Josh Powell goes up for a slam dunk for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Denver Nuggets in 2010.
Josh Powell goes up for a slam dunk for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Denver Nuggets in 2010. Jeff Gross

Kings look to rebound against Hawks

BASKETBALL: The Sydney Kings will look to get on the board in season 2016-17 tomorrow night when they take on the red-hot Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong.

But coach Andrew Gaze won't be putting too much pressure on his star import, NBA championship winner Josh Powell, to perform.

After all, the power forward - who was a teammate of Kobe Bryant at the Los Angeles Lakers when they won the titles in 2008-09 and 2009-10 - only stepped off the plane from the US on Monday.

The Kings suffered an opening-round 73-77 loss to the re-formed Brisbane Bullets last Saturday, with their rebounding an obvious problem.

Brad Newley and Greg Whittington were the only Kings to collect more than two defensive boards against the Bullets.

Powell once grabbed five in 19 minutes during a game for the Houston Rockets, one of the six NBA franchises he has played with.

"You can't just throw one guy out there and that's the panacea to all your rebounding problems. It's a collective thing that we've got to get everyone engaged in and understanding the urgency that's required,” Gaze told nbl.com.au.

"We're going to be the biggest barrel-chested team in the competition because even at practice if there's an offensive rebound we're making the guys do five push-ups.”

The Hawks sit top of the NBL table after their 122-88 mauling of defending champions the Adelaide 36ers, powered by stand-out performances from Rotnei Clarke (23 points, including five three-pointers) and Marvelle Harris (21 points).

"They've been winning playing a free-flowing, attractive style of play seemingly carefree and that is hard to stop,” Gaze said.


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