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26 Feb 2018 14:06
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Basketball

    United want to stop Breakers NBL dominance

    NBL ladder-leaders Melbourne United acknowledge New Zealand have had the upper hand against them recently but hope to put a stop to that starting Friday night.

    NBL ladder-leaders Melbourne are out to smash the perception they're New Zealand's bunnies and it starts with Friday night's clash at Hisense Arena where a win will help secure them a home final.

    Melbourne already have a generic finals berth locked down and face an ideal warm-up with two games against the Breakers this weekend including Sunday on the road in Auckland.

    They need just two more wins from their final four matches - with one of them over New Zealand - to ensure they finish atop the ladder and get home court advantage throughout the post-season.

    But the Breakers have won their past 10 of 11 against United and are the only team Melbourne hasn't beaten this season.

    Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman acknowledges the one-sided record and says they'll be doing all they can to get the upper-hand going into the playoffs.

    "It's a team that's over a period of time United have had their battles with," he said on Tuesday.

    "They walk into playing us and they feel like they're going to get the win.

    "We're a team they feel confident against and to change that we're going to have to make sure the physicality is there."

    United have been flying with 11 wins from their past 12 matches, the 17-point loss to New Zealand the sole blemish.

    Vickerman however faces a tough decision with star import Casey Prather returning from a dislocated elbow.

    Former NBA small forward Carrick Felix has proved an ideal replacement in those 11 wins.

    Vickerman said Prather was a "work in progress" but he could see him playing a role in the finals.

    "If he ticks all the boxes, he will play. He got through a good part of practice today and took some bumps on it and could weather that.

    "We are getting him back into game shape but you look at the other side of it and we have won 11 out of 12 with Carrick in there and that's pretty important as well."


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