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Tonight 2 of the top 3 teams in NBL will face off against each other in hopes to win and come closet to leading Perth, who have lost only 1 match this season. The match will take place at Hisense Arena, Melbourne the home of Melbourne United.
The home side, Melbourne United are currently 2nd in the league with 11 games played. Their overall record as of now is 8-3, with only 1 defeat in their 5 recent games against Illawarra Hawks (87:81). United is the 2nd best team when it comes to home matches, where they lost only once out of 6 games played. Looking at their most recent match against Brisbane Bullets, it was Melbourne United who celebrated an 8 point win in the end. By the end of the first quarter, Melbourne was leading by 5 points (25:20), but the lead was lost in the 2nd quarter when Bullets outscored Melbourne 18:24. With only 1 separating the teams, they went into the 3rd quarter, where Melbourne performed better, closing the gap and got a 2 point lead. They managed to do so despite shooting worse than Brisbane (63.2% – 76.9%). With only 2 points in between the teams, it all came down to the last quarter, where Melbourne was once again a better side, shooting 46.2% from the field, whereas holding Bullets at 37.5%. United outscored Bullets by 6 points, which saw them winning the match by 8 points. Final score: 102:94. The best player of the match was Ware, who scored 23 points, to which he added 6 assists.
Looking at the visiting team, Sydney Kings, they are currently 3rd in the league with only 8 games played (5-3). In their last 5 games, they have only lost 1 match against Melbourne United (77:70), who will they face again tonight. Sydney last match against New Zeland Breakers saw them winning by 13 points. The match was mostly one-sided, with Sydney outscoring New Zeland Breakers in every quarter, except the last one which ended in 21:23 for Breakers. However, that was not even nearly enough for Breakers to come back, as they were trailing by 15 points at the end of the 3rd quarter. All in all, Sydney were performing far better than their opponents. They shot with 62% accuracy from the field and 46.2% from the 3pt line, whereas Breakers managed only 41.8% accuracy from the field and 36.7% from behind the 3pt line. The final result was a fair representation of what we have seen from the teams. Final result: 100:87.
These two teams met each other on 5th of November when it was Melbourne who celebrated the win (77:70). Kings do have a problem heading into this rematch, as they are without Kevin Lisch, however, they played well without him. We saw Randle scoring 24, Bogut 17, Newley and Adnan 14 points in their last match. Although it was expected Sydney to win, they performed surprisingly well and if they can put up a similar performance tonight they should be more than capable to win against United. The void left by Lisch was seemingly filled well by Adnan, although he is not on a level the former MVP is, he is doing an excellent job which can be seen in Sydney results. On the other side, I was not impressed by Melbourne performance against Brisbane Bullets, as the match was too close up until the last quarter, especially against a team that has not been performing well in away matches (2-4). Expect Sydney to continue with their excellent performances and defeat Melbourne United.
Prediction: Sydney to win
Odds: 2.25 5Dimes, 2.21 Pinnacle