Hungry Jack's NBL
R17 Preview: Perth v Melbourne
Who: Perth Wildcats v Melbourne United When: 9.30pm (AEDT), Friday 29 January Where: Perth Arena Watch: Fox Sports; Sky Sports NZ; NBL Live App Last time they met: Melbourne 92 (Goulding 27, Holt 16, Warrick 16) d Perth 87 (Prather 24, Knight 19, Jawai 15), Round 12, Hisense Arena, Melbourne
.@ChrisGoulding43 from Chemist Warehouse territory to beat the buzzer for @MelbUnitedHQ #HardBall https://t.co/YHwux5NY7g — NBL (@NBL) November 1, 2015When Melbourne slumped, however, so did their star backcourt, their passive containment-style defence exploited mercilessly by some of the NBL’s star guards. But Holt and Goulding have struck back, holding opposition starting backcourts to just 17ppg in their recent five-game win streak, Holt pinching three steals in the past three outings after having just five for the entire season to that point. “I think that’s something Dean (Demopoulos) has told me. In our defence I’m on the ball so I’m the point of attack,” he said. “I’m definitely going for more steals, trying to be more aggressive, trying to do a little bit of everything.” That works in reverse too though, Perth and Wollongong securing some key late-game turnovers from United with their full-court pressure, something that has been an adjustment for Holt in his first season overseas. “In college there were only a few teams that were pressing teams, my first year out in the D-League no one pressed, but out here pretty much every team presses,” he said. Holt knows Damian Martin will be snapping at his heels, well supported by Perth’s intelligent defensive unit who present a number of different looks. “It’s a different puzzle every single game that Chris and I have to solve so it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “We’re going to have to whether the storm and take care of the ball at the start of the game, because their crowd is going to be into it, and try to understand the flow of the game. “We’re going to have to execute in the half-court, break their press and then execute late in the shot clock. That’s what we’ve been practicing, how to find the right sets at the right time.” THE WRAP United won two riveting contests in Melbourne, while the Wildcats rode Beal’s brilliance to a blowout win at Perth Arena. Hakim Warrick started to find his NBL feet in that game though, and he and Daniel Kickert’s versatility will provide a big challenge for Perth’s bigs. At the other end, United don’t have the bulk of Nate Jawai or Matt Knight inside, so the pressure defence of Holt and Nate Tomlinson will be important to disrupt the Wildcats’ guards and prevent early post entries.