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Pistons drive United into NBL GF series

Melbourne United have taken inspiration from a back-to-back NBA title winning team ahead of the NBL grand final series against the Perth Wildcats.

Pistons drive United into NBL GF series

Melbourne United have taken inspiration from a back-to-back NBA title winning team ahead of the NBL grand final series against the Perth Wildcats.

Coach of Melbourne, DEAN VICKERMAN speaks to players during a timeout during the NBL match between the Illawarra Hawks and Melbourne United at Wollongong Entertainment Centre in Wollongong, Australia.
Coach of Melbourne, DEAN VICKERMAN speaks to players during a timeout during the NBL match between the Illawarra Hawks and Melbourne United at Wollongong Entertainment Centre in Wollongong, Australia. Picture:Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman has evoked the spirit of the famous Detroit Pistons back-to-back NBA championship-winning teams to motivate United ahead of the NBL grand final series against Perth.

Melbourne take on the Wildcats in game one in Perth on Friday night and Vickerman has looked to Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars and company to help inspire the defending champions.


The Pistons claimed NBA titles in 1989 and 1990 and Vickerman told reporters on Wednesday that he had shown his players a film about the adversity they overcame to achieve the feat.

"It was amazing going through (Detroit's) season; some similar things that have happened (to us)," Vickerman said.

"Some little injuries, some inconsistent form, some really good form against good teams and struggles against lower teams and then how they really started to click right at the end.

"It was a team that (started) one of their best players in Mark Aguirre on the bench similar to what we're doing with Chris Goulding.

"It all came down to big moments (for Detroit) and that's what I love about this team ... we've got four or five guys who just love big moments."

United split their season series against the Wildcats 2-2 with both losses coming at Perth's RAC Arena.

Melbourne weren't at their best in a number of statistical areas in those games, with the higher number of fouls called against them of particular note.

Goulding said United must remain disciplined with how they defend the Wildcats in front of their parochial home crowd.

But the most important factor might just be taking the collective mindset of a championship-winning team into that hostile environment.

"The swagger will come with us purely because it's a grand final series ... everything is on the line," Goulding said.

"We lost two games over there so the numbers aren't going to be great, but in saying that we don't think we played anywhere near as well as we could have and we had a chance to win both.

"We take confidence from that, first and foremost, but it's a grand final and the swagger is coming with us."

United will host Perth at Melbourne Arena in game two on Sunday, March 10.

AAP


AAP




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