United’s warning: ‘best is yet to come’
MELBOURNE United star Casey Prather has warned the "best is yet to come" for the minor premiers ahead of game one of the NBL championship series against Adelaide 36ers.
United ramped up preparations for the best-of-five grand final series in Sandringham with a spirited open training session.
Adelaide will go into the series as the underdog despite knocking off defending champions Perth, at home, to book their spot in the decider.
But Prather, who missed eight weeks during the season with dislocated elbow, said the 36ers had every reason to "believe" anything is possible after they erased an 18-point deficit in Perth last week.
"They should believe, they put themselves in a position where they're number two in the regular season," Prather said.
"But were a very confident team as well and feel like the best is yet to come for us.
"We got to keep riding this wave and hopefully it takes us to the championship."
Adelaide has not beaten Melbourne this season (0-4), but all four games were played early in the season.
Since December, the 36ers have been second only to United as the form teams in the NBL.
Victorian-bred 36ers Mitch Creek and Nathan Sobey will need to be stopped for Melbourne to come away with the silverware.
Prather said the series would boil down to Team defences and not individual match-ups.
"It's all about our team ... it's about stepping up and helping the next man and the other man helping you," Prather said.
"We have to play possession by possession and stay in the moment, if we do that and take advantage of each opportunity (then) we'll be fine."
A bumper crowd is expected for game one after United brokered a deal with the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) and Melbourne Olympic Park Trust, who donated use of the stadium, for games to be played at Hisense Arena this week, including a curtain-raiser on Friday night.
The deal, which will see about 40-60 VJBL teams play at Hisense Arena this week and next, makes it possible for parents and children involved in the junior pathway to attend the NBL finals.
Australian NBA exports Ben Simmons, Dante Exum came through the VJBL, along with United stars Dave Andersen, David Barlow, Kyle Adnam and 36ers Creek and Sobey, among others.