Basketball: Kings coach Gaze nervous about early form

Kings coach Andrew Gaze reacts during the round one NBL match against Brisbane. Photo / Getty Images
Kings coach Andrew Gaze reacts during the round one NBL match against Brisbane. Photo / Getty Images

Rookie Sydney Kings coach Andrew Gaze concedes feeling nervous about his team's early-season NBL form as they search for a winning formula.

The league's glamour club were this week forced into rushing two-time NBA championship-winner Josh Powell into Thursday's clash against Illawarra due to an injury to Julian Khazzouh.

The Kings are hopeful of having their power forward back in three weeks but, together with last week's season-opening loss to Brisbane, it's a start that already has Gaze on edge.

"We have a level of anxiety amongst our team, and certainly amongst the coaches, because we know we're not quite right yet," Gaze said.

"We've got these pieces to come in, and until you get all those pieces together, you always feel like you're playing catch-up or you're not quite ready.

"So we've got some ducking and weaving to do in the short-term, but we feel in the long-term that we've got a group that can be competitive."

The Kings now face another hurdle in the in-form Hawks, who posted a record 122 points in their round-one win over Adelaide last weekend.

Gaze admits he has turned to skipper Kevin Lisch to unveil the Hawks' state secrets in the lead-up to his first game against his former club, however stopping them is another headache.

The Kings have lost their past six against the Hawks, including a four-game sweep last season.

"Kevin's been pretty helpful, but most teams know everything about every other team anyway," Gaze said.

"It's about how you execute and the strategy you're going to put in place to counter what they do.

"It's a very tough assignment to play there.

They get up and down the floor better than any other team in the competition.

"They play a free-flowing style of play, and they're extremely well-coached. It's going to be a real tough assignment."

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