Things have been going more or less swimmingly for the Sydney Kings of the NBL, until recently, that is.
They recently had a double blow in the form of a loss to the lowly Adelaide 36ers, followed by the news that their star import Steve Blake will return to the U.S., not to rejoin his former NBA league, but to attend to a sick family member. The Kings granted Blake compassionate leave, but it remains to be seen if and when he will return.
The Kings, soon after learning of Blake’s departure, failed to take the 36ers seriously enough, and wound up losers by six points, 91 – 85.
Forward Daniel Johnson led the way for the Adelaide side, scoring 22 points and NBL leading scorer Jerome Randle added 20 to call time on Sydney’s recent home winning binge.
It was the first time of the season that the Kings suffered consecutive losses, despite a classy showing by their skipper Kevin Lisch, who threw in 25 points in the losing effort, including five three-pointers.
Good play by other Kings’ players, including Brad Newley and centre Aleks Maric turned out to be inadequate when Adelaide produced one of the biggest upsets of the season.
All in all, though, the Kings remain on top after eight games.