In front of a blockbuster, sold-out crowd Melbourne United put on a show in the open air match that had implications for two teams hungry for victory, Melbourne United did enough to seal victory, keeping them in the playoff race for the top six.
United had a strong start to the first quarter, pushing the tempo down the court on their terms, forcing the Taipans to call a timeout, unable to maintain possession.
Whilst the Taipans offence were slow and stagnant, locked down defensively in the later stages of the quarter which gave United a five-point lead at quarter time.
Chris Goulding was instrumental from the three-point point line, Marcus Lee had an impact off the bench, dominating the post and paint, while Rajon Tucker was solid offensively.
Turnovers were a major issue for the Taipans in the second quarter, unable to treasure possession and United able to hit easy baskets offensively.
McCall and Hogg reduced the margin and kept being aggressive to the basket, however United still enjoyed an eight-point lead at half time.
Both teams ground it out for majority of the third quarter, the Taipans building momentum from the defensive end. Shea IIi, Lee and Tucker were important to the way that Melbourne were playing, kept the scoreboard going which saw the margin in double figures going into three-quarter time.
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The majority of the last quarter was dominate by Melbourne, before the Taipans made a comeback run from the likes of Keanu Pinder, Hogg and McCall.
A crucial turnover down the stretch hurt the Taipans, sending the game to overtime, with United sealing victory 84-81.
Speaking to the media post game, Melbourne head coach Dean Vickerman spoke about what United did differently matching on Pinder.
“I thought we had a better scheme to support our bigs tonight. We sent some quick doubles at him at different times and got it out of his hands,” he said post-game.
“Marcus (Lee) played a fair bit. His ability against this team to switch and to sit down and got some guards. When Pinder was out of the game, we were trying to find matchups that could switch. There was a few communication breakdown, but guys dud a pretty good job.”
Vickerman discusses about the confidence trying to get two wins for the round and making a winning run.
“We know we have to execute better down the stretch. There’s belief that’s growing in this team, We’ve talked about it since everyone’s come back that we believe we’re good enough to beat everyone if we fix a few areas,” Vickerman explained.
“In Sydney, defence is going to be a little similar to what we saw tonight. They’re gonna guard some people that play off some people and how can we continue to get the effective shot that we want. It was a good step towards playing well against Sydney.”
Melbourne United next face the Sydney Kings in Round 12, for their second game of the round on Christmas Day.
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