NBL Dream Team – Round 6
Sydney guard Ben Madgen was the top of the charts again last weekend, but his new weekly record of 84 Dream Team points mightn’t last too long with NZ guard Cedric Jackson about to embark on a double-game week of his own…
Studs and Duds
There was a strong sense of Dream Team déjà vu to round five of the NBL, with Sydney guard Ben Madgen cementing his status as the doyen of the double-game weeks with another table-topping score.
A week after scoring a league-best 82 Dream Team points in Sydney’s triumphant two-game trip to North Queensland, Madgen reset the record to 84 points with equally eye-catching displays against New Zealand and Adelaide.
Fellow Kings guard Aaron Bruce stockpiled 72 points over the weekend to be the second-best scorer of round five, but the most any player from Townsville could manage from their two fixtures was the 64 points gathered by import guard Gary Ervin.
Ervin’s owners could be forgiven for thinking they were in for a bigger payday after the former league MVP amassed 56 points in Friday night’s Reptile Rumble, but a disastrous road loss in Melbourne yielded a disappointing eight points.
New Zealand guard Cedric Jackson was anything but disappointing, scoring 60 Dream Team points to help the Breakers hold off Sydney and provide further proof that his round-three failure was the exception, rather than the rule, this season.
While Jackson was studding it, teammate Tom Abercrombie was dudding it, finishing with zero Dream Team points after he hit none of his four shots from the field in 24 minutes against the Kings. Abercrombie’s owners can only hope for a turnaround like that of Wollongong marksman Oscar Forman, who rebounded from his round-four nought with a half-century against Perth in round five.
Forman was a stand-out in the top-of-the-table clash, joining teammates Adris Deleon (52) and Larry Davidson (46) in chalking up huge Dream Team numbers while restricting their Perth opponents to dud-like scores.
Looking Forward (Round 6 Preview)
Pick Me, Pick Me!
Todd Blanchfield and Adam Ballinger were touted as top trade options in this space last week, and while the former proved a flop, squeezing only 40 points out of Townsville’s two-game round, the latter starred in Melbourne’s break-through win, grabbing 52 Dream Team points and a bucketload of fantasy cash for his new owners.
If you missed him last week, cut your losses and add the former Adelaide power forward before he comes up against his old side this week. There’ll still be a few more price hikes on the horizon if Ballinger keeps up his current form.
Oh, but you want to double your chances by bringing in a baller from the 36ers or Breakers, who both have two games scheduled in round six? A high shooting percentage combined with plenty of clock has made Stephen Weigh one of the highest-scoring Adelaide players this season, and he’s pretty consistent too, making him a strong candidate to collect big-time points against Melbourne and Perth.
There’s no doubting Madgen has hit some white-hot form early this season, but it’ll take a brave Dream Team coach to captain him against Wollongong this week after the Hawks shut down Perth in round five.
Instead, the go-to guy in round six has to be Cedric Jackson, who takes his New Zealand team to North Queensland for back-to-back games against Townsville and Cairns. He can fill it up, no question, but Jackson also crams the other stat categories, having snared seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals to go with his 22 points in the Breakers’ win over Sydney.
If you can’t afford Jackson, or are scared off by the fact that Townsville kept him to just four DT points in round three, then Alex Pledger should come in to your captaincy calculations.
The Breakers big man is coming off a 46-point game last week and scored 40 points in his last outing against the Crocodiles.