Sunday 3rd January 2021
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Plymouth Raiders
The mince pies have all gone, the tinsel has been put away and its back to business for the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks as 2021 begins in earnest with the visit of Plymouth Raiders to Ponds Forge. The Sharks rounded off 2020 with that convincing 78-96 win north of the border against Glasgow and will be looking to commence 2021 in the same vein. The Raiders come into the game in seventh place but with a team that is more than capable of pushing on up the BBL Championship table.
What to expect
The Raiders were 2-3 prior to their midweek encounter with Worcester Wolves but clearly this is a side with a great potential to climb the standings rapidly. Plymouth have suffered narrow defeats in their previous three games at Manchester, Glasgow and London but prior to that took wins over Newcastle and Worcester so most definitely demand respect. A key signing this season has been GB forward Ashley Hamilton. He is currently pouring in 21.2 points per game as well as pulling down 6 boards and is vastly experienced from his time out in Europe. Fellow GB international Andrew Lawrence is currently spending time on the sidelines through injury but Elvisi Dusha is relishing the added responsibility at the point, dishing out 5.2 assists per game and in Chris Porter-Bunton (10.8 ppg 6.5 rpg 3.3 spg 3.0 apg), they have a guy who can do a bit of everything. Add in the likes of Will Neighbour, Denzel Ubiaro, Mike Ochereobia, Elliot Sentence and Prince Ibeh, then you have a roster that is capable of achieving big things. Factor in the experienced coaching of Paul James (13 competition wins in the BBL) and you can see why many are tipping the Devon outfit for at least one piece of silverware.
2020 ended in terrific fashion for the Sharks with that big win up in Glasgow. It was an extremely measured, calm but highly-effective display from Nicholas Lewis, who accumulated 32 points backed up by the explosive Jeremy Hemsley with 23. The Sharks now have an array of options in the backcourt, each bringing something different to the court, something that is possibly unmatched by any other team in the league. To compliment this, there is plenty of blue collar work from the rest of the roster, ensuring that defence is key to all that they do. The Sharks 3-2 record and fourth place is a good position to push on from and therefore, it is important that 2021 begins in the right manner. Plymouth will undoubtedly bring different challenges but they are nothing that the Sharks cannot overcome. Expectations are high!
Last Time Out
Plymouth Raiders (Wilcher 16 Mvouika 12 Hassan 7) 62 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (Cashaw 16 Tuck 13 Marsden 12) 71
We’re back on www.bblplayer.co.uk this coming Sunday 3rd January for live and exclusive coverage of our first game of 2021 against Plymouth Raiders. Remember, this is the only place to see your B. Braun Sheffield Sharks in action – tip off time is 3.00pm! We hope you all had a great festive period but now its time to get back to business. Let’s make 2021 the Year of the Shark! Fear The Fin!
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Plymouth Raiders, Sunday 3rd January 2021, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 3pm Tip Off