United shoot down Bullets’ dreams

It was Groundhog Day at Nissan Arena on Monday night as the Chris Goulding-led Melbourne United juggernaut rolled on and crushed some more of Brisbane’s NBL playoff hopes with a 99-88 victory.

On Saturday night, South East Melbourne outscored Brisbane 26-10 in the third quarter on the way to a thumping 95-66 win.

Fast-forward 48 hours and it was Melbourne United who outscored the Bullets 26-11 in the second term to set up their 25th win of the season – the same amount of victories as their 2018 campaign when they claimed the championship.

The league-leading United have now won 15 of their last 17 matches and it was captain Goulding to the fore again with 20 points including six three-pointers from 11 attempts. The last time he was in Nissan Arena, Goulding had 27 against Brisbane.

Goulding’s sharpshooting heroics on Monday night follow the 25 points he scored against Illawarra last Tuesday night, so the ex-Bullet is hitting form when it matters most.

The sixth-placed Bullets are now 14-17 with Illawarra in fourth at 17-15. Brisbane is very much staring down the barrel of watching the play-offs on TV.

It’s not just the fact that Brisbane is losing at the business end of the season, it’s the way they are going down. Too many defensive lapses and clunky offensive execution are killing them. The final margin flattered Brisbane.

Nathan Sobey bounced back with 20 points while Lamar Patterson had 19 for Brisbane, who got too little from too many.

Brisbane led 27-24 at quarter-time after Patterson got hot late in the term while centre Tyrell Harrison was also active in the paint for the home side.

But it was all United in the second term as they ran rampant over the listless Bullets who hit just four of 16 from the field.

Goulding put on a show in the river city. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Home stretch

The Bullets were playing their fifth home game in 15 days and this run of home games was always going to be season-defining. The crowds for the three midweek games were sparse and the results were mixed with losses to Melbourne, Perth and South East Melbourne and wins against Sydney and Perth. Brisbane needed a much better return from the home stand to stay in the hunt for the play-offs.

Good as Goulding

Boomers guard Chris Goulding likes playing Brisbane. He was averaging 22 points per game against the Bullets this season with 17-from-31 threes (54.8%) and has been in Melbourne’s top two scorers against the Bullets alongside Jock Landale all three times. He piled on more pain with a game-high 20 points on Monday night. Melbourne as a whole has averaged almost 10 points per game more against Brisbane than any other team in the league.

Froling bounces back

A couple of years ago, power forward Harry Froling was being talked about as an NBA prospect after being a standout for Adelaide. His return to Queensland to join the Bullets has been a bust and he has barely been NBL standard. In the two games before Monday night, he had zero points, one rebound, five turnovers and four fouls. He had 12 long overdue points and six rebounds against Melbourne United.

Source: Read Full Article