Melbourne United are preparing for their first game against the Jiangsu Dragons tonight as part of Club’s two-game series in China this week.
Tonight’s game is not the first time Melbourne United have visited the Jiangsu province with the Dragons taking out the series win last time Melbourne United visited Nanjing in 2014-15.
It’ll be a new look side that takes the floor for Melbourne tonight however, with the absence of contracted players Dave Andersen (France) and Josh Boone (USA), the team has been bolstered by some young talent out of college who are looking to make their break in the NBL system.
What to expect
We can expect a very fast paced, frenetic contest. The Chinese point-guards are very quick moving up and down the floor and constantly looking to put pressure on the ball.
As well as being ultra-fast and aggressive, they also play 48-minute games so this will add another challenge for the Melbourne United group as their endurance gets put to the test.
Despite missing their American imports, Jiangsu Dragons have some ex-Chinese National players in their team who we know are going to be a welcomed challenge for the Melbourne forwards including debutant Craig Moller.
“Certainly going into China, into their environment, they’re always competitive games. The crowd is always into it and enjoys exciting basketball so hopefully we can go over there and put on a good exhibition and entertain their crowd”, Head Coach Dean Vickerman shared.
Who to look out for
We know the Chinese play ultra aggressive, so Melbourne United will be looking to the experience and strength of Tai Wesley inside the post after dominating his off-season with New Zealand NBL side the Wellington Saints recently.
Kyle Adnam will also be taking the reigns as the starting point-guard which will be a great opportunity for him after being elevated to the contracted playing list this season.
Recently signed development player Sam Short will also make his debut for Melbourne and at just 19 years of age and having played for several junior national teams, the Club is pretty excited about the prospect of what Sam will be able to bring to the table in the future.
How to follow the game
Unfortunately tonight’s game wont be live streamed back into Australia, however Melbourne United will be able to provide updates throughout the game via it’s social media channels and a match report and highlights after the game.
The best place to keep up with content as it happens is via the Melbourne United Instagram story.
Tip off for tonight’s game is 9.30pm AEST (7.30pm local time)