Nelson banging down door for another NBL crack

MARSHALL Nelson couldn’t have possibly done any more or been more impressive this SBL season to try to get another NBL contract and Perth Redbacks coach Nik Lackovic believes he can thrive if a club is willing to back him in.

Nelson already is no stranger to the NBL having spent a season with the Illawarra Hawks as a development player two seasons ago and then as a fully contracted player this past season.

On the back of that NBL season, he has returned to the Perth Redbacks where he won a championship in 2017 and has taken his game to another level while being given the responsibility and opportunity to be the man on his team.

As a result, Nelson has also ensured he is a genuine MVP candidate proving himself not only a brilliant scorer and shooter, but someone who can play with great control and efficiency while also being able to handle the ball, defend solidly and play with great athleticism and speed.

Nelson is putting up some incredible numbers averaging 28.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game while shooting at 48 per cent from the floor, 44 per cent from three and 80 per cent from the charity stripe.

His season has included massive games of 42 points against the Warwick Senators, 42 points, six assists and five rebounds against East Perth, 38 points, eight boards and six assists against Willetton, and 37 points, nine rebounds and five assists against Cockburn as well.

Even this past Sunday in a win against the Buccaneers, he was superb with 41 points, 13 assists and five rebounds.

He has turned himself into quite the all-round player and Redbacks coach Nik Lackovic couldn’t be happier with the way he's stepped up to bang down the door for another NBL opportunity.

"We understood this year that we would commit to giving some of these young guys a go and to starting the likes of Zac Gattorna every game. You ride the highs and lows with them and you are going to have inconsistencies but Marshall is one of these guys who has been unbelievable," Lackovic said.

"He might have had a bit of a flat spot for a couple of weeks in terms of his efficiency but teams are good in this league, they are well coached and they make strategic plans. He has been a target of other teams but he has been able to work through that and it has been against some really good teams who give him different looks.

"I think, and everyone who I coach against gives me the same feedback, that he is an elite Australian talent and not only in the SBL, but across the country. He can just do things that other guys can't do. He is physically capable of playing regularly in the NBL, he just needs to keep maturing and that's what he is getting this year with us.

"We are putting responsibility on his shoulders as a leader and then it's about him learning to figure things out from a basketball IQ standpoint. We are getting that out of him and everyone can make great plays, and some not so great plays, but that gap from his best to worst is closing for him.

"He is learning to play smarter too in certain situations like when he gets in foul trouble. He is just capable of making plays on the ball and off the ball. He is a deserved kid to be in the NBL because he is the first guy at practice, the first guy putting up extra rep and he's putting in all the work.

"I'm really proud of him, he's a great guy and I definitely think there is a role for him in the NBL and I think once he solidifies that role in a team, they'll be thankful they gave him that chance and long-term, he'll be a great prospect."


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Perth Redbacks Basketball Association acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which the Association is located, the Wadjuk people of the Noongar Boodja, we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We respectfully acknowledge the continuing connection of the Noongar people to the lands and sea on Noongar Boodja.