 64.0 9.7 4.0 17.4 30.0

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