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Gaze backs Lisch to emerge from NBL slump

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/01/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Sydney Kings NBL coach Andrew Gaze admits star player Kevin Lisch is down on confidence but has backed the reigning MVP to emerge from a disturbing shooting slump.

The Kings' captain is hitting at a concerning 23 per cent clip over his past five games, coinciding with the team's stunning fall from first in the league to outside the top four.

Sydney have just five games left in the season, beginning with this week's road trip against ladder leaders Adelaide, to claim a spot in the finals.

But it will need a huge turnaround from Lisch, who Gaze admits is down on self-belief.

"First and foremost, he's probably down on confidence. I think that I or we, the coaches, need to do a better job of creating better opportunities for him," Gaze told AAP.

"The shots he's had are stuff he's made throughout the course of his career and he's just going through a period where the ball's not dropping.

"But we need to be able to find a way to get easier shots for him and, also, his teammates need to work harder to create easier shots for him."

The 30-year-old Boomers' representative last year claimed the competition's top gong after top-five averages of 20.4 points, 3.5 assists and 1.8 steals a game for Illawarra.

Lisch's numbers haven't decreased too much after moving to the rival Kings, where he is coming up with 17 points, 3.7 assists and two steals a game.

It's his percentages that have dropped off significantly, from 49 per cent in 2015-16 to 40 per cent this summer, and a similar fall from long distance.

But Gaze remains confident Lisch can bounce back and help the Kings return to the top four.

"He's working as hard as he possibly can. It's not to the detriment of the team, his form. He does a lot of other things than score the ball," Gaze said.

"I'm not worried. In all honesty, I should be, but I'm not because of the nature of Kevin and the nature of the way he goes about it.

"He gives me a lot of confidence that it's only a matter of time until he gets out of this little rut he's in and he starts playing the basketball he has for most of the season."

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