NBL 2014/15 Round 19 Preview: NSW rivals clash with pride on the line

Sydney Kings vs. Wollongong Hawks

Sunday 15th February, 2015 – 2.00pm (local time)

Qantas Credit Union Arena

Odds: Sydney $1.85, Wollongong $1.95

Tickets: Click here

With the NBL regular season coming to a close, two sides that won’t be featuring will face off in a clash that is for nothing more than pride.

The Kings have struggle since losing Josh Childress to a season-ending injury, and have struggled to stay in games for the full forty minutes of late despite the upturn in the form of Ben Madgen.

The Hawks, meanwhile, are enjoying their annual late-season purple patch of form, and despite it coming too late to push for the finals this time around, they have put together some very good performances against the top sides in the league in recent weeks.

Key Player

Tom Garlepp View image | gettyimages.com In the absence of Childress, much of the front court scoring responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of the talented Garlepp.

The athletic forward has range and can shoot the jump shot with consistency, while also being able to finish inside on the low block, giving the Kings an offensive weapon at their disposal.

His output in this clash will have a big bearing on the result, with Garlepp’s ability to provide dependable scoring to complement that of Madgen, Kendrick Perry and Jason Cadee, proving pivotal.

He doesn’t have to explode for the Kings to win, but contributing on the scoresheet and the glass, as well as using his range to draw giant Hawk Luke Nevill out of the paint, will give his side a massive boost.

What To Watch For

Fierce rivals with nothing to lose

Both sides are well and truly out of the playoffs picture with two weeks to play in the regular season, but there is sure to be no love lost when they meet for the final time this season.

The New South Wales rivals will both be desperate to have the final say for season series in 2014/15, and with both sides boasting a number of one-club veterans the sense of occasion won’t be lost on anyone.

Final Word

Both sides would love to get this win to give their fans something to cheer about in what has been a largely disappointing season, based on where they were last year and pre-season expectations.

The Kings have faced plenty of adversity this season, while the Hawks have dropped a lot of close games to find themselves bringing up the rear in the standings.

Wollongong has form behind them heading into this clash, while Sydney has suffered heavy defeats in recent weeks, albeit to good sides.

In a clash that could get fiery and go down to the wire, the Hawks should sneak over the line based on their recent showings.

Wollongong by 3