Deng not scared of giant Jazz challenge
THE Adelaide 36ers yesterday had their first look at the home court of the Utah Jazz which holds no fears for the players ahead of their David and Goliath NBA clash on Saturday.
Point guard Adam Doyle trained away from the team as he manages soreness and Ramone Moore and Adris De Leon were icing both knees after practice but are in no doubt for the game.
After missing the Jazz's opening pre-season game against Perth on the weekend, Australian star Joe Ingles was set to return against Toronto yesterday improving his chances of playing his hometown team this weekend.
Adelaide big-man Majok Deng said the team felt comfortable on the court after a practice game and he hoped that confidence would flow into the game against the Jazz.
Beside's containing Ingles and superstar Donovan Mitchell, Adelaide's biggest headache is expected to be 7ft 1 centre Rudy Gobert.
"We've got our advantages and disadvantages but we've just got to find a way, he's (Gobert) a great talent but at the end of the day I'm not scared of anybody so I'll go there and just do what I do," Deng said.
"I'm feeling good, the fatigue is there but we came out and ran and had a scrimmage today and it's amazing, any time you walk into a NBA court it's a dream for anybody who plays basketball."
Sixers coach Joey Wright said his team was under no illusion about the challenge in front of them but he said it would be good for their individual character and bond as a team.
"Any time you can take a team and put them in more chaos and a tougher environment and they come out the other side - I mean no team knows how good they are until they go through something, some real s**t, and I don't care how you slice it with altitude, the travel, the competition, this is going to be as ugly as it gets," Wright said.
"So if you can put them in this situation and say 'look, this is as hard and as ugly as you can get, OK, and once you know where bottom is you can work from there.
"But everything that's bad about us will show up on Friday (US time).
"We have new faces and they haven't been through anything with our group so far, but we've got to stick together no matter what the score is, support one another, and the things that we push each other on are the things we can control which is how hard we play."
Adelaide players will have a recovery session today before a team meeting and are due back on the court tomorrow for their final tune-up before the game against the Jazz.