Earlier this year

Melbourne United 2019-20

So, after that insipid GF performance, where to from here? United obviously have a team good enough to make the finals, but not necessarily to win them.

Brandt, Cotton, White, Kay, Martin and the rest have set the new bench-mark.

My 5 cents' worth, if they want to beat Perth in next year’s GF:

Lock in for more than a year: McCarron

Lock in for another year: Barlow, Pledger

Lock in for another year but put on notice: Ware, Goulding, Moller, Vickerman

Replace: Boone, Kennedy, the rest

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Earlier this year

Why would Moller hang around, never gets a chance, did very well last season when Prather went down and even started a few games, semifinal as well if I recall correctly but never got a look in. No point playing behind an import and McCarron. Barlow slowed as the season went on, over played. Not certain Casper will return or Kennedy but Melbourne will still spend good dollars to get good team. Wesley is free agent, might be an import now though.

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Earlier this year

Tbh i don't see many areas where they can improve their roster. On paper their top 7-8 players is arguably the best in the league, better than Perths imo.

Maybe an upgrade on Boone, but even then he hasn't played too badly.

They were just outplayed by a better team and system.

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Earlier this year


McCarron signed a 3 year deal, Goulding & Moller each have a year left and Vickerman's 3 year contract extension starts next season.

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Earlier this year

"Outplayed by a better team and system", and will be again unless something changes.

I just can't see this team getting better on defense so that they can cover players like Cotton or White or Brandt, or cover the pick & roll better. Apart from Ware, and maybe McCarron, they usually seemed half a step behind what was going on.

As for their offense, they lost their composure and went back to hero ball. They created enough chances which they should have converted, but ... their loss of confidence and desperation was obvious. Unless the coaches give them better options, or rip into them to change the way they play to ignore the refs and move away from hero ball and flopping, I can’t see them lifting the trophy next season.

Dare I say that they were probably lucky to win last year?

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Earlier this year

Dare I say that they were probably lucky to win last year?

They were quite fortunate to win last year, Childress did his shoulder mid-series and not to mention the questionable officiating.

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Earlier this year

Moller contract is an option.

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Earlier this year

Player personnel:

1. Re - sign Casper

2. Re - sign Kennedy

3. Upgrade Boone with someone who can score in the low post and pass out of there


1. Run more plays for Kennedy.

2. Utilise the low post more, with more of a motion set using cuts from Kennedy, McCarron, Moller. Like Perth do.

3. Keep running full Court D regularly, something they did successfully but too rarely.

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Earlier this year

Not just offense from the low post. High post too.

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Earlier this year

Trist was on a two year contract, where's that at ? Maybe it was an option. Jois, what went down there, he fooled someone or were they hiding him for next season, the people next to me were glad he got free throws, they thought it was good entertainment.lol. Hooley, Moller went backwards this season, no faith from the coach. Moller never tried in the four spot was amusing after staring for Hobart in the four. Smith- Milner also looking fitter regressed as well. A few fortunate wins probably covered up some cracks and nothing changed.

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Earlier this year

Look, credit where its due, Melbourne were a good team, and played exceptionally well this season.

My personal suspicion, is that in the end they let the shellacking on Friday get to them, and I don't think they were in the right head space for this game. Possibly already thinking ahead, that even if they won they were due for another whooping in Perth.

Boone is a very good player. For a couple of seasons he has easily the dominant big man in the league. In a way, Pledger was a good backup for him, means you have a consistently strong inside presence, even if one or the other is injured or in foul trouble.
On the other hand, when your only other front court options are Barlowe, or playing Moller or Kennedy in the 4, then it leads to a lack of flexibility.
Barlowe's had a great season, and a good finals, but they need some other option going forward. I thought maybe that was Jois, but he still looks very raw.

One of their issues is that they have probably the two best Aussie SGs in the league, and playing them together is problematic. You either have McCarron running the point, or one of them playing SF. As we saw in Perth, deny their 3-point shooting and they're in trouble.

Vickerman is a great coach. Not sure he deserved CoTY this season, but still done a great job.

I'd suggest that maybe they replace Boone with more of an athletic 4/5? Somebody that can play PF alongside Pledger if need be.

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Earlier this year

Whats the go with Jois? I remember during the offseason the last couple of years his name being floated around as someone who could return to the NBL. I hadn't seen him play apart from some highlights, but from what i read it sounded like he was pretty hyped up and would be a bit of a star in the NBL.

Is he actually a pretty good player who just wasnt given much of an opportunity due to arriving at Melbourne late in the season? Or is he a pretty average player who is just hyped up because he is athletic?

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Earlier this year


Over hyped athlete them demands big dollars I've heard.

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Earlier this year

He had an impressive college record, but so far he looks to be too small for a 5, and too slow and limited for any other position.

I'll give him another year to fit into the system, but so far I’m underwhelmed.

Reply #738610 | Report this post

Earlier this year

I think Melbourne over rate their players offensively. It's fine against 80% of the league but they need to absolutely be firing for the top teams. A 5 game series against the most stifling defense in the league was always going to be trouble and just look at Ware and Goulding's shooting % across the series, basically sitting in the 20-30% bracket. Offense doesn't go through enough hands to put any defense out of position, scrap the iso ball and the deep 3s early in a shotclock, you're not curry.

They need to find a player with court vision and high iq.

For what it's worth a lot of people talking about boone,. Offensively poor but defensively I thought he was solid. Cats were desperate to feed the post to Brandt and Kay early in the series and I don't recall Boone being beaten, cats went away from that the last two games.

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Earlier this year

United were certainly helped to the Championship last season.

Reply #738616 | Report this post

Earlier this year

"United were certainly helped to the Championship last season"

They had Prather who always showed composure, they missed that quality this series

Reply #738624 | Report this post

Earlier this year

United had more scoring options and greater scoring variety last year.

Wesley, Prather and Andersen


Kennedy, McCarron and Pledger.

If jumpers werent falling, Wesley in the post was a reliable Plan B.

When the jumpers werent falling against Perth and Perth was effectively defending the first few high picks, United's offense was throttled.

United's bigs are limited offensively. Boone and Pledger score off fast breaks, rolls to the hoop, baseline cuts or putbacks. The majority of Barlows points are threes.

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Earlier this year

Shawn Long. Watch....
There is no cap when the people policing the cap work for the owner of the league and team.

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Earlier this year

Many of the weaknesses mentioned above fall onto Vickerman, which is why I suggested he be put on notice that he MUST change the way they play if they want to win the GF soon.
He's a good coach, but does United want a coach to just get them to finals or to actually WIN them?

Reply #738651 | Report this post

Earlier this year

They seemed a bit more predictable and Perth had them covered. Kennedy doesn't have the versatility on offence that Cotton has which was limiting when they kept pushing to him. Did get the sense that it was more a coaching deficiency than purely on talent alone.

Reply #738692 | Report this post

Earlier this year

Great point on Wesley LV, he gave us another option and opened up the shooters from double teams.

They need a quality low post scorer that can draw defenses in. Hard on Goulding and Ware to try to get open running through picks all night.

What about Conklin? He's a proven low post scorer and adds some toughness that Melbourne needs.

Im not sold on Kennedy, they need someone who can go to Perth and have a big game dropping 30, I could never see Kennedy doing that.

Whats Prather up to?

And Hooley has to go. Look at the way Adnam has improved at Sydney and Hooley has gone backwards. No jumpshot and two many turnovers in 10 minutes a game.

I wonder if Goulding will be happy coming off the bench for another year? Will he ask to be moved? The olympics are coming up and he wants minutes.

Finally, where are our young playes? We haven't developed anyone in years. The Perth model of stacking your bench with competent Australians seems to be the go. They were way to deep for us.

Interesting off-season ahead...

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Earlier this year

Interesting comment delete.......cant mention that LK owns the league and united?

Reply #738718 | Report this post

Earlier this year

Prather is injured, never played a game in Russia and I think went back to US.

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