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Drinkwise Preview: NBL24 - Round 20 Game 1 v Cairns Taipans

15 Feb
3 mins read

Written By

Melbourne United Media

Melbourne United will look to extend its winning streak when they face the Cairns Taipans

Melbourne United are set to play their final regular season road game on Friday evening when they head north for a battle with the Taipans in Cairns.

Needing one win out of their pair of Round 20 games to lock in top spot on the competition table heading into the playoffs, United will bring a desperate energy to the Cairns Convention Centre.

This will also be an opportunity to pick up a victory against every team in the NBL this season, with Cairns being the only team Dean Vickerman’s squad has yet to best.

For the Taipans, this will be their final chance to put on a show in front of their home crowd, with the post-season Play In sitting just out of reach.

PLAYER TO WATCH

As the team heads up to Cairns, their captain, Chris Goulding, has the potential to take one step closer to history.

Having put up some truly astronomical numbers across the course of NBL24, Goulding’s 106 three-pointers place him just eight behind the record for the most triples in a regular season since the game went to 40 minutes.

While unlikely, Goulding has knocked down eight or more three-pointers in a game four times across his career, including against Sydney this season.

If CG43 could catch fire and break the record on Friday night, it would also see the United legend move past Brett Maher into ninth-place all time in career three-pointers made.

KEY MATCHUP

In a battle of two of the strongest guards in the league, Matthew Dellavedova will look to shut down Cairns star Patrick Miller.

Miller has been dominant in the two side’s pair of previous meetings, averaging 31.5 points and 7.5 assists per night.

Needing to slow down the freight train that is Miller, United will look to Dellavedova to lock up the athletic guard.

Having spent his career fighting it out with some of the world’s best scorers in the NBA, look for Delly to take his defence to another level on Friday evening.

THE OTHER GUYS

Featuring an ever-changing rotation, what MU can expect from Cairns remains a mystery heading into the contest.

Across the last three rounds, Tahjere McCall has fallen out of the rotation, while Sam Waardenberg remains in question heading into the game after sitting out much of the second half against Perth.

Up and coming stars like Taran Armstrong and Lat Mayen will hope to produce impressive showings, while Next Star Bobi Klintman looks to make a final splash before he heads off to the NBA Draft.

WANT TO HEAR HOW OUR GUYS BREAK DOWN THE GAME? CLICK HERE

GAME INFO

Who: Melbourne United vs Cairns Taipans

Tip-off: 7:30pm AEDT, Friday 16 February, 2024

Where: Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns

Watch: ESPN via Kayo and Foxtel

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