United continue to stand tall in a year like no other

After a tight match, United coach Dean Vickerman is just happy to get away with the win. Picture: @NBL on Twitter

Melbourne United has stretched its winning streak in the National Basketball League to six games with their win over the Breakers at John Cain Arena.

The win also sees United return to the top of the table.

Although United seemingly had the game sealed, the Breakers refused to go away, and the defence was under heavy pressure in the last few minutes.

Coach Dean Vickerman explained that it will an area to work on going forward.

“Our defence was good, for three quarters of the game,” he said.

“We let a lot of easy ones in to close the game out, so we’ve got to do that far better.”

When the game was in the balance Vickerman experimented to get the game back on their terms.

The bench group for United, who were subbed in and out throughout the match, helped get United out to an 11-point lead.

However, the move of Scotty Hopson to point guard paid dividends as well, top scoring for United with 19 points.

Vickerman had strong praise for their performance.

“The whole bench group that came in, and got us the 11-point lead, I thought the energy of that group was great,” he said.

“It was a good experiment.

“Having Hop, at the point, that was the first real time we’ve done that, and he created some advantages in the point guard position.

“There’s lots to improve on, but really happy to come out with the win tonight.”

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The six-game winning streak, and the return to the top of the table, comes in the wake of the most tumultuous year for United so far, with injuries galore and the ongoing COVID threat.

Vickerman is praying this is a one-time thing for the team and the competition.

“I hope we never have a year like this again,” he said.

“I hope we never go through a pandemic… that everyone has had to deal with.

“Players, management, fans, we’ll all look back on this year and say ‘wow what a crazy year of sport, basketball, everything.’

“Is it the toughest? Absolutely. It’s the toughest because we’re continuing to deal with restrictions.

“Everything we do we have the question, are you doing it the right way?

“Undoubtedly the toughest year.”

United will look to continue its win streak on Monday, with a home game against the Bullets.

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