NBL 2014/15 Round 3 Preview: Townsville vs. Melbourne or Wortho vs. Conklin?

#475719237 / gettyimages.com

Townsville Crocodiles vs. Melbourne United

Saturday, October 25, 7:30pm (local time),

Townsville RSL Stadium

Odds: Townsville $1.90, Melbourne $1.90

Tickets: Click here


After a solid win last week against the Sydney Kings, the Townsville boys will look to continue their success against the slow starting United team. Conklin and Gladness should provide United with plenty of trouble down low. Conklin just destroyed Sydney on the block last week, with no one they threw at him able to slow him down. If Steindl and Markovic can continue to hit from the outside, along with Djeric, the guys in green will be tough to stop today. Look for some good inside out action and a highlight reel block or two from Gladness.

On the other end Melbourne finally got their first win as “United”. Stephen Dennis came off the bench for 10 points in a solid outing, but it was Wortho and McRae who picked up the slack combining for 51 points and 19 rebounds. Expect big games from both these guys, as well as Kickert, who finally looks to be producing the goods. If Barlow can start playing to his ability, this Melbourne team will be hard for Townsville to match.


Key Player

Brian Conklin

The big man from Townsville is just a bully. Often times he looks like a man playing boys, the way he uses his body to get deep position. With Wortho being a “no nonsense” guy himself I expect this to be a great match up. Look for Conklin to bang inside and make guys run to the ice baths after the game.

If he establishes a strong presence inside early, he will need his perimeter guys to knock down their shots to keep the defense honest. Conklin should be dominant across the box score, if his performance last week was anything to go by. Given the lack of true big men on Melbourne’s roster I fully expect him to clean the glass whilst putting points on the board.


What To Watch For

Bringing back the biff: Wortho vs Conklin

Any time these to match up I expect it to be interesting to watch. Don’t expect to see either back down to the other. Worthington has gone head to head with Lebron James so he is no stranger to getting into players, no matter their star status. Conklin is a physical beast, though undersized he makes up for it with bull like strength. As long as no punches are thrown this should be a great physical match-up. Follow along and see who gets the best of this match-up, I know I will be.


Final Word

This should be a great contest. Both teams should be well rested after the week off. I think the length of Melbourne bothers Townsville and makes life difficult for the Queensland guards. Unless Gladness can dominate the paint on the defensive end and Conklin controls his matchup-, I expect Melbourne to come away with the victory behind their depth. United’s bench easily has the advantage against the Crocs and that will be the difference in this game.

Melbourne by 7