Will Weaver believes word is getting out about the Sydney Kings.
And it’s why the coach of the NBL leaders is expecting a capacity crowd when they host LaMelo Ball and the Illawarra Hawks this week.
The Kings cemented their status as the team to beat this season after routing defending champions Perth 104-85 in their top-of-the-table clash on Sunday.
And Weaver’s side did it off the back of a 28-point eruption from Next Star import Didi Louzada, who outshined a season-high 36 points from Bryce Cotton.
The Kings’ 8-1 start is the third best franchise history.
“I think that we found a different level of focus,” Weaver said.
“Our focus to start the game was better than some of the other games. But I think the focus we got to in the second half was 2x, 3x, that kind of thing.
“We gotta learn from that and be excited about where we can get to.”
It sets up a mouth-watering contest with the Hawks’ own Next Star in Ball, who himself exploded with 24 points in their 101-91 win over Cairns.
Ball also had seven rebounds, nine assists, and three steals, showing why crowds all over the country have flocked to watch the future NBA draft prospect.
Weaver believes his team’s strong start to the season, combined with their match-up against Ball, will ensure a packed Qudos Bank Arena next Sunday.
Almost 10,000 watched the Kings outgun Perth at the Olympic venue.
“That’s as good a crowd as I’ve seen this year. This is a special building with a special bunch of guys in a special city,” Weaver said.
“I think word’s getting out.
“The crowd’s go up, up, up. I know the Illawarra game is nearly sold out.
“Some of that has to do with the excitement about their Next Star, but it also I think has to do with the fact that this is a really fun group to cheer for.”
In other games from Round 6, Melbourne United made it two from two over the weekend with wins over New Zealand 104-101 and Adelaide 101-91.
Chris Goulding starred with 24 against the Breakers, while fellow guard Melo Trimble did the damage with 32 against the 36ers.
The Kings also made it an undefeated weekend by surviving a first-half scare from Brisbane to prevail 95-85, with Brad Newley scoring 20 points.
South East Melbourne also made short work of the Breakers 103-78 following the early ejection of Next Star import RJ Hampton.