Sydney Kings return to action in the NBL on Sunday afternoon with a home match against reigning champions New Zealand Breakers. The Kings and their fans will have spent the Christmas break reflecting on back to back losses against local rivals Wollongong Hawks, and will be looking for an immediate response to get their season back on track.
There will be several key battles around the court, potentially the most intriguing will be between Sam Young and Mika Vukona. Vukona can nullify the best players in the competition and is the cornerstone of the Breakers’ defence.
The Kings downturn in form has coincided with the arrival of Young, and it is clear that the team has not yet adjusted to the integration of their star import. All of their key stats are lower than before Young was introduced to the side, although you suspect it is only a matter of time before things turn in the right direction.
Another key factor in the King’s dip has been the form of AJ Ogilvy. He and his teammates need to find a way of working around the double teaming tactic that has been deployed recently almost every time Ogilvy receives the ball. The Breakers are sure to employ this tactic on Sunday, but need to be careful not to have any player fouled out as a result.
The Breakers have suffered a blow in the build up to this encounter with Alex Pledger ruled out after rolling his ankle in training. With their title defence already looking fragile thanks to a 4-9 win loss record, the Kings will sense a great opportunity to get their own challenge back on track at the Kingdome on Sunday.
Sunday 29th December, Sydney Entertainment Centre Haymarket 14:00
Sydney Kings v New Zealand Breakers