Shane Heal has often said in commentary this year that he’d like to see Bullets skipper Adam Gibson shoot the ball more.
Heal wasn’t at the Brisbane Convention Centre on Monday night for the Bullets’ four-point loss to the Perth Wildcats, but watching the FoxSports coverage he would have liked what he saw from the veteran guard.
Playing his 359th NBL game, Gibson shot a career-best five-pointers in posting an equal season-high 17 points in the 68-72 loss.
This topped his previous best single-game haul of four long bombs.
His fifth triple early in the final quarter was his 100th for the Bullets, and made him the 15th player to post a three-point century for the founding club of the NBL.
— NBL (@NBL) January 9, 2017
The Bullets’ all-time list of three-point baskets is headed, not surprisingly, by the imperious Leroy Loggins with 652.
Heal, who began his NBL career with the Bullets as a 17-year-old, is second on the list with 477, followed by Ron Radliff (442), Derek Rucker (438), Simon Kerle (325) and Stephen Black (318).
Current assistant-coach CJ Bruton (285) is ranked seventh, with Randy Rutherford (254), Steve Woodberry (223) and Ben Castle (206) completing the top 10.
Others in triple figures are Ebi Ere (195), Michael Hill (186), Dave Colbert (148) and Damien Ryan (104).
Heal, who averaged 3.51 three-pointers per game in his time with the Bullets, has been the club’s most prolific long-range marksman on an average basis from Rutherford (3.06 per game) and Rucker (3.04 per game).
Gibson is shooting the ball from beyond the three-point line as well as at any time in his career.
He’s made 29-72 this season at 40.3% in comparison to the 71-190 (37.4%) in his first stint with the Bullets from 2006-08, and his career three-point numbers of 419-1193 (35.1%).
Gibson is locked in a three-way battle with Torrey Craig and Jermaine Beal for aggregate three-point honors in the club’s return to the NBL this season. Craig and Beal each have made 31 triples.,
The Bullets trio rank just outside the NBL’s top 10 for three-point baskets, which features New Zealand’s Kirk Penney (67), Illawarra’s Rotnei Clarke (52), Melbourne’s Chris Goulding (51), Sydney’s Kevin Lisch (48) and Jason Cadee (45), Illawarra’s Oscar Forman (36), Sydney’s Brad Newley (35) and Melbourne’s Casper Ware (35), New Zealand’s Thomas Abercrombie (34) and Cairns’ Cameron Gliddon (33).
Gibson, now with four consecutive scores in double-figures, continued his increased offensive out-put when he led the Bullets’ scoring for the first time this season in their hard-fought loss to the Wildcats.
It was a game which featured some stand-out individual performances from a Brisbane side which now sits sixth on the NBL ladder with a 9-11 win/loss record, one win plus percentage outside the top four.
Torrey Craig, with 11 points and 12 rebounds, became the first player in the League this season to post four “double-doubles”.
Adelaide’s Daniel Johnson and New Zealand’s Alex Pledger have three apiece, while Perth’s Casey Prather,, NZ’s Akil Mitchell, Illawarra’s A.J.Ogilvy and Cairns’ Mark Worthington have two.
Craig also lodged a contender for Dunk of the Year with a brutal one-handed jam from the baseline when he stepped around Jameel McKay, the No.1 shot-blocker in the League, and took off from outside the key to stuff it over the top of Matthew Knight.
Tom Jervis posted a Bullets season-high three blocks – all in a dominating period in the third term.
Showing excellent timing and technique, Jervis proved a one-man nightmare for McKay, turning the tables in emphatic fashion on an opponent better known for blocking opposition shots than having his own shot blocked.
Jervis, who also had 11 points and eight rebounds in an important contribution off the bench, blocked McKay inside the paint three times in the third term.
He led what turned out to be the Bullets’ best defensive quarter of the season, when they held the Wildcats to 10 points.
It was the lowest opposition score in a quarter against the Bullets this season.
Jervis’ three blocks gave him 15 for the season and saw him leap-frog Craig to go to the top of the Bullets list and get within reach of the League’s top five.
McKay, with 38 blocks for the season, is a runaway leader from Ogilvy (32), Pledger (27) and Sydney’s Greg Whittington (25), but thereafter it’s a real log jam.
Sydney’s Aleks Maric and Josh Powell (16) share fifth spot, while Jervis and Melbourne’s Tai Wesley (14) are equal seventh. Sydney’s Tim Garlepp (14) is next, from Craig and Adelaide’s Matthew Hodgson (13).
Only five players in the League have had more blocks in a game than Jervis’ three against Perth.
Pledger has had the most dominant shot-blocking game with six against Perth in Round 11, while McKay had five against Adelaide in Round 9.
New Melbourne import Josh Boone, McKay, Ogilvy and Illawarra teammate Marvelle Harris each and have had four blocks in a game.
Jervis’ single-game career high blocks is six.
Written and produced for Bullets.com.au by Peter Blucher