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Just how good are Melbourne United?
"Bloody good." That was Townsville coach Shawn Dennis' response after what he saw from United on Wednesday night. With his team being on the receiving end of a 31 point demolition at the hands of Melbourne, he knows what he is talking about.
Melbourne came to play and Townsville simply had no answers. With the game over at half time, Melbourne had the luxury of allowing the second unit to play out large parts of the third quarter and almost all of the last. Hakim Warrick played less than 6 minutes, not due to injury or lack of form, but because the game was well and truly in hand.
The win over Townsville gives Melbourne an impressive 4-0 start to the season. It isn't just the undefeated start to the season that is exciting United fans, but the way they are winning. No team has been able to stay with Melbourne for four quarters. Adelaide came closest to troubling Melbourne, but even then, when challenged Melbourne had the answers.
— Stephen Holt (@SHolt503) October 21, 2015
Team chemistry is one of the most important factors for a successful team, and already this early in the season, Melbourne have it in spades. The players are loving playing together and whilst it is a team full of stars, the egos have been left at the door.
Running an offence with Stephen Holt, Chris Gouling, Todd Blanchfield and Daniel Kickert may sound like a coach's dream, but keeping each player happy and getting them their touches is vital. Dean Domopoulos, thus far, has been achieving this balance perfectly.
Entering the season Melbourne's depth looked scary on paper, and this has definitely materialised on court. If Holt or Blanchfield have a quiet night, Goulding and Kickert are ready to take over, and vice versa. The depth of the team was on full display against the Crocodiles on Wednesday night.
With the team up by 27 points at half time, Domopoulos called on his second unit to keep Townsville at bay. The likes of Iggy Hadziomerovic, Chris Patton, Brad Hill and Kyle Adnam not only kept Townsville at bay, they out played them and in doing so had the Melbourne crowd on their feet.
Melbourne's biggest weapon, their ability to shoot from beyond the arc, has been killing their opponents. When Kickert, Holt and Goulding combine for 11/19 from three-point land, as they did on Wednesday, no team in the competition can keep up with them.
Whilst Melbourne's offence is causing nightmares for opposition coaches and players, their defence shouldn't be underestimated either. It certainly hasn't been bullet proof, with Adelaide making some particularly easy drives to the basket, it is well organised only 4 games into the season.
Majok Majok is a rebounding machine, highlighted by his mammoth 13 rebounds in only 20 minutes against Townsville. When he is on the floor, the opposition rarely get any second chance baskets.
Melbourne have put the rest of the league on notice. They are playing with confidence, intensity and are in a rhythm that is beautiful to watch.
The only question is, can they sustain this for the entire season? If they can, a Championship may be on the horizon. If not, it may be another disappointing end to the season for a second straight year.