NBL Dream Team With @ChookDT – Round 2

Looking Back (round 1 review)

Studs and Duds

The off-season capture of Cam Tragardh and the return to full fitness of Matty Knight and Shawn Redhage were key factors in helping Cairns and Perth kick-start their NBL campaigns with opening-round wins. The stand-out performances of that trio would’ve also gone a long way to getting their Dream Team coaches a first-up victory, as Tragardh topped all scorers with 50 points, while Knight and Redhage earned stud-status with 48-point outings.

Former Melbourne centre/forward Tragardh didn’t take long to win over Cairns’ orange army fans with 20 points and five rebounds against North Queensland rivals Townsville, also swatting three shots to really pad out his Dream Team total.

Early investment in Perth players looked ill-advised with the Wildcats facing five away games and a bye in the first six rounds, but last season’s runners-up showed why they’re the league’s top travellers with a thumping win over New Zealand in Auckland. Rampaging forwards Knight and Redhage weren’t the only dominant Wildcats, with guard Damien Martin picking up 40 points courtesy of seven boards.

Veteran forwards Glen Saville and Jacob Holmes also picked up 40 points to rank among the Dream Team elite in round one, but both were outdone by Adelaide’s Stephen Weigh, whose high-percentage shooting and turnover-free performance against Melbourne yielded 48 DT points.

In Wollongong, Ben Madgen won the battle of the visiting Sydney guards, racking up 32 points compared to Corin Henry’s 26 and James Harvey’s 16, despite spending much of the second half sidelined due to foul trouble. Cramp forced live-wire import Henry to also spend some time in Shane Heal’s dugout, and he looks a strong bet to surpass Madgen over the course of the season once he truly finds his feet. A fearsome backcourt-frontcourt partnership with power forward Darnell Lazare (38 points) looks a mere formality. If Lazare can reduce his turnover count (he had five on his NBL debut), then he’ll produce some monster Dream Team scores.

Duds were, thankfully, fairly hard to find in round one, although former Gold Coast guards Adris Deleon (16 points), Jason Cadee (12 points) and Chris Goulding (8 points) all had disappointing Dream Team returns for their new clubs. More was expected of New Zealand centre Alex Pledger, too, after he averaged 40 points a game during the pre-season. A big score looked likely when Pledger entered the first break with 12 points to his name, but he finished with just 18 after failing to grab a rebound in 20 minutes of action.

Looking Forward (round 2 preview)

Pick me, pick me!

Player prices won’t shift until after their third game, so the first couple of rounds is the time to load up on any of the bargain-basement stars you might’ve missed from your initial squad – before they rocket skywards in value! Townsville centre/forward Russell Hinder looks the pick of the bunch, having scored 38 points in his comeback from a broken leg that saw him miss all of last season and, subsequently, drop to a Dream Team price of just $41,900. Just keep in mind that the return of Larry Abner to Crocodile country could impact on Hinder’s opportunities.

Cairns unveiled a couple of $49,100 youngsters who made a big impression in Dream Team circles in the form of guard Cameron Gliddon (28 points) and forward Clint Steindl (26 points), while Perth forward Greg Hire ($43,500) also picked up 28 points, including 12 from thefts.

Double-Points Decision

A home fixture against Wollongong this week provides Cairns forward-centre Cam Tragardh with the chance to back-up his round-one heroics with another league-best points haul. He shapes as an excellent captaincy option given that interior defending is not one of the Hawks’ strong suits.

Adelaide centre Daniel Johnson provides a viable captaincy alternative after he opened his account with a respectable 38 points in the win over Melbourne. The trip to take on reigning premiers New Zealand will hold less apprehension for Johnson after the Perth bigs dominated the now Wilkinson-less Breakers last week.

There’ll no doubt be team news filter down through the week (like the Ervin/Abner info last week), so give me a follow (@ChookDT) and the DT Talk boys and I will try to keep you updated on Twitter.


  • Has Gary Ervin been cleared to play???

  • Captain Pick, Tragardh or Redhage?

  • Abercrombie to Redhage has been done this week already, hope it pays off long-term.

  • Hi Chook, a really good write up wasted here. I am not an NBL fan, but well written mate.

  • Hey chook,

    did u actually write this?
    There was something very similar to this on the NBL website.

  • Great article Chook.

    I’m thinking of ditching Pledger for Hinder (out of spite as Pledger was a sucky captain).
    The only reason I haven’t pressed the trade button already is that I’m slightly concerned what the addition of the imports will do to Rusty’s output. He didn’t put up big numbers in the pre-season when they two import running around.

  • Should I go Jamar Wilson as captain because he has two games. I probably wont because he scored a monsters -2 last week