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Felix just the cat for United

WITH all abundant respect to injured Casey Prather, one of the NBL's finest imports, Carrick Felix may be just what the doctor ordered for Melbourne to win a championship.

Again, no disrespect to Prather, a two-time NBL champion in two years at Perth Wildcats and a boom recruit by anyone's measuring stick.

But let's be brutal. United hasn't been working out. 

Casper Ware = alpha male.

Chris Goulding = alpha male.

Casey Prather = alpha male.

While finding a way for everyone to get touches and perform at that elite level expected was vexing coach Dean Vickerman, Prather's dreadful elbow dislocation may inadvertently have offered up the solution.

With the star swingman out, United called on Felix, 27, and he arrived from the US and headed straight to the practice court. He still was shooting an hour after practice finished. And this is a guy who doesn't need shots to be a contributor.

What does that mean? It means Goulding can go back to doing what he does - score. Ware can score and occasionally run some offence.

"We had to pull him back a bit, and that's the type of enthusiasm we wanted coming in," Vickerman said of Felix's first practice appearance.

WELCOME TO THE NBL: Carrick Felix on debut for Melbourne against Sydney.

"He got a steal on his first possession playing defence."

A second-round 2013 NBA draft pick, Felix plays D and works at both ends of the floor. He won't take bad shots and he won't be high maintenance.

In essence, he may well be the piece Melbourne needed the most. Yes, every team needs its stars. But if the number of them is disproportionate to the number of guys willing to be role players, you have an erratic team.

Beating the Kings 103-79, United didn't look the least bit erratic.

Playing just 22 minutes as a starter in his first NBL game against Sydney, Felix had seven points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal.

He's going to get better.

And so is Melbourne.

Dec 30

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