Melbourne United say Casey Prather’s a starter for the NBL decider despite him missing training.Melbourne United have declared forward Casey Prather a certain starter in the NBL championship decider against the Adelaide 36ers despite the gun import not attending a training session.
A two-time champion with the Perth Wildcats, Prather was a notable absentee from United training on Thursday, just 48 hours before the decisive game of a best-of-five grand final series.
But fellow import Casper Ware has dismissed fears Prather will be anything less than full strength come tip-off on Saturday.
“He’s a little sick right now but I’m sure he’s going to get through it,” Ware said after Thursday’s session.
“He’s going to be ready for Saturday so that’s all I’m worried about.”
With the series locked at two-all and Melbourne’s Hisense Arena sold out for game five, Ware knows his side needs to match Adelaide’s intensity early in the clash.
“We’ve got to start the game like that and end the game like that – it’s a grand final,” he said.
“If you don’t come out with intensity, the other team will and it’s not going to look good for you.”
The Sixers’ all-out attack left United in early foul trouble during last Sunday’s game-four loss in Adelaide but Ware said Melbourne’s approach to applying defensive pressure on their opponents wouldn’t change.
“For us, we just want to come out and be physical no matter how the game is being called or trying not to foul. We can’t think about any of those things,” he said.
Tai Wesley also looks set to take part on Saturday after recovering from a shoulder injury picked up in the dying stages of game four.
“After the game, he was in a lot of pain and now he’s ready to go – we kind of had to hold him out of practice,” Ware said.
“He really wanted to practice so it’s just one of those things, I think everybody is ready to play.”