The New Zealand Breakers will play the Sydney Kings in their first NBL match of the season on 18th October 2019. at 08:30 UTC time.
After some hugely successful seasons some time back, the Breakers have dropped off their perch. They won three successive titles from 2011 to 2013, defeating the Perth Wildcats each time in the final. The Breakers won in 2015 as well when they beat the Taipans. Since then, they have failed to reach the final. Last season they did not even qualify for the playoffs after finishing sixth in the regular season. Under new coach Dan Shamir, they will hope to change the trajectory this time.Embed from Getty Images
The franchise underwent a major change in 2018 when the ownership structure was overhauled. A newly-formed company called Breakers Basketball took charge of the team, bringing an end to the reign of Liz and Paul Blackwell. Kevin Braswell was the coach last season after Paul Henare’s two-year stint came to an end. A five-game losing streak severely derailed their playoff push. In the end, they lost 16 games out of the 28 and finished sixth in the regular season.
Braswell was sacked after just one season in charge. In Dan Shamir, they have an experienced coach to take the mantle. He has won the Israeli Cup thrice and was named the Israeli League Coach of the Year in 2018. As an assistant coach Shamir has lifted the EuroLeague twice with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Club MVP Shawn Long and long-time guard Shea Ali parted ways in the summer, and Shamir signed seven new players to the roster. The playoffs will be the primary goal for the Breakers this season.
As for the Kings, their season has already begun. After playing two games, they are first in the league at the moment. They faced the Cairns Taipans in the first game and beat them 79-71. Casper Ware scored 23 points and had 5 assists to lead his side to the win. Kevin Lisch scored 18 points, and Jae’Sean Tate added 14 himself. The Kings were trailing going into the fourth quarter, but they outscored the Taipans 22-8 in the final period to get the win.Embed from Getty Images
Sydney claimed a 102-80 win over the Adelaide 36ers in the second game. Five players were in double figures for the Kings, and it was a great team performance. Brad Newly top-scored for his side with 18 points.
The Kings have a deep squad, and coach Andrew Gaze is using it well. Andrew Bogut was the club MVP last season, and he played just 13 minutes against the 36ers. Daniel Kickert and Lucas Walker contributed off the bench, which is a welcome sign for the Kings.
Sydney Kings vs New Zealand Breakers Betting Tips
Sydney are in great form, and they will be the favorites to get the win over the Breakers. The game will be close, and the Breakers have a squad which will cause the Kings problems. The margin of victory will be less than 10 points, but Sydney have enough quality to get the job done.