Player Spotlight: Nathan Herbert

Coming off a serious knee injury was always going to make it tough for "Herbie" this season and I'm sure he's not thrilled with this season's return....

4.4pts per game at 34.6%
18-62 threes

The shooting %'s rest with him but not everything else rests on Herbie's shoulders.

Herbert started the season probably figuring he'd be splitting minutes at SG with Darren Ng and Mitch Creek. When the starting backcourt became Warren and Crosswell, I figured Herbie may get lucky and become the 6th man and be the first guard subbed on. Sometimes this happened, other times he was the third guard off the bench. When Crosswell went down and was replaced by Everard Bartlett, Herbert sunk even further down the bench. Look at these minutes stats.

Games 1-2: 2 games playing 20+ minutes
Games 3- 11: Between 6-17 minutes a game, none over 20min
Games 12- 20: 7 games playing 20+ minutes
Games 21-28: Between 6-19 minutes a game, none over 20min

So that's 19 games playing less than 20 minutes and 9 playing more than 20 minutes. That's pretty difficult for a player to find a rhythm, especially one returning from a serious injury.

I wrote this piece earlier in the year about how Herbie was a solid contributor in wins earlier in the season but the same couldn't be said in the second half, mainly because of how much his minutes had dropped.  Herbert is a great defender and an excellent rebounder for his size. His offense is another story and this was a problem as he was left for some wide open jumpers from the corner but he just couldn't convert at an acceptable percentage. These runs prove the point...........

Games 1-7: 10-33, 5-16 threes
Games 8-14: 16-40, 7-21 threes
Games 15-21: 14-40, 5-20 threes
Games 22-28: 5-17, 1-5 threes

Herbert causes many players fits with his defensive game and he certainly contributed regularly in this aspect of the game. Unfortunately, Herbert was a case-in-point of the teams problems at guard with 2 players being great defenders (Herbert,Creek) who struggled hit open shots while 2 others (Warren,Ng) lit up the scoreboard in some games while allowing easy baskets at the other end. I'd love to see Herbie back, mainly because guys coming back from ACL's generally are much better in the second year back plus he busts his backside every game but I'm not sure what his future holds. Herbert would be a great fit on a contender as he's probably one of those guys who lifts to the quality of his team. Look at his stats for the 2009 Dragons and you'll see what i mean. For slefish reasons I'd want to keep him but for his own good I think he may be better suited to one of the Qld teams or the team across the ocean.

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