The NBL preview breaks down the game two of the 2020 grand final series, with Sydney Kings looking to force a decider with an upset of Perth Wildcats.
21:30 (AEDT), Fri 13th Mar @ Perth Arena
History: Played 39: Wildcats 31 V Kings 8
Last meeting: March 8, 2020 (GF1): Wildcats 88 V Kings 86 at Qudos Bank Arena
Final Thoughts: It’s do or die for the table-topping Sydney Kings after dropping the first game of the NBL grand final series at home. The Perth Wildcats are looking to avoid a trip back east and wrap up consecutive titles with a victory in front of their home fans.
The Wildcats took out the grand final opener 88-86, overcoming a five-point deficit at three-quarter time.
NBL MVP Bryce Cotton (32 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast) was head and shoulders above every player on the court. Nick Kay (14 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast) was also strong for Perth. Heavily criticised of late, big-name Sydney veteran Andrew Bogut led his side with 18 points on 8-11 shooting and had a game-high 11 rebounds. Jae’sean Tate was well-contained and will be looking to exert a bigger influence on game two.
Rivalry edge heavily favours Wildcats
The Wildcats have won six of their last seven against the Kings. The Kings won the first battle of the heavyweights this season, a 104-85 blowout in Sydney. But the Wildcats won the subsequent three encounters: 96-77 and 110-100 in Perth, either side of a 98-85 victory in Sydney.
The Kings are appearing in their first NBL grand final series since 2008, chasing the franchise’s first title since their 2003-05 three-peat. The Wildcats, meanwhile, featured in seven grand final series in the past decade and have won three of the last four NBL titles.
The Wildcats boast a 13-3 home record this season, winning their last seven straight – including both home semis against the Taipans. The Kings are 8-7 on the road, winning just two of their last seven. A 125-80 semi-final beatdown at the hands of Melbourne in Melbourne will still be fresh in the Sydneysiders’ minds ahead of this trip.
The Wildcats, $1.48 favourites here, will seal the NBL crown at home – they have all the momentum, better form and are such a tough beat at home. But don’t expect a blowout, with the Kings set to go down fighting.