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20 Mar 2018 20:45
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Basketball

    United hopeful Boone is fit for NBL final

    Melbourne United are hopeful versatile big man Josh Boone will overcome an ankle injury for game one of their NBL grand final series against Adelaide on Friday.

    Melbourne United are sweating on the fitness of big man Josh Boone in the build-up to their NBL grand final series against Adelaide starting Friday at Hisense Arena.

    The US import has been in stunning form, helping Melbourne power past four-time champions New Zealand and into the five-game championship deciding playoffs.

    In game two against the Breakers Boone dropped a career-high 33 points and 15 rebounds, adding on his reputation as the league's leading rebounder, and will be integral to winning United's first title.

    Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman said the ex-NBA player was battling an ankle injury.

    "It's just a niggly little high ankle injury," Vickerman said of the 33-year-old.

    "He got through practice today and I think by the time the game comes around he will be fine.

    United hold a 4-0 head to head record over the 36ers this season but those games were early on, with Vickerman saying both sides were now different beasts.

    "They certainly challenge your bigs and in Adelaide you can certainly find yourself playing a bit smaller because your bigs are in foul trouble," he said.

    "Being able to limit their frees is one of the keys for us."

    Taking over at Melbourne this season, Vickerman brings a wealth of grand final experience, guiding the Breakers to the title in 2014-15 before losing it the following year.

    United also have six players with championship experience on their side while Adelaide don't have any.

    "This is my third grand final in a row as a head coach and I love being in this position," he said.

    "But the feeling of winning it to losing it still sticks heavily in my mind.

    "We've ticked every box so far but it's going to be a fight this series."


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