NBL Talking Points | Round One
|Peter Munt||Oct 15, 2018|
Round one of the 2018/19 NBL season is done and dusted in front of record crowds.
There has been plenty of talking points to start the NBL season. It took us until the last game of round one to see a home team reward their fans with a win. There were only two teams to come out of the round undefeated and we have seen a record number of fans walk into NBL stadiums this season.
Let's take a look at three takeaways from round one...
New record attendance set for round one
The NBL announced last night that the previous record of 48,007 set in round one of 1995 has been beaten. Edging closer to that magical 50,000 mark, NBL fans turned out in droves as 48,820 turned up to watch the round one action.
The major cities saw the highest crowds. The Sydney Kings saw their third highest attendance in history with 10,761 fans turning out to see Andrew Bogut's debut. The red army turned out in droves to see a one sided affair in Perth with 12,853 fans packing the RAC Arena.
It was a major coup for the NBL to have such a fantastic start to the season. The league has been on the tip of a lot of fans tongues since last season finished, with high profile signings and the latest NBAxNBL series across the United States this past month. The NBL brain trust should be nothing short of excited to continue to see the game grow, this record round one attendance is on the back of a record number of attendees for the whole of last season.
Attendances for Opening Round:
New Zealand v Brisbane – 5,157
Adelaide v Perth – 5,836
Illawarra v Melbourne – 2,688
Sydney v Adelaide – 10,761
Brisbane v Cairns – 3,196
Melbourne v NZ – 8,329
Perth v Illawarra – 12,853
Welcome Melo Trimble.
Have we seen a more exciting start to an NBL campaign than what Melo served up against the Bullets?
Let's just take a peek at his stat sheet...
61% from the field
14/16 from the free throw line
He guided the unheralded Cairns Taipans to what many would have thought to be an upset, over what seemed to be a rampaging Bullets outfit that took the Breakers to school a couple of nights earlier.
The former Maryland product arrived in Australia after spending the off season playing for the Chicago Bulls Summer League squad. Trimble, 23, was a McDonald’s All-American in high school, before spending three years at the University of Maryland. The 6’3 point guard averaged 15.9 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game, At Maryland, before going undrafted in 2017.
He spent most of last season with the Iowa Wolves, in the NBA G-League, averaging 16.1 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.5 rebounds, over 48 games.
Trimble completely took over the game and Cairns will be hoping there will be more of these standout performances to come if they are going to a threat throughout NBL19.
The epic that was a 4OT thriller
As we approached round one, many would have thought that Illawarra's first home game was always going to be a challenge. But no one would have thought that the Hawks would take it up to Melbourne United like they did.
Both teams showed an incredible amount amount of grit as they embarked into four extra periods before the eventual winner was crowned.
It was only the second time in NBL history that required four extra periods before the game was decided.
Todd Blanchfield turned up in a big way against his former team. He shot a game high 26 points, whilst dropping 6 threes shooting at 50%.
Eventual winners Melbourne seemed to be counting the cost of the extended match up. Both Josh Boone and David Kennedy struggled to get through the match up, with both of them seemingly playing on one leg. In the back up match up against the Breakers, Kennedy didn't suit up, whilst Boone played sparingly.
Whilst it was critical to get an away win. Melbourne could be counting the cost if the pair were to miss an extended time on the court. United's legs were due to be a bit weary after they arrived back in Melbourne last Monday on the back of the NBAxNBL series.
Looking to round two
Round two kicks off on Friday night with the Sydney Kings travelling to Titanium Security Arena to take on the 36ers. The Kings will be looking for payback after going down in round one.
Both the Kings and 36ers will jump back onto the road. The 36ers will travel across the Tasman to take on the Breakers, whilst the Kings travel to Melbourne to take on a United outfit that will want bounce back after an opening home loss to the Breakers.
In other match ups the Wildcats take on the Bullets at home and Cairns welcome Illawarra to the Cairns Convention Centre for their matchup.