NBL Round 3: Perth Wildcats v Melbourne United

TWO undefeated teams take to the court in what could be an early preview to this year’s grand final series.

United have been terrific in overcoming Adelaide twice, with the most recent performance outlining their ability on the defensive end.

The 36ers were comfortably the best offensive team in the league before being shut down by Melbourne, who held the home side to 34% shooting from the field.

Perth meanwhile are not to be undone on that end of the court either after the stunning second half effort saw them erase a double-digit deficit en route to an impressive win over the Hawks.

The Wildcats gave up just 21 points in the second half as they clamped down defensively, thanks in large to the example set by Damian Martin.

Martin wasn’t the only one causing problems on the defensive side of the ball, with JP Tokoto showing how disruptive he can be in using his length and athleticism to prevent easy baskets in the paint.

While the offensive weapons that will take the court are there for all to see (Bryce Cotton and Casper Ware are easily two of the best scorers the league has to offer) we do have a good lean on the Unders here.

Chris Goulding and Casey Prather are both game time decisions, and while we are expecting both to see the court there’s no doubt that Goulding in particular could be slow in finding his range.

Much like the Kings yesterday, Melbourne head to Perth having spent a lot of time on the road to start the year and it’s undoubtedly going to take a toll on the player’s – both physically and mentally.

It’s clear that United coach Dean Vickerman has emphasised the need for his team to show up defensively, knowing full well that the offence will take care of itself.

Their second unit are more than capable of restricting their opponents (as demonstrated in Adelaide last week) and we can see both sides making a point of not allowing easy baskets in transition.

Expect the flow of the game to result in a lot of half court execution, meaning missed baskets will cripple the point total. Our data has this one falling Under the total almost 67% of the time, and if either Goulding or Prather sit that number will likely rocket.

Tip: Under 171.5 @ $1.89


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