Hungry Jack's NBL
Melbourne United v Brisbane Bullets Game Preview
Melbourne United v Brisbane Bullets When: 7.30pm (AEDT), Thursday 20 October Where: Hisense Arena, Melbourne Broadcast: NBL TV; Fox Sports; Sky Sports NZ United and snuggly The big question surrounding Melbourne United heading into this season was how would all the pieces fit together? Was their enough ball to go around, were there enough role players to do the less glamorous jobs? Well in Round 2 the pieces fit together very snuggly indeed as United dispatched the 36ers and Illawarra by a combined margin of 23 points, scoring 193 points for the round compared to the opening weekend’s lowly tally of 150. In fact, if you take out Adelaide’s 12-1 run in three minutes near the end of Friday’s game and the Hawks’ 13-5 burst in four minutes surrounding quarter-time on Sunday, Melbourne were a dominant 187-145 in the other 73 minutes of action.
.@ToddyBlanch #selfie pic.twitter.com/qdkJiDnRvw — NBL (@NBL) October 16, 2016“Whether he’s missing shots or not he’s out there, he’s one of the hardest guys for me to take off the floor for two years,” Demopoulos said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence in him. He’s still a young player but he’s played a lot in his young life at this level. He’s got a long way to go too, and he knows that. But he’s a really fine player.” While Blanchfield has been the glue for Melbourne, the revamped Bullets head to Hisense Arena this Thursday still trying to stick all their new pieces together. Welcome back Bair Their Round 2 clash with Adelaide saw the long-awaited return of former Chicago Bull Cam Bairstow and he didn’t disappoint with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists. However coach Andrej Lemanis his big man “ran out of gas” after such a long lay-off, and the team’s sync wasn’t quite the same as Round 1 with a new and important player introduced. “He showed what he’s going to be to do for us, he’s certainly a good presence around the rim and moves well off the ball and he’s great on the glass,” Lemanis said. “It’s going to take us a while to find our rhythm with Cameron, we haven’t had a pre-season with him … you then need to find a rhythm of how the game will unfold and how we play best together with all the pieces in place.” For the first time this season Brisbane were unable to control the tempo for the majority of the game as Jerome Randle and the 36ers claimed victory despite having 15 less possessions, overcoming the Bullets’ dominant 22-8 offensive rebounding led by Tom Jervis and Torrey Craig. “(There was) certainly a lack of urgency on the defensive end. When we got that lead and they came charging at us I thought we gave up too many easy scores, on the back of second effort plays,” Lemanis said. “We make a foul shot and Randle dribbles the length of the court and shoots a three-ball.” Testing times Brisbane have pressed defensively with the aim of slowing opponents and chewing shot clock, but Randle and Adelaide attacked them relentlessly to get easy looks or force the Bullets defence into rotations early in the clock, or spectacular plays to save a bucket.