by Vlad Ionasc
The Nix will look to secure back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they’ll take on the Plymouth Raiders at the Plymouth Pavilions.
Tonight’s meeting will mark the third game in five days for both sides. The Raiders dropped the fixtures against the Leicester Riders and Newcastle Eagles, while the Nix fell at the last hurdle against the Worcester Wolves and picked up a five-point victory over the Surrey Scorchers.
The last battle between the two teams on Feb. 28, 2020 finished 77-74 in favour of the Nix.
Date: Wednesday 20th January, 2021
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
Competition: BBL Championship
Where: Plymouth Pavilions
How to watch: Plymouth’s Facebook Live – FREE OF CHARGE.
RAIDERS SCOUTING REPORT
Paul James retained the services of Will Neighbour, Denzel Ubiaro and Isaiah Walker, whilst adding Andrew Lawrence, Rickey McGill, Elliott Sentance, Elvisi Dusha, Ashley Hamilton, Ryan Beisty, Prince Ibeh and Chris Porter-Bunton.
Former Phoenix center Michael Ochereobia also joined the Raiders during the off-season.
Josh Wilcher, Ryan Richards, Kostas Jonuska, Isa Brandon, Gary Talton, Rashad Hassan, Matt Scott and Leslee Smith all left the club over the summer.
The Raiders reached the Quarter-Finals stage of the BBL Cup, where they were knocked out by the London Lions.
Paul James’ side has obtained just one win in their last five games (72-58 vs. Worcester Wolves on Dec. 30.) and their regular season record stands at 3-7.
Plymouth’s record at home in all competitions stands at 4-5.
Ashley Hamilton leads the Raiders in points-per-game (18.1) and ranks second in rebounds-per-game (6.8). Hamilton draws the third most fouls in the league (4.6) and ranks first in free-throws made (49).
Texas alum Prince Ibeh leads the league in blocks-per-game (2.4) and the Raiders in rebounds-per-game (6.9).
Beisty (42.1% 3PT) and Sentance (38.9% 3PT) are Plymouth’s marksmen, however Paul James’ side is shooting just 29.2% from deep.
The Raiders have won just one of their last five meetings against the Phoenix.
Plymouth Raiders: Ashley Hamilton — The GB international has started all 10 games in the BBL Championship and is currently averaging 18.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists per night, on 45.9% FG and 35.7% from three-point land. The 6-foot-7 Brit likes to drive to the basket and calls often go his way, as he’s averaging 6.5 free-throws per game. Hamilton converts 75.4% of his opportunities from the line.
Cheshire Phoenix: Jimbo Lull — The 7-footer struggled yet again against the Surrey Scorchers, as he totalled just eight points and three rebounds. Lull is averaging 18.6 points and 9 rebounds per game on 56.2% FG and 35% 3PT in the BBL Championship. He needs to supply the Nix with those numbers tonight, but it won’t be an easy task. Standing in his way will be Prince Ibeh, Plymouth’s defensive specialist.
Ben Thomas: “Tonight’s game against Plymouth is going to be a tough one! Their current league position doesn’t reflect the talent on the team.
“However because of their current record it gives us a chance to move ahead of them with a couple of games in hand.
“That’s what we are looking to do and we’ve got to go out there and do it.”
NEXT HOME GAME
The Nix are next in action at the EPSV on the 7th of February against the Hemel Storm in the First Round of the BBL Trophy.