Tue, Oct 3, 5:19pm by Head Editor
Basketball season has arrived early this year, with an NBL team – Sydney Kings – taking on an NBA team – Utah Jazz – for the first time. The Aussie side couldn’t match it with the American franchise, going down 108-83, but that didn’t dampen the mood.
The result of the match was a predictable one, with Sportsbet offering just $1.005 for a Utah win, but the Kings fought hard, and impressed their US rivals.
The game was extra special for Utah’s Australian duo Joe Ingles – whose just signed a $64 million 4-year deal – and Dante Exum, who for the first time in an NBA game, heard their own national anthem before tip-off.
Ingles went to the same high school in Adelaide as Kings’ shooting guard Brad Newley – who was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 54th pick of the 2007 draft – who scored 11 points for the Kings.
The game was the first of a three-game NBL vs NBA series, with the Sydneysiders heading home, the baton has been passed to Melbourne United, who take on Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday at 6am AEST.
Once again, it will be the Aussies who’ll go in as massive underdogs, at $23, while the Thunder ($1.005), who’ve just signed two All-Stars – Paul George and Carmelo Anthony – to their roster.
Brisbane Bullets will round out the three-game series with a pre-season game against Phoenix Suns on Sunday October 15 at 11am AEST.
The NBA regular season tips off three days later, when the Boston Celtics ($2.47) head to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers ($1.57) in a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals that will have a little added spice to it with Kyrie Irving suiting up against his former side for the first time in the green and white strip of the Celtics.
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