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NBL 2014/15 Round 15 Preview: Last chance stakes for Crocs, Kings
Townsville Crocodiles vs. Sydney Kings
Friday 16th January 2015, tip-off 7:30pm (local)
Townsville RSL Stadium
Odds: Townsville $1.48; Sydney $2.67
Technically, it's a battle of sixth and seventh placings on the NBL ladder. However, while it may seem to be a very ordinary game on paper with two of the bottom three sides playing off, these two teams may not have played another game this season with higher claims.
The chance to stay alive in the NBL playoff hunt is on offer for the victor and both teams will not want to swallow their season away in a tough defeat so far away from the competitions conclusion.
For the Crocs, it's also a chance to celebrate one of the games most longstanding current players as Jacob Holmes notches up game number 400. For Holmes, it includes 235 games with the Adelaide 36ers, 64 with the South Dragons and now 101 with the Townsville Crocodiles.
Recently, Townsville have won all three of their season match-ups against the Kings and therefore come in favourites to register a sweep on their opponents.
Sydney won't go down fighting however, as it's all or nothing for both teams as the Kings bolstered their squad during the week, signing NBL veteran Nick Horvath to replace the injured Angus Brandt.
With an honourable mention to Josh Duinker as well, the Kings' big men will have to step up at every occasion if they are a chance of winning. With Horvath joining the team during the week, the Kings will be heavily reliant on Garlepp to contain Brian Conklin on the inside.
A major advantage Garlepp has over his opponent is that he likes to camp down low on offence and get his points inside. Conklin has mentioned throughout the season that he prefers to be guarding the stretch four who he can continue to defend 23 feet from the rim, rather than play lots of minutes at the 'true centre' and have players continually back him down.
An intriguing match-up this may be as both players may end up with their fair share of points; it's simply a matter of who can stop the other down the stretch.
What To Watch For
40 minutes of pure emotion should be seen in Townsville tonight. Season on the line, big name players included in the contest; you're bound to see frustration, desperation, aggression and most of all excitement!
While the season series may be 3-0 in Townsville's favour, both of these two teams will go hammer and tong as they are desperate to win.
Fans should be praying that this is a close game through the first three quarters because the final term would potentially be set up as a quarter of the season.
Could this one be too close to call? With the playoff race nearly too hot to handle at this stage of the season, it really is all over for one of these sides after tonight.
Do the Crocs serve a sweep to the Kings? So much is on the line.
Kings by 4