NBL 2014/15 Round 7 Preview: Perth and Melbourne to battle it out

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Melbourne United vs. Perth Wildcats

Sunday 22nd November 2014, Tip-Off: 2.00pm AEDT

Hisense Arena

Odds: Melbourne: $2.02; Perth: $1.80

Tickets: Click here (2 for 1 ticket code: MUPNR23)


The two teams head into Sunday's encounter already having played on Friday night, with Perth finding success in Adelaide notching a 10 point victory, while Melbourne were unsuccessful on their road trip across the ditch suffering an eight point defeat at the hands of the Breakers.

At 7-2, the Wildcats sit pretty at the top of the NBL ladder coming off a host of wins back at the Perth Arena before hitting the road in hope of scoring their second consecutive away victory.

On the other side of the coin, Melbourne are attempting to shrug off a shaky start to the season, with the team sitting 4-5 and looking forward to reaching a .500 record.

Melbourne now head back to their number one home court this season in Hisense Arena after cutting the red tape on the redeveloped Margaret Court Arena and will hope that moving back and forth has no effect of their home court advantage.


Key Player

Stephen Dennis

'Skinny' will have his hands full in the backcourt having to control both Jermaine Beal and Damian Martin throughout the course of this match.

With his strengths of getting to the hoop on offence and being quite nimble and slick getting past opponents despite his size, he'll certainly meet his match when Martin guards him for the full length of the court.

Down the other end, Dennis will need to be on the ball in attempting to contain the red hot Jermaine Beal as the 'Cats will continue to look for Beal to kickstart their half court offence.


What To Watch For

SPLASH

Watching 'lights-out' Melbourne United shoot the ball from the three point line can be like throwing a rock into the ocean. However, it's really a hit and miss Melbourne this season, because if their shot isn't dropping their offence can get quite humorous and then frustrating.

The age old saying is to shoot your way out of slumps and that's what Melbourne seem to do on various occasions this season.

For Perth, they currently display the league's leading three point shooter and Jermaine Beal will look to get himself going from international waters.

Both teams will certainly give you their fair share of three point bombs!


Final Word

This match-up has been dubbed early on in the pre-season as the Grand Final match-up. However the early rounds didn't give away too much regarding that situation and thus for a team like Melbourne, it's now seen as a critical clash to keep up with the leading bunch.

United won't want to be left behind the chasing pack and a win here puts them to .500, while Perth would love their second victory over the highly regarded Melbourne outfit and a win in Melbourne would make it that much sweeter.

The home side should be desperate to scrap out a win after falling short just two days earlier in New Zealand.

Melbourne by 3