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Melbourne United vs Sydney Kings
2017/18 NBL Season, December 11, 2017
|Hisense Arena, Melbourne, VIC|
|Melbourne United||Sydney Kings|
Melbourne United will be out to improve their record and form when they host the struggling Sydney Kings to close Round 9 of the NBL season. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:30pm (AEDT).
United have been the great underperformers, while the Kings have gone from one low to the next as we hit the halfway point of the season.
Melbourne, with the best roster on paper by the length of the straight are sitting just outside the top four with a record of six and six.
For a team who have spent big and compiled the most talented roster we have seen on an NBL floor for decades, that’s simply unacceptable. Coach Dean Vickerman has his work cut out ensuring they can turn things around and claim a finals spot come the end of the season.
Sydney sit with a record of three and eleven though, dead last on the table. Andrew Gaze looks like a coach out of his depth and his team has misfired all season long.
They must now win at least 12 of their last 14 games to make the finals – sure, it’s not impossible, but it’s in the same basket as that.
The Kings would need to go on a run similar to that of the Adelaide 36ers last season, but given their struggles rebounding and winning the battle in the paint, it’s hard to see that happening.
It’s hard enough to know where the next win is coming from, let alone 12. Even with new signings in last season’s MVP Jerome Randle and big man Jeremy Tyler, they haven’t competed all that well.
A rare win against Cairns last week was positive, but they have had two straight losses since then against Cairns and Brisbane – the Brisbane one, in particular, was a stinger, with a second-half comeback being dominated by terrible rebounding from Sydney.
United have their own problems, mainly stemming from offensive cohesion. They seem to have too many parts on the court to play strongly as a unit, which was always the concern coming into the season.
There have been moments where they have gelled for the full 40 minutes, like in last week’s 18-point win over Illawarra. Yet, too many times they have struggled to do so, as illustrated by their last start loss to a gritty Cairns team.
Despite what should be a desperate Sydney team, their chances of making the top four are disappearing at a rapid rate, and Melbourne must start winning consistently – especially on their home floor.
Melbourne by 11.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the final Round 9 NBL game from 7:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.