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NBL Mid-Season Award Winners
With the commencement of Round 11 right around the corner, we're right in the thick of this current NBL season. With that, it's time to evaluate who are the front runners for the end of season awards. The MVP and All NBL team have been discussed in the first part of our NBL round table. So let's take a look at the rest of the awards.
Coach of the Year
Joey Wright (Adelaide 36ers)
Many would argue the case for first time NBL head coach Andrew Gaze. His Sydney Kings currently sit on top of the ladder. However when comparing the Kings and 36ers on paper, Gaze would appear to have more proven talent at his disposal. Joey Wright has taken a young team to 2nd on the ladder. All while captain Mitch Creek has only featured in a handful of games. Wright's ability to nurture young talent, while also getting the best out of superstars like Jerome Randle, has him as the mid season COY. Plus no one can deny that his Twitter game is strong.
Sixth Man of the Year
Rotnei Clarke (Illawarra Hawks)
The former MVP started the season off well, however slowed not too long after. But a move to the second unit has bought the best out of him. In his 10 games in the starting lineup Clarke averaged 13.7 points and 2.4 assists per game. But in his 5 games coming off the bench, he is averaging 23.4 points and 2.8 assists per game. If Rob Beveridge continues to bring him into the game after the tip, and Clarke can maintain his level of play the award will be his.
Most Improved Player
Nathan Sobey (Adelaide 36ers)
This one is as easy as it comes, it's Nathan Sobey and then the length of the Flemington straight. The Adelaide high flyer has been a revelation this season, and the numbers speak for themselves. Last year he averaged 4.04 points, 0.89 assists, and 1.67 rebounds per game. So far this season he is averaging 15.36 points, 3.43 assists, and 4.79 rebounds per game. It seems his season dominating the Big V has done him wonders.
Defensive Player of the Year
Greg Whittington (Sydney Kings)
The DPOY race is arguably the tightest of all of the awards. However Sydney King's import Greg Whittington has the stats to back him up. He sits 3rd in the league for blocks per game (1.29) and 4th for steals per game (1.59). While the defence that he anchors is the best in the league. The Kings only allow 80.9ppg, and Greg Whittington is a major part of that.
Rookie of the Year
Majok Deng (Adelaide 36ers)
The field of legitimate ROY contenders is relatively small. Majok Deng leads the group, he has been effective in the limited opportunity he has been given. In 10.7 minutes per game, he averages 4.77 points and 2.15 rebound. Deng has shown glimpses of brilliance, and it is clear he has a very bright future ahead of him.