Why battle of the giants will decide NBL champion
THE NBL grand final series has arrived, and the big boys are ready to rumble.
The Sydney Kings and Perth Wildcats were the two best teams all season, and now they will battle it out in a best-of-five slogfest for the crown.
The most intriguing match-up will be Andrew Bogut's battle with Wildcats big man Miles Plumlee.
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The two centres battled it out on numerous occasions during their time in the NBA, but are yet to face off in the NBL.
Now, they get their chance on Australia's biggest basketball stage. Plumlee was used sparingly in the 2-1 semi-final series win against Cairns due to coach Trevor Gleeson opting for a more mobile unit.
But the former NBA veteran will be called upon far more heavily in the grand final series to counter Bogut, whose big frame and big-game experience will be crucial to Sydney's title hopes.
"Bogut's a great player. Miles has got a good challenge ahead," Wildcats forward Nick Kay said ahead of Sunday's series opener in Sydney.
"But Miles is also a great player, and he impacts the game in a lot of different ways. I'm excited to see that match-up, and hopefully Miles can get the better of him.
"Miles is a huge energy factor out there. He changes defences with his ability to get on the ring with those lobs.
"That opens up the key for Bryce Cotton and 'T' (Terrico White) to get in there and put up some of those little floaters. He's a huge asset to have."
Plumlee rolled his ankle in the second half of Thursday's win over Cairns, but he has been cleared of serious damage and is expected to be fit for the grand final series.
The Wildcats will be aiming to win their 10th NBL crown.
But the Kings will start as slight favourites given they will boast home-court advantage in three of the five games if the series goes the distance.
Sydney haven't won a Championship since 2005, and hopes are high the drought will end given they boast a star-studded squad featuring Bogut, Casper Ware, Didi Louzada, Kevin Lisch, Jae'sean Tate, and Brad Newley.
But whether they can handle the pressure remains to be seen.
The Wildcats are already a proven entity in big games, with the franchise winning three of the past four Championships.
The performances of Kay, Plumlee, Bryce Cotton, and Terrico White will go a long way towards deciding Perth's fate.
WILDCATS V KINGS THIS SEASON
Wildcats beat Kings 110-100 on February 1 in Perth
Wildcats beat Kings 98-85 on December 28 in Sydney
Wildcats beat Kings 96-77 on December 6 in Perth
Kings beat Wildcats 104-85 on November 10 in Sydney