Melbourne United’s last visit to Tasmania did not go well. Part of the reason was the parochial home crowd. It’s a noise the champs must silence to end the JackJumpers’ season.
If Melbourne United coach Dean Vickerman says a stadium is loud, there is definitely something in it.
His home court John Cain Arena is a non-stop party, tipped off with some Kanye West, rocked on with Kiss, mixed in with a little Wil.I.Am and Britney and even a bit of tekkas.
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But Vickerman says part of the reigning champions’ plan to end Tasmania’s season in Saturday’s second semi-final clash with the JackJumpers is to cross the Strait and quiet the Glenorchy crowd.
United, on Thursday, went one-nil up in the best-of-three series but Vickerman is wary his side, albeit depleted, was hammered in the trip to Tassie last Sunday.
“Down to the disco, it was pretty loud there with the music last time,” Vickerman said.
“Their crowd was outstanding, What you want from your home crowd is, if you get on a little run, can it excite you to play even a higher level of basketball?
“I thought there was a period in the third quarter last game down there that they did that and they made some really tough shots and some deep threes and just found a rhythm and momentum when they got going.
“As long as we can go down there, weather those little storms and show a very similar commitment defensively (as game one), make a few more shots, I think it’ll be a really entertaining game.”
Star guard Matthew Dellavedova copped a stinger on the funny bone during United’s win and, while he is fine to play, it produced an amusing moment in game one when he found nothing but air on a pair of free throws, shooting the second one with his left hand.
“It was no good, I just got hit behind the elbow, couldn’t feel my fingers for a second,” Dellavedova said.
“I threw it up a couple times beforehand and I thought it was going to be good, but it was way short.
“I should have just subbed out but, after I shot the first, got to shoot the second.
“The boys were giving me a bit of crap on that one.”