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Perth Wildcats vs Melbourne United
2018-19 NBL Grand Final, Game 1
|Venue: Perth Arena, Perth, WA|
|Match time: Fulltime|
|Perth Wildcats||Melbourne United|
The NBL grand final series is here, and after demolishing their opposition in the semi-finals, it’ll be the Perth Wildcats and Melbourne United to clash for the trophy. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage of Game 1 from 10:20pm (AEDT).
The Wildcats took out the NBL minor premiership, but given the top three teams were all tied on win-loss records, the percentage factor to decide home court advantage in both semi-finals and the final was huge.
Perth finished the season with outstanding play across the board, and demonstrated more of that during a 2-0 drubbing of the Brisbane Bullets in the semi-final series.
Their win at home, backed up by a usual tenacity and effort in defence was outstanding, with Brisbane scoring an all time NBL-low of just four points in the final quarter of the game.
Perth were pushed harder in Game 2, but they still got the job done and had an extra day off leading into the five-game grand final series.
Melbourne were never really put under pressure in their semi-final series against the Sydney Kings. Game 1 saw the outfit come away with a stunning victory at home, before they ran away down the stretch of Game 2.
This is a series of contrasting styles. While Perth aren’t shabby on attack, they are a defence-first outfit, and with Josh Boone and Damian Martin leading the way, it’s not hard to see why.
Melbourne, on the other hand, have weapons all over the floor. Casper Ware has been on an unbelievably hot stretch of form, Chris Goulding is still one of the best shooters in the league, and containing Josh Boone in the paint will be a mammoth task for Angus Brandt and co.
Perth don’t have the offence to go with them, so they will need to unsettle Melbourne’s shooters through an aggressive defensive strategy, but even that may not be enough.
As much as you’d think this series is going to be home sides all the way, Melbourne just have too many weapons on the floor unless Bryce Cotton gets going. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see overtime in this one, with Melbourne poaching it on the buzzer.
Melbourne by 2.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Game 1 in the 2018-19 NBL grand 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 and 9Go
Online: Live, Foxtel app, Foxtel now, Kayo sports
Betting: Wildcats $1.75, United $2.20
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
Point guard: Casper Ware
Shooting guard: Mitch McCarron
Small forward: D.J. Kennedy
Power forward: David Barlow
Centre: Josh Boone
Bench: Chris Goulding, Tohi Smith-Milner, Craig Moller, Alex Pledger, Peter Hooley, Sam Short, Sam McDaniel, Jenky Vois, Daniel Trist