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Cheshire Phoenix vs Sheffield Sharks – Preview

by Vlad Ionasc

Cheshire Phoenix won’t have time to relax after their win over Glasgow, as they’ll face-off against the Sheffield Sharks at the Cheshire Oaks Arena on the 27th October.

Both teams played on Friday night and triumphed in their respective fixtures. The Sharks obliterated their opponents, the Eagles, while the Nix produced an impressive turnaround in the fourth quarter to narrowly win their game against the Rocks.

Phoenix’s opponents come into the game in red-hot form, they’ve won five straight and are unbeaten since the opening day of the season. Nick Lewis usually provides the scoring spark for the Sharks, he’s averaging 18.7 points-per-game in the Cup, however he isn’t very efficient,as he’s only shooting 40.2% from the field this season. Mackey McKnight is Sheffield’s most dangerous player, the point-guard is averaging 15.8 points-per-game along with 7 assists-per-game. The ever-present Mike Tuck will also look to pose Cheshire a few problems on Sunday night.

Photo by Andy Chubb

Sheffield like to share the ball around, they assisted 30 of their 34 makes in their last game against Newcastle. They also take good care of the basketball, having only committed eight turnovers in their last encounter against the Nix and also last night against the Eagles.

The Nix will need to take a leaf out of Sheffield’s book and move the ball better than they did against the Rocks, as they only amassed 12 assists against the Scottish side. Cheshire will have a short bench against the Sharks but they’ll need as much production as possible. Momcilo Latinovic and Montell McRae contributed well last time out and they must do the same on Sunday night.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright outclassed his opponent Greg Pryor on Friday night, if he can slow down Sheffield’s McKnight then the Nix will be in a good position. Jalen Hayes played well in Glasgow but got in foul trouble early, which restricted the forward’s performance. If he can play smartly and stay out of foul trouble, he’ll provide a big boost for Cheshire, who need his size and athleticism against a very talented Sharks squad. The Nix will rely on sharpshooter Ben Mockford to knock down shots in crunch time, just like he has done against Leicester and Glasgow.


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