Years ago

How much has the draw helped United?

Firstly United are obviously an incredibly talented team and deserve early favouritism for the title. But surely their draw would play a big part in their early success, will they come back to the pack as they hit the road?

Melbourne played their first game on the road against the crocs (arguably the least talented and experienced team in the nbl) followed by 4 straight home games and two more next week.

The crocs by comparison have had 5 straight away games going from Nz to sydney to cairns to melbourne to perth in 12 days.

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Years ago

Whether they will come back to the pack is an interesting question.

They have shown some weakness (giving up too many O boards).

It's fair to say that United has had a very easy draw so far, and its also fair to point out that unlike Perth, Syd, Illawarra, NZ and Adelaide they've had no injuries and all players available at all times.

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Years ago

You do know why they have the draw they do don't you?
It isn't a conspiracy to get them a title.

Reply #557959 | Report this post

Years ago

NZ were always going to struggle for the first month or so with question marks around Pledgers health and fitness and Corey Webster trying out for the New Orleans Pelicans. They were pretty lucky in the fact they were mostly road games and that they've managed to win their home games.

Melbourne have looked pretty good so far with multiple outside shooters and Majok not scared to roll up his sleeves and do the hard graft inside.

The rest of the league will have to play well to beat them.

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Years ago

The draw hasn't helped as much as their overall talent has! The more home games now simply means more road games later....

Reply #557964 | Report this post

Years ago

Holt is playing out of his mind and Kickert getting a second win late in his career.

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Years ago

They will play road later and that will test them, but home games don't always mean wins... Ask Sydney

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Years ago

LV - David Barlow hasn't played yet and he's a boomer so not all have been available.

Stephen Holt hasn't played out of his mind, he's been on par with expectations. He's borderline NBA the last few seasons and anyone who watched him play at St Mary's with Delly knows that he was more than just a sidekick there

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Years ago

David Barlow best days are past him. Probably a decent role player but not much more. A bit of a stretch to call him a boomer, he hasn't been involved in the program for a few years now.

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Years ago

Because Holt really kept Saint Mary's relevant after Delly left

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Wildcats views  
Years ago

can we please stop this nonsense. United do have an easy draw to start but it will even out over the season. And when their draw does get tougher they'll win those games as well.

This is a special team - Great shooters, Majok's a super defender and their extremely well coached. Demopolous - or whatever his name is - is one smart dude.
Pay attention to their offense - pick n rolls and beautiful ball movement. For some reason our aussie coaches seem allergic to running pick n rolls, even though its the most productive play in the game.

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Years ago

What Wildcats views said!

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Years ago

Yes United do *look* like the best team at this point. They are my tip for the championship. They haven't done a whole lot wrong and they've comfortably beaten all comers. At this early stage it looks like they have more pure scoring talent than any other Victorian NBL side since Gaze, Copes, Timmons and Bradtke were running around on the same team, still in their primes in 1997.

I'm just saying that they need to be truly tested against good opposition before we get too carried away.

A full strength NZ, Illawarra or Perth will, I expect, make up the remainder of the top 4 so I am waiting with baited breath to see how United goes in those matchups.

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Mel O'McKarona  
Years ago

Baited breath? What are you hoping to catch? May I suggest a good lure because no one likes 2 day old prawn breath.

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Wildcats views  
Years ago

All i got to say is Perth Wildcats for the title baby!

Reply #558213 | Report this post

Years ago

After today they are indeed the new favourite.

Reply #558218 | Report this post

Years ago

But that might change again on Thursday :-)

Reply #558219 | Report this post

Years ago

Illawarra are overrated in my and die by the 3 - very dangerous way to play but looks good when it works!

I still think the 36ers will surprise and make the top 4.

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Years ago

Anything could happen. It would not surprise me at all if every single team except Townsville wins at least 12, or even 13 games.

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Wildcats views  
Years ago

All the people saying live by the three die by three don't get it at all. Hawks put up 99 points today, does that sound like they died offensively? Their problem is on the other end. Gave up too many o-rebounds, and Penney and Forman are both 34, that shows up defensively.

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Wildcats views  
Years ago

Also United play the same way and they're tearing thru the comp. The exception being, they play better D

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Natural is better  
Years ago

Well said Views, the more 3s the better.

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Years ago

Sydney have had a similar draw although not quite as easy as United's.

They have shown that if a few home games are dropped that the pressure starts to build as you are looking at a tough draw ahead with a bunch of road games.

If United dropped a few of these home games there would have been pressure to start Warrick, pressure on the new coach to keep his job and questions asked about if Goulding is passing the ball enough.

Winning is awesome.

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Years ago

Its pretty obvious the draw is set up for the United to win the championship. There owner owns the league, if they don't win it he pulls his money out and theres no league.

Just have a think about this, 6 straight home games after 1 road game v the crocs, 8 outta 11 at home to start the season,no one else in the league has that kind of schedule, that will give them momentum when they get on the road. They will get beat by the tougher teams, but they'll also beat some of them.

Chris Goulding will be the reason they win or lose to the tough teams, not Holt, Kicket, majok, blanch field or war rick. i think if you can limit Chris they will not beat the tough teams, plus they aren't a great defensive team which will haunt them later in the season.

Reply #558260 | Report this post

Years ago

Cool so Holt, Kickert, Majok, Blanchfield and Warrick won't need to turn up against the the tough teams and the team won't need to continue playing the great defense they have so far. Thanks for the advice #558260, I'll put it in the suggestion box at one of the many upcoming home games I'll be attending.

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Years ago

United are also going to be doing a lot of traveling at the end of the season, when fatigue would be more of a concern.

I'd much rather have Perth's schedule, with a huge run of home games at the end of the season, than United's.

I think United only play three home games in 2016, and two of them are stuck in the SNAHC. Their home venue is unavailable basically the entire second half of the year, with the compressed season.

Given the two SNAHC games, they actually play too few home games in the first half of the year to achieve what they're trying to achieve.

There's no conspiracy here.

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Years ago

This is looking a long way ahead, but I expect United and NZ to both be top 4. They play a double header against each other in the last round. That could turn out to be huuuuge!

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Years ago

United look great, and I would pick them as the obvious favourites right now, but teams that live by the three also sometimes die by the three... be it now, or come semis. Their offense looks pretty good for the most part, but it does get stagnant at times, which has let teams creep back into the game. Hasn't hurt them much because Holt/Goulding/Kickert/whoever comes up with timely baskets whenever they've needed it.

Holt has been really good, much better than I expected. Plays with a similar poise to Wilbekin last year, although he's not quite the same floor general that Wilbekin was.

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Years ago

At different points in time, different players for United have gotten hot for stretches of the game. Perfect example was the last Townsville game when Holt went crazy in the first quarter, then Kickert set up a shooting clinic in the second quarter. They managed to put on 93 points with a guy who's probably the league’s best individual scorer having an off night, and a 500 game NBA player being rested and playing 6 minutes.

But what yesterday’s game showed was the importance of rebounding. Illawarra only had 9 turnovers and they hit 12 three pointers at 42%. But they still lost, and one of the main reasons was that Perth absolutely battered them on the boards.

United themselves gave up 15 O boards against Cairns on Saturday night. Perth will make you pay if you give them that many second chances. So rebounding will be a huge focus for United heading into Thursday’s game.

I wouldn’t say that United are the "obvious favourites". I have seen the last 4 United games (and attended 3 of them), but Perth’s effort yesterday impressed me more than anything United have done this season. To be missing who they were missing, on the road, and win the game the way that they did was a mighty achievement. United have looked good, but looking good on your home court against weak opposition means that they have not been tested yet.

Unlike United, Perth have a *proven* team, in the sense that the majority of their team have been there, done that. They have *proven* that they can succeed over a long period of time and under pressure. United have not done that yet.

United clearly have incredible talent though. So right now I’d say those two teams are the clear favourites. But with NZ having Webster back, Randle looking like a superstar who is the perfect player for Wright, and the Hawks still with Rhys martin to return, it’s shaping up to be a great season.

Thursday’s game will determine outright favouritism, but there’s a long way to go so sit back and enjoy!

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Years ago

I'm a Perth member but I have to think that Perth go into Thursday's game as the massive underdog because of how hot United have started.

If Perth win then United really drop back a bit.

United should be winning their first games and making the most of the ascendancy they have got as this new unit come together and they are playing with confidence, watching Wildcats against Townsville, we were dreadful for three quarters.

Sunday's game means a bit but playing 5 good quarters out of 8 last round hasn't got me too full of confidence.

Loving the NBL this season

Reply #558597 | Report this post

Years ago

I don't know, there seem to be some road trips particular teams don't like, and others don't seem to matter.
Cats always seem to struggle in Auckland, but NZ always play well in Perth.
Cat's & 6's don't seem to mind each other's home courts.
Cats should have walloped Crocs at home, didn't. Should have fallen to the Hawks on the road, didn't.

To be honest I think what can be a bigger impact is when teams play too many games in too short a time.

I don't think playing more home games early and less later is really a help.

My only concern with Melbourne, and this is just my personal pov, is that they don't seem to have any stability of loyalty. Can't hold onto coaches or players.

I think its far too easy to talk about 'ship favourites

Reply #558598 | Report this post

Years ago

Although the schedule evens out and all teams get the same home and away games, I have always thought there was an advantage of getting those early wins and taking some of the pressure off.
Even if your back half of the season has many home games and an easier schedule, if your team has a losing record at that stage it can be hard to keep the morale up and get those wins.
The other key factor is injuries, if you have a tough early schedule and are losing games then you are likely playing your main guys big minutes to try and get a win. This can lead to fatigue and injury.
Teams can only deal with the schedule that they get but I think MU are in great place with the early wins and getting some good rest into key players. On the other hand, Townsville have a tough schedule which doesn't help their young team. If they had more home games early against teams with injuries etc then they may have got a couple more wins and have a lot more confidence at this stage.
All said and done, it just adds to the intrigue of the season and the improved NBL.

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