EVERYONE knew Melbourne had brought in a talented replacement for the injured Casey Prather, but probably few realised Carrick Felix could be a match-winner just two games into his NBL career.
That’s what the 27-year-old Cleveland Cavalier proved against Illawarra on on Saturday night.
Chris Goulding kept United in touch with some precocious threes but it was Felix who really took the game away from the Hawks with 16 second-half points.
He also made some clutch defensive plays down the stretch, including a key intercept to deny Demitrius Conger a fast-break, and likely score-leveling dunk.
He’s quickly shown his worth to coach Dean Vickerman.
“We knew we were getting a high character guy and he’s just slotted into the team no problem,” Vickerman said.
“He’s learning about the league and how to stay out of foul trouble but he came over and said ‘coach just trust me, let me go’.
“For him to close out that whole fourth quarter and have such an impact was great for his confidence and great for our team to know what he’s capable of doing and keep building on it.
“He’s a high level defender and he’s shown us he’s a really good athlete as well so we’ve got to find ways to exploit that.”