Hungry Jack's NBL
R3 Preview: Sydney v Townsville
In a battle to avoid last position, Sydney Kings host the Townsville Crocodiles for the second time this season at the Qantas Credit Union Arena, with the losers set to lose touch with the front runners.
In Round Two, the Crocodiles caused one of the first upsets of the 2015/16 season, stunning the Kings on the back of a Corey Maynard game-winning three, coming away with the victory of that same margin.
The Sydney Kings will be looking for redemption in this crucial early season match-up.
With the injured Josh Childress sidelined due to injury, once again, the Kings management decided to call in the reinforcements. A NBA veteran with over 1000 games experience in the Association and career earnings of over $90 million USD, Al Harrington is in the country and ready to help the Kings get their season back on track.
However, the Kings struggles have been bigger than the absence of Josh Childress, they are currently ranked last in field goal percentage at 39.4 per cent and the only team under 40 per cent this year. Furthermore, Sydney are currently shooting at just 27.6 percent from long range with Boston Celtics 2nd round draft pick and renowned outside threat Marcus Thornton struggling to connect from long range (7-from-35 at 20 per cent).
In order for the Kings to get back in the winner’s circle, they will be looking to Thornton to burst from his early season shooting slump and lead them on the offensive end of the floor.
Townsville Head Coach Shawn Dennis will coach his 150th NBL game against the Kings after starting his coaching career for the Newcastle Falcons in 1997. Shawn is in his third year with the Crocodiles and will no doubt have his men fired up for the occasion.
If he gets the clearance, the match-up between new import Al Harrington and last year’s MVP Brian “King Conk” Conklin will be worth the price of admission alone - and with this being one of the final five games to be played at the Qantas Credit Union Arena, crowds should be keen to take in all the action.
BY THE NUMBERS
Head-to-head: 69 games played.
Sydney Kings: 36 wins. Townsville Crocodiles: 33 wins.
In Sydney: 35 games played.
Sydney Kings: 22 wins. Townsville Crocodiles: 13 wins
Previous meeting this year: Round 2 in Sydney: Townsville 80 def Kings 77