United fired up for Cairns' aggro
BASKETBALL: Melbourne United will face a physical game against Cairns tonight with coach Dean Vickerman acknowledging his side fell short in that department on its last trip to Cairns.
Vickerman, a NBL championship winner with the New Zealand Breakers, put his team through a full scrimmage on Friday, instead of just walking through their offence like they did in round six.
The Taipans, led by skipper Cameron Gliddon (pictured) and point guard Scoochie Smith, belted United in their last meeting in Cairns.
Vickerman admits aggression will be vital on Saturday night.
"There was a flatness around the group the last time we were in Cairns so we will change a few things in preparation for the game,” Vickerman said.
"We did not have too much contact in the practice up there in Cairns last time.
"So we will make sure there is the intent to get to the level the day before the game and game day.
"Cairns is a team you need to disrupt and I thought we disrupted their flow a little bit better at home.
"And, they found a great rhythm up there so we need to make sure we do a few things.”
Cairns and Melbourne have split their two meetings this, both claiming comfortable home victories.
Veteran forward David Barlow said United had several plans to counter the physical Snakes.
"If it is the physical off-the-ball stuff, we need to pretty much stay focused on what we need to do and do not worry about it,” he said.
"We are super serious about this game.”
Cairns again will be without forwards Nate Jawai, Michael Carrera and Stephen Weigh.