BBL Championship

Friday 25th January 2019

DBL Sharks Sheffield v Plymouth Raiders

The DBL Sharks Sheffield welcome an in-form Plymouth Raiders to the EIS this Friday, hoping to recover a rich vein of form themselves. The Raiders saw Coach Paul James take the Coach of the Month plaudits for a perfect four out of four in December with Donte Nicholas claiming the Player of the Month gong as well to boot. The Sharks will be looking to put things back on track after that agonising single digit loss to Bristol last weekend.

What to expect

Since claiming the December awards, things haven’t gone quite so well for the Raiders but they are clearly still a team on a mission. A couple of lean, playoff-less years have given a focus to Coach James, ex of Worcester of course, and his current charges are looking to correct the balance. Despite going down to Leicester last Saturday by 88-82, Plymouth led for a long period and had they managed to keep Rashad Hassan on court for longer, chances are they would have claimed another win. Hassan is pouring in a ridiculous 20.36 points per game along with 7.73 rebounds, aided and abetted by Donte Nicholas, who contributes 17.88, with 8.88 boards and 7.88 assists. Josh Wilcher also manages 17.4 points per game from the point and 7 assists and they have bigs of the quality of Joonas Jarvelainen, who can shoot close to 40% even from beyond the arc. Coach James’ methods are tried and tested and they look easily capable of improving from their current ninth place with a record of 8-9 at present.

Shark Watch

The Sharks suffered heartbreak last Friday when Justin Gray’s three point score with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock gave the hometown Bristol Flyers a narrow 62-61 win. The Sharks again relied on the scoring of Dirk Williams (20 points per game) and Chris Alexander (19.95 points per game) allied with the workmanlike muscle of Rob Marsden (6.74 rebounds per game). Just two points from the bench was again a factor in the Sharks downfall and it remains to be seen on Friday whether Atiba Lyons and his staff have managed to secure the extra presence on the roster that would so help his team. That quality of player isn’t easy to come by however and if the Sharks have to go in with the same squad, then Lyons will have impressed upon them the necessary work ethic required to pull off the win.

Last time out

Plymouth Raiders (Hassan 17 Wells 11 Nicholas 9) 57 DBL Sharks Sheffield (Tuck 19 Alexander 15 Williams 12) 66

Fans Corner

Remember that last game down in Plymouth this season? Hopefully no more broken backboards, unless Dirk goes on a dunkfest!! Our game against the Raiders and the following Friday against Leicester represent the last two home matches before we go on a mammoth road trip. March 29th is the next time we return to ‘The Tank’ so make sure you grab this opportunity to cheer the guys on!

Next home game

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Andy Chubb