67 United proves a class above
SCOUTING Melbourne United must be a nightmare for its NBL rivals.
So many weapons, combinations and options for United coach Dean Vickerman.
United promised a response after being smacked in Cairns on Thursday and last night it delivered with a 108-90 win over Sydney Kings at Hisense Arena.
Casper Ware and Josh Boone combined seamlessly, while Casey Prather and Tai Wesley wreaked havoc on the perimeter and in the post.
Boone had the statisticians working overtime, racing to 15 points and 11 rebounds.
He attacked with venom but defended with greater purpose after being well held against the Taipans.
“We weren’t happy about the way we lost the other night. I thought there was a physicality that was really missing for our group, so that was a priority tonight,” Vickerman said.
“When we’re at 20 assists and seven turnovers we’re tough … really pleased we got the number of shot attempts up to 75 (from 55) by taking care of the basketball and rebounding better.”
United played in patches but found rhythm after halftime to win by 18 points.
“It’s a different group than I’ve ever coached in how much we’re able to fluctuate. But you know with this group if you’re 15 down it can only be five minutes and you’re back in it,” Vickerman said.
“Somewhere we’ve probably got to even it out a little bit more and be a little bit more consistent.”
Chris Goulding and Prather forced turnovers that created scoring opportunities, while Ware sliced through the Kings.
The onslaught made it impossible for Kings coach Andrew Gaze to bottle up his emotions.
The Australian basketball legend seethed on the sidelines as United went to work despite some resistance from Brad Newley and Jason Cadee.
But United’s desperation exposed the Kings’ defensively.
Kings recruit Jeremy Tyler will be better for the run.
The ex-NBA centre competed well early, but faded as fatigue set in.
United moved to third, aided by Illawarra’s storming finish that saw it defeat Adelaide 96-87. MELBOURNE Boomers stars Jenna O’Hea and Liz Cambage combined for 38 points in the 23-point win over Sydney Uni Flames yesterday.
O’Hea sparked the Boomers’ 88-65 demolition in her first game back from a calf complaint.
Melbourne United’s Casey Prather is stopped on the way to the basket by Sydney’s Todd Blanchfield at Hisense Arena yesterday. Picture: JACK THOMAS/GETTY IMAGES