NBL 2013/14: End Of Season Awards
The final round is here which means it’s time for the Pick and Roll to hand out their NBL awards for the year! Below you’ll find a range of awards including both the standard awards the league hands out as well as a couple of extra Pick and Roll specials! Find it all below as Dean Zardo and I go through the season that was, 2013/14.
Most Valuable Player (MVP)
Steve: James Ennis (PER)
James Ennis came into the competition as arguably the biggest scoop in NBL history. The Miami Heat draftee made his claims early for the coveted prize and stood firmly atop of the list from the onset and throughout.
Dean: James Ennis (PER)
Ennis was simply the best player in the best team, with an all-round game and athleticism unmatched by any other in the league. His jump shot was reliable and his ability to get to the rim was spectacular, putting him ahead of the likes of Daniel Johnson and Chris Goulding for the award.
Most Improved Player (MIP)
Steve: Todd Blanchfield (TSV)
Blanchfield stepped on court in his fifth season in a Crocs uniform this year and paid dividends to the undermanned Townsville outfit. With the Crocs unable to empty the bank on imports, Blanchfield was given a much larger role in hope that the team was strong enough to take on the top four.
Averaging 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds, his ability to find the basket or grab a crucial rebound at desperate times was invaluable for a team who was in need of a new leader to emerge for the future.
Dean: Nate Tomlinson (MEL)
Tomlinson went from a backup point guard who, at times, struggled to carry the ball up the floor to one of the league’s best playmakers. He leads the league in assists at 5.4pg and his ability to knock down the corner three has been a big plus for the Tigers, while his defensive intensity and hunger for the contest is as good as any other guard in the competition.
6th Man of the Year (6MOY)
Steve: Jamar Wilson (CRN)
The Taipans import turned heads this season coming off the pine and providing instant offence in a role that was nearly perfect for the silky Wilson.
When push came to shove throughout the season, Cairns were in need of someone who could come up big down the stretch to get the team over the line. Wilson was that man who could weave his way around defenders to find either teammates or the basket.
Dean: Jamar Wilson (CRN)
While many believe Wilson is Cairns’ best player, coming off the bench for most of the season means he is a clear favourite to take out the Sixth Man of the Year award. Despite being inconsistent at times, Wilson got the Snakes over the line on multiple nights and put his side on his back with some huge games, with his ability to get to the rim helping out a Taipans side stacked with shooters.
Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY)
Steve: Damian Martin (PER)
A clear winner here in Martin, no one else comes close to the defensive intensity that the Perth guard brings on the floor each game. With 25 more steals than his next rival (teammate James Ennis) this season, Martin has been the benchmark defensive player of the competition for some time now and it doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon.
Dean: Damian Martin (PER)
Martin is simply unmatched in this category each and every NBL season, with his intensity and ability to lockdown the premier point guards in the league invaluable to Perth. Martin’s 65 steals in the season are more than 25 ahead of the next best (teammate Ennis with 40), but it is the one-percenters and pressure acts that aren’t marked down on the stat sheet that make the Wildcats guard an elite defender.
Coach of the Year (COY)
Steve: Chris Anstey (MEL)
Anstey gets the nod here due to the pre-season form that the Melbourne Tigers entered with. A below average team, with star import Stephen Dennis going down without playing a single regular season minute due to injury.
The team then brought in Ayinde Ubaka and that certainly didn’t work, however, Anstey stuck to his guns and his game plan ended up a success and enough to grab the third spot at the end of the season with a real shot at playing off for the championship.
Dean: Joey Wright (ADL)
Wright has changed the way the Sixers play completely in 2013/14, dragging them from rock bottom to second spot and a home semi-final in just a year. He has gotten the best out of his group and delivered more than double the amount of wins the 36ers achieved in 2012/13, which is a remarkable turnaround for a side which looked hapless at times last season. Bringing in Gary Ervin certainly helped, but the style of play at Adelaide is the biggest reason for the Sixers’ rise up the ladder.
Rookie of the Year (ROY)
Steve: Mitch Young (CRN)
The St Mary’s product was a hit with the Taipans from the get go with influential possessions within the first few games this season.
Young averaged 4.4 points and 3 rebounds a game in his first stint in the NBL.
While there was a lack of rookies, Young was the stand out with Jervis a close second. However, the term ‘rookie’ is thrown around the NBL with different thoughts every time. What really makes up an NBL rookie? This is an argument for another day!
Dean: Tom Jervis (PER)
With Matt Knight missing a big chunk of the season, Tom Jervis has stepped up from the West Australian state league and made an immediate impact to help his side to a 7-0 start. Starting at centre didn’t deter the mature big man, who looked right at home in every game early and managed to keep Knight on the bench for a couple of games as well. Jervis did the little things in a team full of talented stars to help his side dominate the rest of the league.
Biggest Disappointment of the Year
Steve: Cody Ellis (SYD)
The mid to early season hype was based around Sydney late in 2013 with the arrival of Cody Ellis. A huge scoop for the Kings who already had a stacked team full of quality players.
There was a problem in all this though: Ellis never really found his minutes in the Kings rotation and his hype was just that; hype.
How good could Cody Ellis be in the NBL? Well we’ll never really know from looking at this season, as he fell behind the eight ball with rotations thanks mainly to the arrival of Sam Young that followed.
Dean: New Zealand Breakers
Despite the loss of Cedric Jackson, the three-time champions were still expected to challenge for another title this season. Kerron Johnson started the season well and looked a handy replacement, but his side failed to get going and cut fellow import Darnell Lazare as their season derailed very quickly. Gary Wilkinson’s return saw them surge up the ladder but missing the playoffs altogether can only be seen as a massive failure.
Moment Of The Year
Steve: Bubbles’ 50
A sight that no NBL fan will forget this season. It really is something that needs no explanation, you just need to sit back and watch Chris Goulding put on a shooting clinic.
20 from 33 from the field, including nine triples in which some of them had Ray Allen and Reggie Miller stunned.
A Tigers win on the day was the icing on the cake for Bubbles as they took a valuable win over the Kings on their race to the playoffs.
Dean: Chris Goulding’s 50-point masterpiece
With the Tigers needing a win, the out-of-form Goulding caught alight in a shooting display for the ages that had Andrew Gaze very, very excited. The star shot 20-of-33 from the floor and nailed nine three-pointers as he scored over half of the Tigers’ total to lead them to a vital win over Sydney to sew up a finals spot in front of almost 8,000 delirious fans in Melbourne. Enough said.
Imports Likely to Return to NBL in 2014/15
Steve: Jamar Wilson, Brian Conklin, Gary Ervin
Wilson should secure his services for his fourth consecutive year in the NBL, while former MVP Gary Ervin just keeps playing at a high level he’ll find a home in Australia at any age.
Brian Conklin is the new addition to the list, with the American import producing a solid season for the Crocs. I see his play this year earning him another contract in the NBL.
Dean: Gary Ervin, Jamar Wilson, Scott Morrison, Gary Wilkinson, Brian Conklin, Rotnei Clarke
Ervin, Wilson and Wilkinson have been fan favourites in the NBL for years and have justified getting another contract next season with very good performances all year, while Morrison, Conklin and Clarke have been exactly what their teams were looking for, with Clarke in contention for MVP honours in a standout first season as a pro. James Ennis and Sam Young will likely look elsewhere as they look to get back to the NBA in the near future.
Projected All-NBL Teams
G: Chris Goulding G: Rotnei Clarke F: James Ennis F: Sam Young C: A.J. Ogilvy
G: Gary Ervin G: Jermaine Beal F: Mika Vukona F: Anthony Petrie C: Daniel Johnson
G: Damian Martin G: Steven Markovic F: Tom Abercrombie F: Gary Wilkinson C: Brian Conklin
G: Rotnei Clarke G: Chris Goulding F: James Ennis F: Sam Young C: Daniel Johnson
G: Jamar Wilson G: Gary Ervin F: Tom Abercrombie F: Brian Conklin C: AJ Ogilvy
G: Adam Gibson G: Jermaine Beal G: Ben Madgen F: Gary Wilkinson C: Scott Morrison