NBL 2014/15: Early Bird Awards

NBL Awards

It is far too early in the season for awards; which is exactly why we've decided to use the first three rounds as a microcosm and do it anyway. The 2014/15 NBL season has started off with a bang, bringing a few surprises, some familiar sights and of course some major letdowns.

The fantastic staff here at The Pick and Roll selected their nominations for each award. The results are as follows:


Most Valuable - AKA The "I'm the man" Award

The nominees:

Scottie Wilbekin - Cairns Taipans

Brian Conklin - Townsville Crocs

DeAndre Daniels - Perth Wildcats

Cedric Jackson - NZ Breakers

The winner:

Scottie Wilbekin - No real surprise here, the Taipans are off to a 5-0 start and the ex-Florida point guard has been impressive. A quick look at his numbers; 18.8 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3rpg and less than 1 turnover per game! Those lack of turnovers have been imperative for the Taipans who refuse to beat themselves in games (you listening Breakers?!?). The scary thing is that Wilbekin hasn't had to go 'beast mode' yet and watching him you get the feeling its coming - watch out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz1adHWxRDU


Most improved - AKA The "I changed my diet in the off-season" Award

The nominees:

Stephen Weigh - Cairns Taipans

Corey Webster - NZ Breakers

Mitch Creek - Adelaide 36ers

Brian Conklin - Townsville Crocs

The winner:

Corey Webster - I can't decide if the Breakers are better or worse than their record (3-2), however one thing I can say; is that Webster's production has been a key ingredient in their successes. Webster's scoring this season (sans game 1, where he was injured) is at 19 per game, an 11 point jump from last season. He is top 5 in the league in steals and is shooting a healthy 43% from the floor. The Breakers need to run more plays for him as he has not once broken 20 shots on the year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijW8Nw5QD0U


International Player - AKA The "I don't need the D-League" Award

The nominees:

Scottie Wilbekin - Cairns Taipans

Josh Childress - Sydney Kings

DeAndre Daniels - Perth Wildcats

Jahii Carson - Wollongong Hawks

The winner:

Scottie Wilbekin - By virtue of being the MVP he takes this award. Jahii Carson is pretty good though; on a better team perhaps a more dangerous threat for the defense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC2sUTKMhrQ


Sixth-man - AKA The "I would be starting for the Hawks" Award

The nominees:

Cameron Tragardh - Cairns Taipans

Earnest Ross - Perth Wildcats

Tai Wesley - NZ Breakers

Lucas Walker - Melbourne United

The Winner:

Cam Tragardh - The sixth starter for the Taipans, Tragardh has been instrumental in their 5-0 start. A dead-eye shooter, killer Cam is averaging a solid 12.4 ppg and 5.8 rpg, bringing a boost of enthusiasm off the bench. Cam is also a nominee for the "best tattooed sleeve on a white guy" award. Cam's YouTube highlights are awful, so look at these instead.


Rookie - AKA The "New kid on the block" Award

Nominees:

Angus Brandt - Sydney Kings

Tai Wesley - NZ Breakers

Josh Duniker - Sydney Kings

Daniel Kickert - Melbourne United

The Winner:

Tai Wesley - The 28 year old Guam international has been some-what of a revelation for the Breakers this season. Standing at 6 foot 7, the plodding Wesley has shown a robust post-game and an awkward, yet improving shot. Coming off the bench, Wesley has been averaging 7.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg and plays solid defense. As he slowly becomes more comfortable in the Breakers system, he will be an important cog for them going forward. He is also hard as a nut:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXrEHhHEvwc


Defensive Player - AKA The "Not in my house, son" Award

The nominees:

DeAndre Daniels - Perth Wildcats

Damian Martin - Perth Wildcats

Brian Conklin - Townsville Crocs

Mickell Gladness - Townsville Crocs

The Winner is:

DeAndre Daniels - Daniels came into the season with a lot of hype and the expectation he would measure up to 2013/14 MVP candidate James Ennis. With the Wildcats season only 3 games old, he is living up to the billing, not only on the offensive end, where he is averaging an efficient 14.ppg, but it's his defense, where he has been stand-alone; 7.7 rpg, a league leading 2.3 bpg and 2.2 spg - good enough for second in the league. Daniels is a two-way player who is destined to remain in the MVP conversation come crunch time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MQsrMMFuTc


Biggest Bust - AKA The "Greg Oden's knee cartilage" Award

The nominees:

Kendrick Perry - Sydney Kings

Mika Vukona - NZ Breakers

Chris Anstey - Unemployed

David Barlow - Melbourne United

The Winner:

Chris Anstey - Quit/pushed/dropped-nuts after one lackluster game, the over-hyped Melbourne United blubbernaut (opposite of a juggernaut) continues to disappoint at 1-3. Daniel Kickert and Mark Worthington are trying to duct tape this train-wreck, but the squad with so much promise, is so far from contending or making the play-offs. Whilst Anstey can only take the blame for one loss, the hoopla that followed his departure, no doubt contributed to the collateral damage. Anstey is now coaching Josh Childress:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0oT4Oc6ShU


Coach - AKA "The Aaron Fearne's until proven otherwise" Award

The nominee is:

Aaron Fearne - Cairns Taipans

The winner is:

Fearne - At 5-0 and sitting pretty, the Taipans are deservedly the top team in the NBL. They have a balanced offense where each player knows his role, they don't turn the ball over, they play a sound zone defense and they have Scottie Wilbekin. At this stage, it's not even close.


Who Dat - AKA The "Brah, where you been hiding?" Award

The nominees:

Daniel Kickert - Melbourne United

Brian Conklin - Townsville Crocs

Tom Garlepp - Sydney Kings

Jordan McRae - Melbourne United

The winner is:

Brian Conklin - If the Crocs had a better record (2-2), Conklin would be hard to deny for the MVP award. He's averaging a league high 22.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg and is shooting a whopping 53% from the field. For a guy who averaged 16 and 5 last season, he is putting his name in a few baskets; MVP, MIP and Who Dat. I love to see a big-man eat down low, hopefully the big fella can keep it up! He wont be unknown for long:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XJTH8lwUGk

There it is folks. Have we missed anyone? Any terrible calls? Your own picks? Let us know in the comments: