NBL Dream Team: Round 18 Preview
With Childress absent and some other stars under-performing, it was a big round for change and the scores amply rewarded those who got it right.
Wrapping Up Round 17
Prior to round 17 the captain debate was fierce with Damian Martin and Gary Ervin being the prime contenders. Ervin proved to be an acceptable choice, being the 6th highest scorer for the round with his 58, however he was the wrong choice of the two as Damian Martin delivered the highest score of the round with an impressive 106. One can only assume that all 7 teams which broke the 500 point barrier this round had the Perth superstar as Captain. There were also a few great scores from single matches as Jordan McRae shot back into form with 60 while Torrey Craig continued his purple patch with 46.
The other end of the scale was pretty bleak though as a whole bunch of players failed to deliver and most people copped at lease one poor score. Townsville found the going tough as their stars in Todd Blanchfield (12) and Brain Conklin (16) failed to repeat last week’s effort. Cairns was even less impressive as Cameron Gliddon (12) and Alex Loughton (10) were well below their regular output and team mate Cameron Tragardh posted a empty zero. Cedric Jackson had his worst game of the season with 4, which was the same amount as Shawn Redhage scored from two matches. The biggest upset though was Daniel Kickert who got injured early in Melbourne’s game and finished with -2.
Round 18 – Trade Targets
This week is the last week of head-to-head matches which leads to a big decision for trading; are you focusing on winning your league or getting the best possible rank overall? If you’re going for the league win and need a W this week to stay in the top four then you absolutely want to grab one or two of the Cairns stars. The Taipans have six players averaging over 20ppg, however Scottie Wilbekin is the closest to a stand-out with a 29.2ppg average. The main problem with Cairns is that they take turns having big nights, which means any of the six could go big or could go missing. If you’re short of cash for some reason then Alex Loughton is a meagre $74,200 and although it’s been a few weeks since he got a good score he’ll score big as soon as he finds his range again.
If you’re comfortable with your league position then you’re looking at Sydney or Melbourne players as they are the two teams which still have 5 matches remaining (everyone else has 4). Sydney is really hard to read now that they have lost Childress but you could do a lot worse than backing in Tom Garlepp or Ben Madgen. Melbourne on the other hand will set you up for the final two rounds and their high scoring superstars in Mark Worthington and Jordan McRae are both very reasonably priced right now.
Feel free to trade out your Perth players, especially Tom Jervis now that Knight has returned. Damian Martin and DeAndre Daniels are more than adequate as keepers though.
Round 18 – On Court Selections
With Cairns and Sydney having the double match this round their players should be on court. It’s possibly worth the gamble to put fringe players like Kendrick Perry or Stephen Weigh on court too, ahead of most others, although a Jordan McRae or Mark Worthington have a reasonable chance to outscore them with just the single.
Captain choice is the really tough decision this week as there are a whole bunch of players who are equally likely to be great, but who could also fall short. When investigating it was strange to discover that Matt Burston has recently been the most consistently decent scorer from the two teams, however he also has the lowest ceiling so is relegated to the “safe option” slot. Ben Madgen has been scoring well and has a very high ceiling but it’s still unclear if he’ll keep it up with Childress out. Tom Garlepp should step up nicely in Childress’ absence but struggled this round. Scottie Wilbekin and Cameron Gliddon are both solid options are are likely to be the most selected. Finally Torrey Craig and Cameron Tragardh are the “wild card” options who have the potential to really light it up but have some really quiet games too.
Lockout is a comfortable 8:00pm AEDT on Friday so plenty of time to make these last crucial decisions.
As always you can follow the live dream team scores for the games at dtlive.com.au/nbl
Coach of the Statismathgicians