Weekend previews: NBL – Illawarra Hawks v Melbourne United

THE standalone game in the National Basketball League (NBL) tonight sees Illawarra Hawks host Melbourne United in what hopes to be a good clash.

Illawarra Hawks v Melbourne United

Thursday, 6:50pm at WIN Entertainment Centre

The key matchup: Jordair Jett v Casper Ware

Ware has had a great month (22.0 points) and can identify when to hit the tough shots in pressure situations, but also when to hold down the offensive plays. Jett has the capability to ensure his opponent doesn’t get the space he needs, and can be right in his face, as he’s averaged 1.7 steals a game, rebounding 2.5 times a game and hitting shots if required.

Last time they met: Melbourne United (99) defeated Illawarra Hawks (93)

In Round 3, the Hawks were one shot off getting even against United after Brian Conklin put up a basket for Illawarra. United, in their good fashion held on thanks to Casper Ware (26 points) and Mitch McCarron (14 points, four assists, five rebounds). Conklin also had five rebounds among his 24 points with Jordair Jett and Cedric Jackson getting 10 assists between them.

Season so far:

Last week Illawarra suffered a defeat to the Kings, putting them at a two and four record this season. Melbourne enjoyed two wins against Cairns and Sydney to sit second behind Perth.

The game:

This is the third meeting of the two teams this season, and Melbourne has gotten the edge on both occasions. Dean Vickerman has confirmed Chris Goulding will be out again, but United have won the last three without his input. It appears to be purely an offensive game with the Hawks shooting 47 per cent last time they met, with Melbourne averaging 43  per cent for the year.

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