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Carter breaks down potential Playoff matchups

29 Feb
3 mins read

Written By

Melbourne United Media

Assistant Coach Rhys Carter broke down what a series against the Hawks or Breakers could look like

With the list of Melbourne United’s potential Playoff opponents cut in half, the ladder leaders can begin to narrow their focus toward a matchup with either the Illawarra Hawks or New Zealand Breakers.

Having gone 6-0 against both teams in NBL24, MU are sure to head into a three-game series full of confidence.

Both teams however bring with them their unique challenges, which Assistant Coach, Rhys Carter, broke down for United’s fans.

First looking at the Hawks, limiting their ability to play with pace while keying in on their star imports were high on the priority list.

“They’re quick, they’re fast, they play in transition really well so we have to be on point with our defensive transition again if we want to slow them down and put them into a tough game,” he said.

“Gary Clark came out and made the All-NBL first team so we’re going to have to do a job on him again but they’ve got so many pieces. Tyler Harvey has carried that team for a few years, Justin Robinson’s been great.

“We have to be on point with all ball movement and making sure we get space for our shooters.”

Shifting focus to the Breakers, the strategy flips entirely, with an emphasis put on pushing the pace and getting out on the break.

“We’ve had some huge battles with them all year, every game has been a tough grind,” he explained.

“They play physical, they play hard, a really similar style to us so we have a lot of respect for them.

“We really need to make sure we’re on point with their key guys. Parker Jackson-Cartwright has been tough all year… Will McDowell-White has been battling injuries but is still so effective so we really need to lock in.

“With them being such a tough defensive team we’ve got to be able to get out and run, we’ve got to get in space and not let them bog us down in the half-court, play us physically and take us out of our offence.”

United will find out who they will face on Monday night when the Hawks host the Breakers from 7:30pm.

Game 1 of Melbourne’s playoff campaign will then kick off on Thursday 7 March at John Cain Arena from 7:30pm.

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