Coach Andrew Gaze expects rivals to take pleasure in the Sydney Kings’ opening-round NBL loss.Sydney coach Andrew Gaze says his star-studded NBL side should be galvanised by external gloating, after accepting a share of the blame for their first-game home loss.
A new-look team featuring former NBA No.1 draft pick Andrew Bogut and another Boomers big man, Daniel Kickert, lost their opening game 94-83 on Saturday to Adelaide.
A crowd of almost 11,000 provided plenty of support, especially for Bogut, with sections chanting “MVP” when the big centre handled the ball.
But the volume decreased and the fizz went out of the crowd as pre-season expectations weren’t matched by opening-game performance, after the 36ers’ 19-2 run to the finish line.
“‘We weren’t able to convert some plays on the offensive end and I think, defensively, we got exposed,” Gaze said.
“I said to the guys in the room afterwards that these moments are here to test us, how we deal with the losses like this when the expectations are so high.
“My personal sense is outside of our own fans is that there’s a lot of people that are rejoicing, that are really, really happy with what’s taken place today.
“That’s got to galvanise us.”
Gaze cited Adelaide’s extraordinarily low turnover tally of three as evidence of his side’s defensive passivity.
Jerome Randle supplied plenty of sizzle with 28 points and some dazzling moves, but a candid Gaze felt he erred in giving the brilliant point guard less than three minutes’ rest.
“We’d fallen into this game style where we were relying on that brilliance, so then we went all in on that,” he said.
‘It didn’t work so it was a mistake and I take responsibility for it and should have made some changes but I wasn’t able to get it done.
“A lot of these guys can shoot a lot better than what they did tonight . A lot of that’s on me finding a way to get some structure and help these guys out more to get better looks, so the coach can wear a fair amount of responsibility for today’s game, absolutely.”