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Utah Jazz vs Sydney Kings
2017-18 NBA pre-season, NBLxNBA, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
|Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA|
|Utah Jazz||Sydney Kings|
The day has finally arrived. The NBL have three games against NBA teams in an official capacity for the first time and it will be the Sydney Kings taking on the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City to get it underway. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 12pm – midday (AEDT).
The rise of the NBL over the last 24 months has been phenomenal, and they have finally got matches against NBA sides during their official pre-season.
While the matches on paper look like they will be ridiculously one-sided, this is an opportunity for the league to showcase what it has, and for individual players to audition for contracts in future years.
Whether the Jazz come in with a full-strength roster is up for debate, but if they do, this is a franchise who were Western Conference finalists last season.
Joe Johnson and Rudy Gobert are the two main men left on the roster, after one-time NBA all-star Gordon Hayward jumped ship to the Boston Celtics during the off-season.
Utah also have an Australian contingent on the squad, with Joe Ingles likely to start at the two in this match, and Dante Exum to form part of the guard rotation from the pine.
The Kings have made a swathe of changes as they prepare for the new season. While Kevin Lisch and Brad Newley will still be the leading lights in Andrew Gaze’s team, they are joined by former Los Angeles Clipper Travis Leslie, young centre Isaac Humphries, who will be out to impress scouts, and forward Perry Ellis.
They will be the key men if the Kings are to make a fist of this, but they look very light on up front. It’s an issue which has been highlighted throughout the pre-season, and against the shot-blocking extraordinaire Gobert, Humphries could be well and truly found out here.
One of the battles to watch in this one will be that of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Lisch. The two point guards will be essential to each of their sides in their respective upcoming seasons.
The Jazz are going to be far too strong for the Kings in this one, but don’t be surprised if the Kings are in the contest during the first half playing a physical brand of basketball with Lisch and Newley taking over.
Jazz by 19.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the first NBLxNBA match from 12pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.