United fire up for chance to ‘steal’ road win
WIN or go home. That is the attitude DJ Kennedy and the rest of Melbourne United is taking into game three of the best-of-five NBL grand final series.
A win in Perth on Friday night, something United's hasn't been able to do yet this season in three previous attempts including game one of the final series, would turn the championship on its head with United to host game four on Sunday at Melbourne Arena.
Kennedy sparked United's offence last Sunday, with 12 points and 14 rebounds, providing a presence at both ends of the hardwood.
"We know this is probably one of the biggest games of the grand finals and we really got to lock in and steal this road win," Kennedy said. "We know if we can do that we like our chances at home."
United coach Dean Vickerman last week lauded Kennedy's mindset and hunger to win the championship.
Kennedy, a four-time winner of the American single-elimination $2m The Basketball Tournament, opened up about his desire to help United win back-to-back titles.
"That's the reason why I came here," Kennedy said. "I want it more than most of these guys, they had a taste of it already.
"They had experience and this will be my first, so for me just to be a part of that and come in and fit and be able to get them back to back, just helping and being with these guys I think that will be pretty big for me."
A major focus for United leading into the crunch game three will be limiting Wildcats "role" players, including six-time defensive player of the year Damien Martin and three-point three Jesse Wagstaff.
The veterans got off the chain in game one, putting United to the sword with clutch plays and buckets in the second half.
"We now (Bryce) Cotton is going to be Cotton, Terrico White is going to help them a lot, we got to make sure the other guys don't contribute to the game," Kennedy said.
"We want to go out there and play harder.
"That's really what it comes down to, grand finals is no excuses, you can't be tired.
"You know this is it, win or go home."