In our first #3MinuteDrill, let’s assess where the Sydney Kings are at so far, in our third round of the NBL season.
The return of Julian Khazzouh has been a triumphant one. In the first four games of the season, the big man has come on strong averaging 17.8ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.8bpg and 1.3spg. The surprising thing for NBL fans who didn’t watch Khazzouh during his Lebanon stint, or NBA trials, is the expanded range on his shot. He is a legitimate threat from deep, hitting 1.8 threes per game at a 50% clip. Particularly with the early absence of the injured Josh Childress, Khazzouh is the key hub to get the Kings’ offence running – especially early in the game where he tends to dominate possessions and put the pressure on opponents inside and out.
Jason Cadee has made the jump that I expected he would this season. The sparkplug guard is averaging 15.7ppg, 5apg, 4rpg, 1.3spg and 2.3 threes made. He sits in the league’s top 10 for many of those categories. His unique turn of speed, combined with a deep three point shot make for a tough combo to guard. He has certainly turned the corner as an NBL player of impact.
Marcus Thornton and Tommy Garlepp have had slower statistical starts than most would expect in the young season, leading a band of Kings players whose field goal percentages hover too close to the 30% range. However I think we will see all of that change with the expected return of J-Chill tonight. The NBA veteran forward has an ability to raise all around him on the court with his play-making, unselfishness and ability to draw attention. Watch the fortunes of Thornton, Garlepp and Angus Brandt rise along with the return of the Kings drawcard.
OK – time is almost up in the #3MinuteDrill. Last thought: Dion Prewster has been an absolute find for the Kings. The Kiwi swingman has played dogged defence whilst crashing the boards hard. He is the type of tenth man most teams would love to have.