Phoenix ready for NBL test against Kings

Melissa Woods and Adrian Warren
Mitch Creek is confident the Phoenix can emerge from a mini-NBL slump against the Sydney Kings

South East Melbourne skipper Mitch Creek says his team is ready to bounce back from some "bonehead" basketball as they prepare to host the NBL-leading Sydney Kings.

The teams meet at Melbourne Arena on Saturday afternoon following back-to-back losses by SEM in round seven.

Creek felt they cost themselves wins against Melbourne United and Adelaide and they'd worked hard through the week to finesse their game.

"We shot ourselves in the foot and lost the games - we weren't defeated by the other teams," Creek said on Friday.

"It was simple turnovers in bunches, little errors - bonehead plays we call them - and the times that we made them they punished us.

"The good thing is that we get to bounce back against the No.1 team in the competition and really test ourselves."

Australian representative Creek, who didn't want to comment on the change in Boomers coach, said he felt his team would match up well against the Sydneysiders.

The teams share history with Dane Pineau, Deng Acuoth and Kyle Adnam all on Kings' bench last year.

Ben Madgen played for Sydney from 2010 to 2015, and was captain for part of that time.

Creek predicted there would be plenty of opportunities for SEM's sharp-shooting import John Roberson, whose battle with Sydney's Casper Ware will be key.

"John's going to have a bunch of openings, I think," Creek said.

"(Andrew) Bogut does play a low centre field position, he doesn't really come too far out to the three-point line.

"If we set great picks (screens) John's going to walk into wide open shots all night.

"I'm looking for him to have a big game."

Sydney Kings centre Daniel Kickert said he was impressed, but not surprised, to see the Phoenix sitting fourth in their debut season.

"I'm very familiar with a lot of the guys on the team, played with a few of them and I've really like what they (Phoenix) have done and they've put together," he said.

"We're excited for the challenge to see how we're going to match up against their different style of play.

"They are a high octane kind of team, up and down, put a lot of points on the board so it's going to test our defence."