NBL 2014/15 Round 8 Preview: Melbourne look to build on table-topping victory

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Melbourne United vs. Adelaide 36ers

Friday 27th November 2014, 7:00 tip-off (Local Time)

Hisense Arena

Odds: Melbourne United $1.20; Adelaide 36ers $4.60

Tickets (2 for 1 code: MUPNR27): Click here

These two teams come into the Thursday night match-up on different sides of the story. For Melbourne, a confidence boosting victory over the Perth Wildcats shadowed their loss to the New Zealand Breakers only days earlier.

United's resilience to jump back on the court and forget about the disappointing result across the ditch paid dividends, with the combination of Stephen Dennis, Jordan McRae and the late surge from Daniel Kickert powered Melbourne past the NBL leaders.

Adelaide on the other hand, have suffered three straight defeats since the star studded signing of Brock Motum. Despite his handy contributions, it has been the lack of defensive pressure that has allowed opponents to gain the upper hand. Something which coach Joey Wright will have his team focused on to limit Melbourne's offensive waves.

Key Player

Luke Schenscher

With Melbourne's woes currently coming on the glass, Adelaide's 'Big Red' will have a job on his hands to make that deficit continue. Between Luke, Anthony Petrie and Brock Motum the trio will be looking to shut out as many United possessions as possible, while also creating second chance points for their own team down the other end.

If Schenscher is able to record a double double on the evening, it will certainly go along way to Adelaide having a chance at picking up a rare road victory.

What To Watch For

The Adam Gibson Show

This one will either go one of two ways:

The first is that between Melbourne point guard's Stephen Dennis and Nate Tomlinson, Gibson will be shut out of the game for long periods of time. He won't be allowed even a sniff of the action and he will show signs of frustration knowing that he is being beaten by the better opponents.

The second is that Adam Gibson leads his team from the get-go, providing leadership on the court by beating double teams, mismatches and anything else coach Darryl McDonald can throw at him.

Gibson's output could quite literally prove the difference between how Adelaide represent themselves after their 39 point drubbing the last time these two team's met just two weeks prior.

Final Word

It is being advertised as Melbourne's guard factor who can attack the paint while knocking down shots from beyond the arc, against the Adelaide big men who can control the restricted area and shut down opposition attacks.

The big question is how many three pointers will United hit this time, in response to their NBL record 22 made buckets last time they met. If the Sixers can restrict just half of those shots, it will go along way to grabbing a victory.

Melbourne by 4