We continue our previews of the upcoming NBL semi-finals by taking a look at the second matchup on the cards. Check out our preview and betting tips for the Sydney Kings vs Melbourne United series score and for the all-important Game 1 below. Good luck to everyone following us in the finals!
The Kings came out of the blocks firing and never looked back to lead all comers for the entire duration of the regular season to finish on top with a 20-8 record. Their squad is absolutely stacked and just about anyone from their starting five can be their best player on any given night. Probably the biggest surprise packet for the Kings this season was the play of young Jae’Sean Tate who got rewarded for his efforts last week by being named first team all NBA at the power forward position. Casper Ware had another great season to lead the club in scoring, while Andrew Bogut was a force in the paint on the defensive end once again.
Melbourne United looked pretty good early in the season when we all thought they were the contenders alongside the Wildcats and the Kings, however, a big midseason slump saw them almost miss the playoffs completely and had them relying on surrounding teams to have a slip up or two in order for them to finish fourth, which of course is exactly what happened. Melo Trimble and Shawn Long both enjoyed pretty successful individual seasons in their new colours, while Chris Goulding had one of his more consistent year’s scoring the ball.
These clubs met four times during the regular season and it was the Kings who won the series 3-1. United won the first meeting by three points, but the Kings hit back with three consecutive double-digit margin wins to claim the series. The Kings were obviously the far better and consistent of these clubs this season and earned home court advantage in this best of three series as a result. We don’t see any reason why this will change in the playoffs as the Kings have a bunch of stars with a whole lot of experience under these circumstances. We have them being far too good for United and sweeping the series 2-0.
The semi-finals are only a best of three series, which means both sides will be desperate to claim Game 1 and move just one win away from a Grand Final appearance. The Kings finished on top of the ladder in the regular season, so they’ve earned the right to play on their home court in Games 1 and 3 (if necessary) of the series. As mentioned above, they’ve won the past three games against United by really comfortable margins and while the playoffs offer a new challenge, we just don’t see how United get close to the Kings, especially in Sydney. Casper Ware goes to a different level when he plays his old side and the Kings have pretty much no injury worries at all heading into Game 1, so we’re expecting all one way traffic here with the Kings covering the spread by a comfortable margin.
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