Gaze hopes Jazz game fires Kings in NBL

Sydney coach Andrew Gaze hopes the excitement of the Kings' game against NBA side Utah Jazz will help to overcome the short turnaround before their Saturday NBL opener.

Sydney coach Andrew Gaze hopes the Utah match will inspire the Kings in their NBL season opener.

Sydney coach Andrew Gaze hopes the Utah match will inspire the Kings in their NBL season opener.

The Kings arrived home on Thursday morning after their 108-83 loss to the Jazz on Tuesday (AEDT) in Salt Lake City.

They have just over 48 hours to recover before fronting up for a home clash with Adelaide.

"It's not the ideal preparation for your opening game," Gaze said on Thursday.

"But I think the excitement, the inspiration, the motivation you get from being over there, hopefully will overcome some of the physical challenges that we're facing."

Melbourne United and the Brisbane Bullets next week will play Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns respectively.

Gaze is optimistic games between NBL and NBA teams will extend beyond this year.

"We (NBL clubs) have still got two games to go but, when you look at the last 10 to 15 years, you see some of these teams in other leagues having these types of games and it has continued beyond just a one-off," Gaze said.

"I know that the Utah people, the coaching staff, were really happy with the game.

"They felt we provided good preparation for them and the way we conducted ourselves was one that I was proud of and one I think gained the admiration of the administration of the NBA and the Utah Jazz.

"They played another game today against an Israeli team and that was not as competitive as our game, (Utah beat Maccabi Haifa 117-78), so we feel good about that."

Gaze said his team would have a slightly lighter match-eve training session on Friday and hoped import Travis Leslie would play on Saturday despite rolling an ankle against Utah.

"I don't think it's that serious - probably just a couple of days. Hopefully, I'll be able to play Saturday," Leslie told AAP.

Gaze nominated defending premiers Perth and star-studded Melbourne as the competition favourites.

"There's a lot of hype, as there should be, around Melbourne United. Their starting five is as good as I can remember in the history of the competition," Gaze said at a function to announce Hungry Jacks signing on as the NBL's naming rights partner.

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