Kings' response impresses Buford ahead of Phoenix fixture
Sydney Kings coach Chase Buford has praised his team's response against Tasmania on Friday, during the emphatic round 17 win at MyState Bank Arena.
The reigning champs found themselves down by double-digits to the JackJumpers at quarter-time but rallied with a huge 37-15 second term, to set up their 14-point victory.
"It was really not a good start for us on a lot of levels," Buford said in the post-game press conference.
"Turning it over for sure, but the second chance opportunities and offensive rebounds really gave them life as well.
"A team like Tassie, that's what they do, they beat you on extra possessions and getting more shots from you.
"They shot 18 more shots tonight than us and one more free-throw which is not a very easy ratio to overturn the way we did.
"But we did shoot 60 per cent from the floor after an abysmal first quarter.
"The guys really got out and ran in transition when we forced them to take a lot of tough jumpers.
"We rebounded and just looked to run at every opportunity, and that led to a lot of easy baskets in transition."
The Hoops Capital side will look to carry the momentum of their 18th win of the campaign into Sunday's final regular season game at Qudos Bank Arena against South East Melbourne - which will also mark the club's first-ever Pride Round game in Sydney.
"Every team we play from here on out is going to be interesting, as everyone is fighting for their lives and we're trying to secure home court," Kings guard Shaun Bruce said.
"We know it's going to be another great game against the Phoenix on Sunday and one we're all looking forward to - especially getting back to Sydney and playing in front of all our fans."
We will host SEM Phoenix this Sunday at our first-ever home Pride Round at Qudos Bank Arena.— Sydney Kings (@SydneyKings) January 28, 2023
This round will strive to showcase basketball as a sport that promotes and give thanks to the LGBTQ community.
Buford echoed the thoughts of Bruce in relation to facing the 15-12 Phoenix, who have to keep winning to keep their finals chances afloat.
"They [Phoenix] are pretty much in must-win territory now and I'm sure they want to give themselves every opportunity to make it in [to the finals]," he said.
"They're going to be fighting and despite missing [Ryan] Broekhoff, which is a big out, they've got many other good players and we know we're going to have to be ready for the challenge on this short turnaround."
Tickets to the 4pm AEDT fixture, which will act as game two of the final Hoops Capital double-header of 2022-23 (with the Flames taking on Townsville from 1.30pm), are still available here.