• The Sydney Kings will face the Perth Wildcats in the NBL Grand Final (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
With the 2019-20 NBL grand final series set to tip off at 5pm (AEDT) on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand this Sunday, here are five things to look out for.
By
Jonathan Bernard

6 Mar 2020 - 12:03 PM  UPDATED 6 Mar 2020 - 12:03 PM

The NBL have cancelled the remaining games of the 2019-20 grand final series, with the winner to be determined at a later date.

See Incredible

What started out as an invitation has since become a promise.

The 2019-20 NBL season has been, put simply, incredible, so it should come as no surprise that their post-season has followed suit.

Each semi-final series came down to a thrilling decider on Thursday night, with both Sydney and Perth progressing to the league's big dance.

The Kings will be out to crown their outstanding regular season with a series victory over the defending champions, in what will almost certainly go the five-game distance.

Such a Grand Final fixture only promises one thing for those willing to witness it and the NBL have only been telling us all along...

The throne awaits

It's been 15 years since the Sydney Kings last took command of the NBL throne, but that could all be about to change.

A tense two-point game three victory over Melbourne United saw Sydney secure a long-awaited return to the Grand Final on Thursday night.

Will Weaver's men were made to work until the final seconds at Qudos Bank Arena, with Jae'Sean Tate and Casper Ware crucial in the clutch.

It was a long time coming for Ware, who had been largely lacklustre throughout the series thanks to Shea Ili's close coverage.

The star guard piled on 12 of his 15 points in the second half; at a time when United appeared primed to take full control of the contest.

Ware's performance, alongside that of his teammates, produced an atmosphere not seen amongst Kings circles for quite some time.

A two-year absence from Australian basketball only saw further struggles sour the last decade since their relaunch.

But now, under the ownership of Paul Smith and wisdom of Weaver, this resurgent, resilient and well-balanced ball club stands just three victories away from claiming a fourth NBL crown.

Cat scratch fever

The Perth Wildcats' gritty game three victory over Cairns Taipans may have left Sydney Kings fans feeling a little feverish overnight.

Led by Nick Kay and Terrico White, the Cats clawed their way back to yet another Grand Final berth - their eighth from the last 11, in fact.

The result now sets up a mouth-watering series for the neutral, but if the regular season is anything to go by, the defending champions hold the edge.

Perth have won three of their four meetings with the Kings in 2019-20, sinking Sydney by double-digit deficits on each occasion.

And while the post-season renders its regular iteration irrelevant, the Wildcats will carry plenty of confidence ahead of game one.

No 'I' in 'Team'

It's one of sport's oldest adages, but in the case of the Sydney Kings, it couldn't be more appropriate.

Despite boasting several established stars, Will Weaver has built a balanced ball club that calls on each individual to play their part.

Star guard Casper Ware talked of the importance surrounding his teammates in the lead-up to Thursday night's game three victory over Melbourne United, insisting he was not the sole solution to Sydney's hopes.

"It's not just on me, my teammates are gonna get going; there's other ways," Ware said.

"I'm not just going to go out there and force it, thinking I'm the only one that's gotta score or do something.

"We got a lot of guys that do things and I'm going to count on them."

The Kings' 89-87 series clincher saw five players post 10 points or more, including an impressive 32 from the bench.

Such a spread of success has proven tough for opposing teams to contain, leaving the Wildcats with little room for error come game one on Sunday.

White the Kay to the castle

Perth's quest for back-to-back championship success took a significant step on Thursday night, having secured their semi-final series with a 93-82 victory over Cairns Taipans.

On a night where newly crowned NBL MVP Bryce Cotton failed to break free of vice-like Snakes guard DJ Newbill, a key Cats duo had no problems making their presence felt.

Nick Kay and Terrico White combined for 50 points and 16 rebounds at the RAC Arena and will need to repeat their near-perfect production if the Wildcats are to lift a record 10th NBL title.

No stranger to the Kings, Cotton has averaged 33 points through their four encounters this season and will attract intense attention as a result.

Such a proposition will only amplify Kay and White's significance and coach Trevor Gleeson will only hope they can deliver once again.