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NBL Dream Team – Round 5

Need a break from staring at the MBRs, fretting over the implications for your plan team? Then let NBL Dream Team be a distraction, where we’re loading up on KIngs and Crocs ahead of their double-game round this weekend.

Looking Back (Round 4 Review)

Studs and Duds

Clutch-shooting guard Ben Madgen may have kick-started Sydney’s season by lifting the Kings to two nail-biting road wins in round four but, more importantly in these parts, he also shifted his NBL Dream Team bandwagon into top gear with his stand-out performances.

Madgen pocketed a season-best 82 Dream Team points, or 164 if you were prophetic enough to make him captain, as he put both Townsville and Cairns to the sword with 45 points over the weekend.

The Kings’ winning margins may have been narrow, but there was nothing close about the gap between Madgen and the next highest scorer in NBL Dream Team circles, backcourt teammate Corin Henry, who grabbed 60 points over the two games.

That was only just enough to edge out fellow import guards Cedric Jackson and Adris Deleon, who each chalked up a handsome 58 points from just the one outing. Jackson cashed in on Melbourne’s problems with full-court pressure to record a handful of “+6 plays” (a steal, worth four points, followed by an uncontested lay-up, worth two), while former Gold Coast speedster Deleon proved he’s truly settled into his impact role at Wollongong with a 23-point, seven-assist showing.

It’s worrying to think just how far behind the pack winless Melbourne would be without import forward Seth Scott and ex-Adelaide recruit Adam Ballinger, with those two combining for 92 Dream Team points against New Zealand while their Tiger teammates could muster only 22 between them.

That’s where we’ll start the search for this week’s duds, then, with three Melbourne players recording totals of -8. The worst offender, due to his high ownership, was forward/centre Matt Burston, who’s unlikely to maintain his place in a third of all Dream Team squads if he keeps that up.

Big men dominated the dud list in round four, with expensive Adelaide centre Daniel Johnson earning a place for his 12-point effort against Wollongong, misfiring Hawks forward Oscar Forman nominated for his doughnut in the same game and Sydney power forward Darnell Lazare featuring after his 38 points disappointed the hordes of coaches who captained him over the Kings’ double-game week.

Looking Forward (Round 5 Preview)

Pick Me, Pick Me!

Another two-game round this weekend keeps Sydney players in focus, although it’s a tougher trip this time around, with the Kings having to travel across the Tasman to face off against the reigning champion New Zealand Breakers before returning home to host Melbourne. Madgen is a great buy, of course, but also add “Townsville Crocodile” to your shopping list, with Paul Woolpert’s men welcoming Cairns to The Swamp before taking on the league’s only other winless team, the Tigers, in Melbourne.

Townsville young gun Todd Blanchfield (guard/forward) had 66 Dream Team points when the Crocs doubled-up in round three and scored 36 last week, while teammate Gary Ervin (guard) had 60 and 30 over the same period. Either would be great addition to your team for round five.

Melbourne doesn’t have a double-game week on the horizon, but a Tiger worth considering is fit –again forward Adam Ballinger, who amassed 42 points against New Zealand. His price will shoot up after this week’s game against Townsville, so this is your last chance to snap him up at his current price of just $69,300.

Double-Points Decision

Townsville centre Ben Allen may have been the top-scoring Croc with 40 Dream Team points in round four, but don’t go handing him the all-important captaincy just yet – he was only averaging 10.5 points a game before that. Blanchfield and Ervin present as strong options, but your best bet is to captain Madgen and hope lightning strikes twice.

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