Last year

Melbourne United ARE winning the title this season

Topic #46265 | Report this topic

Last year

They have got the highest paid roster ever, there starting five lowest paid player is on 400g so they should win it easily. The pecking order is Prather, Long, Goulding, Trimble, McCarron, all on the huge money. It gets back to normality after that but Barlow, Pledger don't play for nothing either.

Reply #772614 | Report this post

Last year

I find it hard to believe that United would offer Casper less than Long, Prather or Trimble.

So in my estimations, Sydney would have the top 2 highest paid players in the league, with Cotton being alongside them. Probably fair- given they were the top 3 of last year's MVP.

Lisch, Newley, Kickert, Tate would be on good money also. And who pays Didi’s salary? The NBL or the Kings? Either way, it’s another good player or a massive freebie. Plus Moller who also spurned United for Sydney. I assume Bruce, Walker would be cheap, but not moreso than McDaniel and Smith-Milner. At least Bruce and Walker are established NBL players.

It’s not surprising that United and Sydney appear the best two teams, given they also look the most expensive.

Those two are the front runners right now, with NZ and Perth behind them. SEM, Adelaide, Brisbane and Cairns should be very competitive and any of them could challenge for top 4 if everything goes right. Illawarra are a basket case right now, let’s hope they find a gun import and get back to being competitive, otherwise Ball could ditch them sooner rather than later.

Reply #772635 | Report this post

Last year

United had the second highest paid player in the league last season and it wasn't Casper Ware despite the GM telling him he was the highest paid player on the team when he found out the truth he decided to leave.

Reply #772641 | Report this post

Last year

I see two key issues that will define United's season.

1. Defense. They’ve lost 2 elite defenders in Casper and Boone, and this has been noticeable. Their D has been mediocre overall. To win a championship, you need to be at least average at both ends. You can be an exceptional offensive team and an average defensive team or vice versa. But you can’t be far below average at either end, because then you’ve got too much of a weakness that will inevitably be exposed by a team who is quality on both ends. You can’t resemble the leaky siv that United has been at times.

United has plenty of talented scorers, but will their D ever be good enough? The jury remains out.

2. Balance. Fitting Prather in will be easier said than done. Remember 2017-18 when United initially struggled having Casper, CG and Prather all needing the ball. My solution is bringing CG off the bench.

There’s 3 smalls who like shooting the rock, and a big man who is devastating when he gets touches in the low post. 4 great scorers. To use them most effectively, have 2 of Trimble, CG and Prather on court together at all times. Balance them out by starting utility McCarron, and Barlow- both brilliant role players who play good D, rebound the ball, and don’t need to put up 15 shots to play an effective role.

If United can get their D to a sufficient level, and work Prather into the group effectively, then they’ll make the grand final at a minimum. Those are the keys.

Reply #772645 | Report this post

Last year

Essentially, it's about balancing out your high usage players with your low usage players.

I would categorise Barlow as low usage and McCarron as medium usage. Trimble, Prather and Long are all higher usage players. CG probably medium to high.

Now, it’s possible for a high usage player to become a lower usage player in certain circumstances and still be effective. This is what happens when imports join different teams in different leagues of different strengths. But in United’s context, it’s also about strengths and weaknesses- the high usage guys are weaker in other areas. Defense, passing, etc.

So in my view, you can overstate the importance of McCarron and Barlow this year- they are both good in areas that complement the others. They are two of the best defenders in the team. McCarron is unselfish- an important quality to have alongside shoot-first players. Barlow is one of the most efficient three point shooters in NBL history- and is content with setting screens, moving the ball and then the occasional catch and shoot at a high clip.

United can become a very, very good team but I think it’ll work more effectively if these guys are still played big minutes. CG can come off the bench and be the offensive focal point when he’s on court alongside guys like Ili and Pledger. Instead of competing with Prather for touches.

Reply #772652 | Report this post

Last year

can't* overstate the importance of McCarron and Barlow

Reply #772653 | Report this post

Last year

"Look out Sydney Kings, Melbourne United are here to take the throne."

I didn't realise Sydney were the reigning champs.

Reply #772662 | Report this post

Last year

If smith milner keeps getting minutes theh ain't winning shit

Reply #772668 | Report this post

Last year

It's an interesting battle between Smith Milner and Acuil for the back up 4 minutes this season.

Acuil looks like a talented scorer, but he’s loose at both ends. He’s picked up 16 fouls and committed 12 turnovers in 81 minutes so far this season.

Smith-Milner has less talent, but is the safer option.

At this point in the season, I’d be giving Acuil as many opportunities as possible to learn the system and tighten up his D, because he’s clearly got huge potential.

Reply #772672 | Report this post

Last year

Smith milner thinks he is john rillie out there and chucks 3s at every opportunity at extremely low conversion rate. Sudanese big needs to get more minutes.

Reply #772675 | Report this post

Last year

Moller didn't leave for money, he wanted game time, don’t get that on Melbourne bench.

Ware was lied to and we aren’t talking chump change. United season went to shit after it came out and Trist getting the arse for a player probably worse than him. Player loyalty went out the door.

Melbourne starting five are on big coin, yes Bogut and Ware are also but it falls away after that compared to United. Perth the same, White, Cotton, Kay big dollars but then the list gets back to normality, still some reasonable but nothing like Melbourne.

Reply #772677 | Report this post

Last year

Smith Milner looks in great shape actually, it doesn't seem to have translated into great form but it might sometime.

Back on the money, Kevin Lisch would have to be on big dollars- I thought I remember Bevo saying Illawarra simply couldn't afford him, and the lure of the almighty coin from Sydney was too much.

Kickert switches teams constantly, which I interpret as selling himself to the highest bidder every 2 years. On the 2nd year of his current deal, distinguished career in Europe and the NBL.

Newley would be getting offers from elsewhere. Why is he still in Sydney? Who'd want to live there unless they were getting paid bigtime!

Reply #772679 | Report this post

Last year

Newley has a house in Sydney and he has settled here, same as Lisch, the thought of trying to win with Bogut was also a strong point especially for Newley as him Bogut go long way back. No one was taking Kickett no matter how much you dress his career up. It was reported all three took substantial pay cuts to stay. Sydney has new owners and are right on to any over spending, they have even moved there training base to Auburn, it's hardly flash compared to Melbourne and Perth modern air conditioned training venues.

Reply #772686 | Report this post

Last year

Having a house there doesn't exclude you playing elsewhere

I admit kids obviously make it less likely though.

You may be right that even with Bogut and Casper on huge dollars, United is paying more overall. I doubt there would be too much difference in spending, but who knows.

Reply #772693 | Report this post

Last year

" it's hardly flash compared to Melbourne and Perth modern air conditioned training venues."

Oh no, not air-conditioning! There needs to be a luxury tax on refrigerated air!!

Reply #772694 | Report this post


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