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Gaze chips NBL over busy Kings schedule

AAP logoAAP 5/12/2016 Tim Keeble

Sydney coach Andrew Gaze has taken a swipe at the NBL's schedule after the league-leading Kings accounted for NSW rivals Illawarra in their top-of-the-table battle at Wollongong.The Kings boosted their record to 9-6 with the 99-93 win on Monday night and have played more games than any of the league's other seven teams.Illawarra and New Zealand have each played 14 games, while Cairns and Adelaide have played 12 games apiece.All teams play 28 games during the October-to-February season, meeting each other four times."We seem to have played the most games of anyone and we've got the busiest schedule this week - a massive week with Cairns first and then Melbourne United," Gaze said."I'm trying to figure out when our schedule starts to slow up a bit."The 2016-17 NBL season is the closest on record since the league's 1979 inception - three wins separate first from last and every team is in finals contention."That's a massive win for us because it's the first (regular season) series win we've had," Gaze said."This ladder and the way this season is so tight is ridiculous, so series wins are going to be vital. The parity out there is so good."The Kings had lost three of their previous five games before beating the Hawks.Illawarra were the NBL's hottest team going into the round nine clash with five wins in their previous six matches."Maybe it's a fatigue thing," Hawks coach Rob Beveridge said."We were just flat. We didn't have the zip we've had the last few games - too passive, too conservative."This competition is so close that it's going to come down to a whole bunch of teams."

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