Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Scores updated regularly. REFRESH NOW
Perth Wildcats vs Melbourne United
2018-19 NBL semi-finals, Game 1
|Venue: Perth Arena, Perth, WA|
|Match time: Fulltime|
|Perth Wildcats||Brisbane Bullets|
The all-dominant Perth Wildcats will look to make their quest of getting back to the grand final easier when they take on the Brisbane Bullets in Game 1 of the semi-finals. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 10:20pm (AEDT).
This is a series of contrasting storylines.
The Wildcats haven’t missed a finals series since 1986. It gives them one of the best records in the league, and with their massive home-crowd advantage, it’s not hard to see why. At the same time, they are out for revenge this year after being bundled out of the semi-finals by the Adelaide 36ers last year.
The Bullets, on the other hand, have returned to the finals for the first time since they were re-admitted to the competition, making it their first finals run since 2008, when they had one of the best teams to ever step on an NBL court.
Throughout the year, when the two sides have met, the home side has taken every encounter, and on the surface at least, it shows just what an even match-up this is.
However, digging further, the contrasting styles on display should suit Perth down to the ground in high-pressure, finals basketball.
As they always have done while Trevor Gleeson has been in charge and Damian Martin is manning the point, the Wildcats play a griding style which is built on the back of their defence.
When it comes to finals, the old saying, ‘defence wins matches,’ rings true and the Bullets will need to up their output on that side of the court if they are to pull off a surprise upset, with finding a way to stop Bryce Cotton the top priority.
As much as they need to defend well, the Bullets can’t afford to fall into the trap of playing Perth-style basketball. They need to find guys open beyond the arc and look for the fastbreak through Lamar Patterson and Cameron Bairstow whenever possible.
On top of that, the real battle might be in the paint, as Angus Brandt and Matt Hodgson square off. The winner of that, and the better player on the boards, might take their team a long way to winning.
This is in Perth, so it’d be a fools game to tip against them, especially given the way Brisbane have gone about their business this season.
Wildcats by 12.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Game 1 in this NBL semi-final series from 10:20pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Tip-off: 10:20pm (AEDT)
Venue: Perth Arena, Perth
TV: Live, Fox Sports
Online: Live, Foxtel app, Foxtel now, Kayo sports
Betting: Wildcats $1.35, Bullets $3.20
Season series: Wildcats 2 – Bullets 2 *home team won each game
Perth Wildcats (expected)
Point guard: Daniel Martin
Shooting guard: Bryce Cotton
Small forward: Greg Hire
Power forward: Nick Kay
Centre: Angus Brandt
Bench: Mitch Norton, Terrico White, Jesse Wagstaff, Clint Steindl, Tom Jervis, Rhys Vague
Brisbane Bullets (expected)
Point guard: Adam Gibson
Shooting guard: Jason Cadee
Small forward: Lamar Patterson
Power forward: Cameron Bairstow
Centre: Matt Hodgson
Bench: Cameron Gliddon, Mika Vukona, Reuben Te Rangi, Jeremy Kendle, Will Magnay, A.J. Davis