Looking Back (Round 16 Review)
Studs and Duds
Silky-skilled Melbourne forward Seth Scott rolled up to the round-16 finish line as one of NBL Dream Team’s top-scoring players, but not before taking his coaches on rollicking rollercoaster ride.
The Texan Tiger appeared to be squandering his double-game week chance when he followed an underwhelming statline in Friday night’s loss to Cairns with a subdued first half against Adelaide on Sunday.
A prolific third term, however, saw Scott amass 30 Dream Team points and rocket into player-of-the-week contention, only to have a fourth-quarter thumb injury quell his impact and deny him the chance to overtake fantasy favourite Cedric Jackson.
When the siren sounded on Melbourne’s victory, Scott had totalled 72 Dream Team points, second only to New Zealand guard Jackson’s 82-point haul from the Breakers’ wins against Sydney and Wollongong.
While Jackson was, yet again, the chief profiteer of Dream Team points in round 16, fellow Breakers Tom Abercrombie, Daryl Corletto and fit-again Alex Pledger weren’t far behind, with all three firing 60 or more points against their NSW opponents.
Abercrombie (64 points), in particular, has enjoyed an outstanding fortnight, matched only by resurgent Wollongong guard Adris Deleon, who followed up last week’s table-topping effort with a healthy 46-point return against New Zealand, and Sydney centre Ian Crosswhite, whose 54 against the Breakers took his two-week tally to almost 140 points.
While Scott, Crosswhite and Daniel Johnson (50 points) all starred in round 16, some of the league’s other big men struggled to trouble the statisticians. Johnson’s ally in the Adelaide frontcourt, Luke Schenscher, was the worst offender, finishing with a Dream Team score of -4, while the strong recent runs of Shawn Redhage and Darnell Lazare came to an end with scores of 10 and 2, respectively.
Looking Forward (Round 17 Preview)
Pick Me, Pick Me!
Redhage wasn’t the only misfiring Wildcat in round 16, though. Perth’s highest score was just 34 points from Damien Martin, with popular picks Matty Knight (24 points), Kevin Lisch (20) and Jesse Wagstaff (14) all producing meagre returns in the low-scoring win against Townsville.
They’re not the kind of numbers that scream “pick me, pick me”, but with Perth about to embark on a stretch of seven games in four weeks – starting with two games against New Zealand and Wollongong this week – stacking your squad with Wildcats is the best use of this week’s trades.
The Hawks will also play twice in round 17, but it’s a weary road trip that takes in Adelaide and Perth, making Wildcats like Redhage, Lisch and Knight far more attractive additions to your Dream Team squad.
The main exception is Wollongong guard Deleon, whose increased game time in the wake of long-term injuries to teammates Lance Hurdle and Rhys Martin has led to some bumper scores in recent weeks.
If you’re looking for a differential, the Hawks and Wildcats both added a new face to their roster last week in the form of Malcolm Grant at Wollongong and Rhys Carter at Perth.
Despite his disappointing return last week, Perth’s Shawn Redhage shapes as the top captaincy contender in round 17 with the one-time Breakers forward saving his best performances of the season for his former club.
Redhage nailed 48 Dream Team points in the round-one win over New Zealand before gathering 70 in a round-nine double that included a second showdown against the Breakers.