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Matching the NBA finalists to our NBL counterparts
As the NBA Finals takes its course and the Australian flavour has well and truly hit American fanatics, why don't we pump up our own, home grown competition that we have? Taking place over the off-season of America's elite competition, the NBL has a plethora of budding superstars just waiting for their opportunity.
Therefore, what an opportunity, midway through a series which is looking to go down in the history books, to compare some of the Cavaliers and Warriors players to those suiting up in the NBL!
Now, bear with me here because the comparisons below will certainly rustle a few feathers and bring out the keyboard warriors. When comparing an NBA superstar to one of our NBL counterparts, it doesn't literally mean they're the same; It means they have similar qualities.
Don't take of of these selections to heart, however certainly, if you have another comparison by all means let it be known!
Golden State Warriors
Weigh has the ability to play in a versatile position on a team which had use for him throughout valuable stretches during a season. While at times, head coach Aaron Fearne chose to play Torrey Craig a little longer, Weigh was always available to step up and hit the big shot. Barnes sits in a similar position; while starting for the Dubs and playing a specific role, he can sometimes go missing through stretches and then fire home an earth shattering jam.
A unique position in the situation for Draymond Green. While the Warrior can defend nearly 2 through 5, he has a soft touch for a big man and can shut down any player required. Petrie is a middle man for the Sixers, where he's presented as a false option at times, allowing the likes of Brock Motum and Daniel Johnson to show their offensive firepower. However, what Petrie doesn't clean up on offense, he makes up on defense, grinding inside for every possession down the floor.
Standing tall, in the middle of the paint, blocking shots and playing some great defence; that's pretty much what both players bring to their respective sides. Both players do have the ability to light up the scoreboard and produce a 20 point, 10 rebound night, however it just doesn't come that often.
The recently acquired Melbourne United riser, 'Vinnie' is on the rise much like his Golden State counterpart. One half of the Splash Bros. Thompson is known to flat out shoot the thing, something former coach Shawn Dennis wanted Blanchfield to achieve during his time in Townsville. Both players are on the up, certainly a duo to look out for!
How familiar that you have Torrey Craig and Stephen Weigh on yet another team! First Barnes and now 'Dre, the impact both players have off the pine is just incredible. Wouldn't you love that type of influence on your team?
All of our Australian players in the NBL - you know, because that's just what we're like yeah? Right?
Well, if it must be one:
It could only be one! The hustle and bustle of our league, Damian Martin is the best representation of what we have in the NBL to call a 'Delly'!
You just have to go with the hair.
You talk about hustle. You talk about heart. You talk about the glue to your team and a valuable, yet not rewarded part of your team. Look no further than the veteran. Mika Vukona.
A relatively unknown and quiet prospect, who hasn't been in the spotlight all that much. However, both parties can still have their moments on both ends of the floor, with Mozgov showing that on the biggest stage of them all with his efforts in Game 1.
A volume shooter who always has the ability to go off on any given night. Look no further than these two.....JR just might do a few extra things on his leisure time.
You thought we'd forgotten the two biggest names in basketball right now (oh, we covered Delly already? Never mind).
In any case, the final two names couldn't be decided with just this seasons crop of NBL stars. Which meant we had to open the vault a year or two to find a player worthy of comparison. Remember, bear with us - it's only similarities.
You can't stop the Rot! He was the most valuable player remember, you know, just like Chef Curry. An absolute star of the competition during his time down under, Clarke was a colt figure on a memorable team. Seeing those Hawks fly home to finish fourth and make the playoffs was something of brilliance; exactly what Steph does on a nightly basis.
Isn't it strange that as soon as Ennis went back to play for Miami, Lebron jumped ship. Maybe the two of them just couldn't play together with only one ball on the court. Ennis was phenominal during his time in Australia and nearly single handedly put the NBL back on the map (relax, I said nearly). LeBron is LeBron and we all know what he's capable of, however Ennis was the revolution this competition needed to bring some life to it, some connection between players and fans.
He may not have won the leagues most prestigious individual award, but neither did LeBron this year and he's the best player in the universe.
There you have it folks, agree or disagree, we have some great players playing in our local competition. While at the same time, isn't it just fantastic that all of us can sit back and watch the greatest players in the world battle it out for the NBA Championship....with a little bit of Australian fever thrown in for good measure!