United building NBL title success
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Melbourne sharp-shooter Chris Goulding says United are focused on a big finish rather than a fast start with the NBL season getting underway this weekend.
Melbourne burst out of the blocks last season but it amounted to little at the business end when they were bundled out of the NBL semi-finals by New Zealand.
United open their season against the Breakers in Auckland on Friday night, with the match to have some extra spice after luring star guard Cedric Jackson across the ditch.
Goulding said United, who have five new faces in the squad including fellow Boomer David Anderson, believed they would need a little time to gel.
But he felt comfortable with that.
"Gelling with everyone and trying to play some smooth basketball has probably been the biggest hurdle," Goulding said on Tuesday.
"It's not anything we're too worried about as last year we were best team for the first 10 or so games and it didn't really count for a thing.
"We're worried about trying to be the best team towards the back end of the season."
Point guard Jackson has been integral to the Breakers' success; in four seasons guiding the club to four grand final appearances and three championships.
Goulding said he didn't know how the former league MVP would be received in Auckland.
"He's been such a focal point for them over the years it will be interesting to see how he performs over there.
"I'm just happy he's on our team rather than going over there to face him."
Goulding along with Anderson was part of Australia's Olympic campaign in Rio, which ultimately fell just short of winning a medal.
Goulding said his basketball had improved through the experience.
"I would hope so as we all worked for a few years to try and get the best result possible for Australia," he said.
"Everyone committed to it and through that I think everyone got better as a player."