Isaac
Earlier this year

DJ vs Boone match-up

Ultimately though, the Boone vs. Johnson match-up may be the pivotal clash.

The American has been the engine room of United's championship quest, sending Melbourne to the title decider with a huge game -- including the buzzer-beating game winner -- against the Breakers.

Johnson, meanwhile, has put together his most consistent season to garner All-NBL honours that means his continued omission from the national team is as notable as it is baffling.
Full article

Thoughts on this match-up? And do you agree with author Steve Smith that it's the key to the series?

Neither of these bigs really struggles with foul trouble (both average 2.2-2.3 FPG). Johnson is the better scorer, Boone the better rebounder. Boone is coming off the high of a game winner in the SFs, while Johnson had a quiet game in Perth after 16 & 10 in the opener.

DJ's FT shooting is a key to his game, while Boone is sub-50%. Could some hack-a-Boone from Hodgson help Adelaide at all?

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ash  
Earlier this year

I see Childress spending a bit of time defending Boone, gives up a little height but I think he could cover him

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Hendo8888  
Earlier this year

The 4 big things that really worry me about this series are:
Boone dominates our bigs. Hodgson gets in foul trouble after 3 mins every game. DJ can't defend him down low, and doesn't shoot well enough from outside to offset.
Goulding and Ware get hot from outside. We have a habit of leaving teams' shooters open. We've had multiple games this season where we probably should have lost, but the other team hasn't made their shots. We're not a big 3 point shooting team, so if they're hitting consistently from outside, our ability to score 2s regularly might not be enough to overcome their 3s.
Shorter and Sobey fire away and shoot us out of it. Both can be pretty undisciplined at times. They need to know when to rein it in when their shot isn't dropping.
We don't make our free throws. This has been a issue for us for the last few years. We just don't have players that you can rely upon to make free throws when it counts. We missed like 13 the other night, and it probably should have cost us the game.

Our best will be good enough. Won't take a lot less than our best for Melbourne to beat us in a 5 game series.

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AngusH  
Earlier this year

I feel pretty good about Adelaide's chances based on recent form (compared with United since Prather has come back, especially), but yeah, Boone feels like the X-Factor. The Childress idea is an interesting one because DJ isn't an active defender and Hodgson isn't mobile enough to cover him either with the way he's been playing lately.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

I think Melbourne will be too physically strong for Adelaide in the paint. Boone and Wesley are two big strong units and I do think they'll cause Adelaide to foul and give up points... It's hard to match those big bodies, especially over a series. Different in a once off game.

As usual it will come down to how well Adelaide can contain the guards as well, as if the guards can draw and kick it's going to be a long series for the sixers.

I got Melbourne 3-1

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Vickerman wont have Boone defending Johnson....

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Great articles about NBL coming out of ESPN reguarly. Keep up the good work.

Interested to hear what are Hoopsters thoughts about why DJ strugged in Perth? Was he just off of his game or was it the D on him by Perth?

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Dome Rat  
Earlier this year

Smith talks about United's bench depth but I would suggest Adelaide has the superior bench.

Anderson and Barlow the only real notable off the bench and they are at far from their glory days

Prather would replace Moller in the starting line up so MU's bench is Majok, Anderson, Barlow, Hooley , Adnam , Smith-Milner

Hodgson covers Anderson 2018 version
Moore covers Barlow easily
Drmic is better than Hooley
Doyle and Adnam are comparible
Majok is a better rebounder than Deng but Deng gives more offensive options
Teys offers more to the 36ers than what Smith -Milner offers to MU

The battle is in which MU team turns up from the starters.

If Ware and Goulding get going and Prather can do his thing the 36ers are in for a long night. This isn't a one trick Wildcats team.

This series will be determined by the way the game is called. If the 36ers get into the MU bench early its advantage 36ers

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Tornado  
Earlier this year

I think whoever is on Boone needs to run flat out off rebounds - get easy buckets/tire him out so he is less effective offensively and on the boards.

Of course this will rely heavily on the 36ers playing D, boxing out and rebounding the ball...

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JOaRiDrAN  
Earlier this year

I'm feeling with United missing the playoffs the last couple of years, will melt if and when Adelaide apply pressure on the scoreboard. They don’t know adversity as a team yet.
Adelaide on the other hand have felt the pain of coming up short last year and it has burned for the last 12 months.

36ers will be relentless in this series.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

'only answer for Boone is to push him in to foul trouble. Same with Ware. If they can do that then they have a good chance

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LV  
Earlier this year

This will be an extremely interesting series!

Adelaide is better at run and gun and overall have more options offensively. United is better defensively.

Adelaide has the better bench.

United will want to control the pace of the game and not let Adelaide run all night- because Vickerman will want Casper and Goulding to have enough legs to get through 35 minutes.

I think Casper is the main man in this series. Boone and DJ are both very dangerous in different ways, and could both easily become the deciding factor. Both teams have loads of talent across the board, but I see Casper as United's number one advantage. At his best, he’s easily better than Shorter, Moore, Sobey or Doyle at the point guard position.

Casper is an NBA level talent in my view. If you look around the NBL at the other elite imports- guys like Cotton, Randle, Prather- usually they have a specific weakness or one thing holding them back from being capable of making the jump into the NBA. But I can’t see that with Casper. I can’t see any reason why he couldn’t be a back-up point guard in someone’s regular rotation. He’s quick, he can get to the hoop, NBA 3 point range, good handles, good passer. And significantly he’s a strong defender, both on the perimeter and - despite his size- in the post.

It will be interesting seeing how Adelaide look to stop him- will they consider say, trying to disrupt him with Mitch Creek? Will Shorter try to rough him up?

For Casper’s sake, I really hope he has a huge series that puts him right back on the map for NBA scouts. And if he does, chances are United will win the series.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

As good a player Prather is this series will see if he can insert himself into the team without taking away from Ware and Goulding, they have won since he came back ( lost to Illawarra in a nothing game) but haven't looked as good as the Felix/Moller combination. Vickerman hasn’t put a foot wrong so he’d have to be confident on Prather.

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SteveK2  
Earlier this year

Its a very interesting matchup of contrasting styles. Offensively perimeter/halfcourt vs. transition/run & gun while defensively its grind & bump vs. pressure/deep rotation. The refs need to be extra careful how they call it.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Wouldn't be surprised to see Barlow guarding DJ

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