Sixers ready for royal battle against Kings
Adelaide 36ers will be looking for a fourth straight victory when Sydney Kings visit the Entertainment Centre on Friday night.
The Kings come to Adelaide full of confidence after their big 98-86 win against NBL24 ladder leaders Melbourne United last Sunday afternoon, keeping their top four chances alive.
With the race for the NBL Play-In tournament coming down to the final few rounds, Friday night’s match looms as an early playoff game for both sides.
Adelaide, who will be back in their 1998/99 Heritage Jersey, will be keen to keep their momentum going, having won five of their six matches so far in 2024.
Sydney has several matchwinners in its roster, headlined by the NBL22 MVP and championship winner Jaylen Adams.
Adams is arguably the Kings’ most important player, the import point guard is averaging 19.3 points, 5.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds per night in NBL24.
With their season on the line against Melbourne United, the Kings put up 36 points to light up their home crowd with former NBA trio Adams (16 points), Jonah Bolden (10 points, seven rebounds) and Denzel Valentine (15 points, nine assists) combining for 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting.
When Adelaide defeated the Kings on January 11, Adams had 20 points and four assists but his impact was somewhat slowed by Nick Marshall, Mitch McCarron and Sunday Dech.
Expect the 36ers trio to tag team their responsibility on the Kings’ 183cm lead point guard this Friday night, but Adelaide need to continue their improved team defence with Sydney holding several offensive weapons.
Sydney covered the absence of import power forward DJ Hogg and rising star Jaylin Galloway in their win over United by inserting Angus Glover into the starting line-up and getting a team-high 18 points from Makuach Maluach.
Glover is now stranger to making a huge impact for the Kings, the two-time NBL champion scoring 10 points against United in an extended court time.
The 193cm swingman poses as a big threat for the 36ers and he can spark the Kings with his intensity, passion and energy.
Maluach took the most of his opportunities and has been stepping up recently as the Kings have had some key injuries, including playing some key minutes in the Kings’ last visit to Adelaide on January 11.
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PG: Adams / Bruce / Makoi
SG: Valentine / Glover / Amir
SF: Galloway / Toohey / Maluach
PF: Hogg / Noi / Gattorna
C: Bolden / Hunter / Timmins
THE FINAL WORD
Adelaide to continue their recent momentum and form with another tough assignment, especially after defeating the reigning two-time NBL champions three weeks ago.
The Kings regained their mojo and could welcome back both Hogg and Galloway for this crucial clash for both sides, with ladder ramifications huge in the outcome of this match.
Sydney has only three games remaining and all but wrap up a Play-In position with victory in Adelaide and the 36ers must be prepared for a club playing for their season.
Expect a totally different Kings side from the one which lost 95-82 on January 11 and Adelaide will need another all-round team effort to continue the winning streak.