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NBL PotW: Great Scott, surely not

QUALITY individual performances were in abundance across this NBL round, but ultimately it came down to a battle between two clearly outstanding candidates.

Feel like you've read that before?

You may have here yesterday when applied to our WNBL Player of the Week. Even the league agreed with our selection but the NBL is no easier this round.

Out of our two leading candidates, which ever one missed out was going to be desperately unlucky but before we go to the whiteboard for who, why and how, let's acknowledge who else did well.

The league's off-court battler Glen Rice Jr showed again he is most at home between the court lines with 30 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in NZ's loss to Cairns.

Perth power forward Nick Kay enjoyed a welcome return to his best with 19 points, 13 rebounds in the Kings rout, then backed that up with 18 points and 12 boards in the win over South East Melbourne.

Mitch Creek had a career-best 31 points for the Phoenix in that one, and Terrico White also was rolling for the Wildcats with 19 points after his 20 against Sydney.

It would be remiss not to mention Tai Wesley's return from injury, especially after he scored almost immediately after subbing in for Phoenix, then followed up with a drive on his way to a 15-point comeback game.

How amazing were Melbourne centre Shawn Long and Adelaide star Eric Griffin both going off for career-high 34-point games in the same match?

Brisbane's Lamar Patterson nailed an equal-season best 36 points in the road loss to NZ after leading all scorers with 19 in the win over Illawarra.

And Cairns' DJ Newbill was simply sensational with 31 points in Cairns' win over Sydney after sticking 20 at home against NZ. Sometimes it isn't so much the shots Newbill makes as precisely when he makes them. He steps up in the clutch, as did Casper Ware with 21 points in the last quarter for Sydney against the Taipans, ultimately in vain.

Kouat Noi, Majok Deng, Mirko Djeric, Cam Oliver, Cairns had no shortage of great performances.

The two players who stuck out for us here in the Basketball On The Internet Offices, Antique Assessment and Shoe Repairs store though were Perth superstar Bryce Cotton and Cairns' star import PG Scott Machado.

Cotton was at his best as he led the Wildcats to a stunning 19-point win over Sydney - the margin flattering the Kings - with 27 points and four assists.

He backed that up against South East Melbourne with another 26-point haul to effectively right Perth's ship, setting sail again, full steam ahead. It becomes easy to take Cotton for granted, such is his reliable brilliance.

Machado on the other hand is the blueprint for the next great NBL PG and Cairns need to lock him up beyond this season ends or risk seeing him go the way of Ayinde Ubaka, Jamar Wilson, Scottie Wilbekin, Markel Starks, Travis Trice, Scoochie Smith and Melo Trimble.

In the all-the-way win over the Breakers, Machado had 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting (2-of-4 threes), three rebounds, seven assists and a steal.

Against Sydney, Machado delivered 21 points (2-of-4 threes), seven rebounds, nine assists and two steals. For the round he averaged 21.5 points at 48 percent, 5.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.5 steals. Significantly, he had Casper Ware shut down long enough for Cairns to set up their biggest win of the season, not counting their Wildcats rout in Perth.

It meant Machado just pipped Cotton as our Player of the Week for Round 10.

Round 1 Mitch Creek (SEM Phoenix)
Round 2 John Roberson (SEM Phoenix)
Round 3 Andrew Bogut (Sydney Kings)
Round 4 Bryce Cotton (Perth Wildcats)
Round 5 Shawn Long (Melbourne United)
Round 6 LaMelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks)
Round 7 Melo Trimble (Melbourne United)
Round 8 LaMelo Ball (Illawarra Hawks)
Round 9 Daniel Johnson (Adelaide 36ers)
Round 10 Scott Machado (Cairns Taipans)

Dec 10

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