Infotainment Factory: Why Melbourne United will take out NBL title

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Thursday, 7 March 2019

Why Melbourne United will take out NBL title


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Despite coming into their Grand Final series on the back of a two-game sweep over the Brisbane Bullets, NBL legend Corey 'Homicide' Williams believes the Perth Wildcats will fall short at the final hurdle.

After a successful season which saw the Wildcats finish atop the NBL ladder on percentage over its Grand Final opponent Melbourne United, the two sides will open up the Grand Finals series at RAC Arena on Friday night, where the Wildcats hold a formidable 13-2 regular season record which is the best home record in the NBL.

You can catch Game 1 of the 2019 NBL Finals live and free on 9Go! from 10pm onwards

However, despite their home-court dominance, Williams said that United will steal Game 1 and eventually take out the series in four games.

Casper Ware

"Melbourne United are a star-studded and fully-loaded team that's deep," he told Wide World of Sports.

"When you have everybody putting in work, they showed you how dominant they can be. It wasn't even a series.

"Casper Ware is in sensational form and he's a mission, you can see it in his eyes. Chris Goulding has accepted his role as sixth man for this team and it has actually been a great thing. Their record is better with him off-the bench than in the starting lineup.

"Dean Vickerman figured it out brought DJ Kennedy into the starting lineup and he's played better. This team has been rolling.

"These are two teams that have won the last two championships. It's going to be a dogfight."

Chris Goulding

Williams maintained his confidence in the reigning champions being able to prevail in what he described as a "hostile environment" in Perth, and said United will maintain confidence heading into Game 1, despite losing both games in Perth during the season.

"When you look at how Melbourne United have lost those games; in Game 1 the referees cheated them so technically they know they won that game," he said.

"The second time they played each other, Melbourne United smacked them in Melbourne. The third time they played each other, Casper Ware missed a layup to finish the game. 99.99 times out of 100, Casper's making that. Game 4, they win.

"When you look at going back to RAC Arena today, while looking at how they finished off against Sydney, you have to know that Melbourne United is a team that is really confident. This is a game that I believe will set the tone for each team."

Bryce Cotton

However, despite picking United to win the series and the title, Williams explained how the Wildcats could cause an upset.

"First, their big three has woken up. Nick Kay has been there all year, first-team All-NBL. Bryce Cotton's a stud and Terrico White had an amazing finals series versus Brisbane," he said.

"The rest of the cast still did what they needed to do which was enough to get them the broom to sweep the Brisbane Bullets.

The Wildcats swept the overpowered Bullets in its semi-final series by feasting on the Bullets' defensive scheme, and Williams said Perth's role players held the key to a title win.

Angus Brandt

"Angus Brandt will have to have a huge series," he said.

"Clint Steindl will have to have an amazing shooting series because I believe the depth is going to run them down in five games. If it takes five games, guys like that are going to have to step up. Jesse Wagstaff, who is a veteran, he's been here too many times. A guy like Steindl, those are the guys that have to stand up.

"The thing is defensively, Brisbane switched a lot and gave a legitimate shooter like Terrico White daylight to knock down his shot. Terrico White was hitting wide-open shots.

"He's not going to get those type of looks because Melbourne does not play that type of defense, so I believe his productivity is going to be lower.

"Casper Ware is one of the best on-ball defenders at the guard position in this league. Josh Boone 'shows' amazingly. Alex Pledger, most of the time, his hard 'show' off the screen is a good one, which gives Casper time to recover.

"Those shooters are not going to be as open as they were in the Brisbane series."

Prediction: Melbourne United in four games, Finals MVP: Casper Ware

Despite coming into their Grand Final series on the back of a two-game sweep over the Brisbane Bullets, NBL legend Corey 'Homicide' Williams believes the Perth Wildcats will fall short at the final hurdle.

After a successful season which saw the Wildcats finish atop the NBL ladder on percentage over its Grand Final opponent Melbourne United, the two sides will open up the Grand Finals series at RAC Arena on Friday night, where the Wildcats hold a formidable 13-2 regular season record which is the best home record in the NBL.

You can catch Game 1 of the 2019 NBL Finals live and free on 9Go! from 10pm onwards

However, despite their home-court dominance, Williams said that United will steal Game 1 and eventually take out the series in four games.

Casper Ware

"Melbourne United are a star-studded and fully-loaded team that's deep," he told Wide World of Sports.

"When you have everybody putting in work, they showed you how dominant they can be. It wasn't even a series.

"Casper Ware is in sensational form and he's a mission, you can see it in his eyes. Chris Goulding has accepted his role as sixth man for this team and it has actually been a great thing. Their record is better with him off-the bench than in the starting lineup.

"Dean Vickerman figured it out brought DJ Kennedy into the starting lineup and he's played better. This team has been rolling.

"These are two teams that have won the last two championships. It's going to be a dogfight."

Chris Goulding

Williams maintained his confidence in the reigning champions being able to prevail in what he described as a "hostile environment" in Perth, and said United will maintain confidence heading into Game 1, despite losing both games in Perth during the season.

"When you look at how Melbourne United have lost those games; in Game 1 the referees cheated them so technically they know they won that game," he said.

"The second time they played each other, Melbourne United smacked them in Melbourne. The third time they played each other, Casper Ware missed a layup to finish the game. 99.99 times out of 100, Casper's making that. Game 4, they win.

"When you look at going back to RAC Arena today, while looking at how they finished off against Sydney, you have to know that Melbourne United is a team that is really confident. This is a game that I believe will set the tone for each team."

Bryce Cotton

However, despite picking United to win the series and the title, Williams explained how the Wildcats could cause an upset.

"First, their big three has woken up. Nick Kay has been there all year, first-team All-NBL. Bryce Cotton's a stud and Terrico White had an amazing finals series versus Brisbane," he said.

"The rest of the cast still did what they needed to do which was enough to get them the broom to sweep the Brisbane Bullets.

The Wildcats swept the overpowered Bullets in its semi-final series by feasting on the Bullets' defensive scheme, and Williams said Perth's role players held the key to a title win.

Angus Brandt

"Angus Brandt will have to have a huge series," he said.

"Clint Steindl will have to have an amazing shooting series because I believe the depth is going to run them down in five games. If it takes five games, guys like that are going to have to step up. Jesse Wagstaff, who is a veteran, he's been here too many times. A guy like Steindl, those are the guys that have to stand up.

"The thing is defensively, Brisbane switched a lot and gave a legitimate shooter like Terrico White daylight to knock down his shot. Terrico White was hitting wide-open shots.

"He's not going to get those type of looks because Melbourne does not play that type of defense, so I believe his productivity is going to be lower.

"Casper Ware is one of the best on-ball defenders at the guard position in this league. Josh Boone 'shows' amazingly. Alex Pledger, most of the time, his hard 'show' off the screen is a good one, which gives Casper time to recover.

"Those shooters are not going to be as open as they were in the Brisbane series."

Prediction: Melbourne United in four games, Finals MVP: Casper Ware

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