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Cheshire Phoenix vs London Lions – Preview

by Vlad Ionasc

Cheshire Phoenix will conclude their four-game road-trip with a head-to-head decider against the London Lions.

The Nix lost the first battle against Vince Macaulay’s team 99-110 back in December but managed to defeat the star-studded Lions 87-80 in February.

The Lions have won their last five games in the BBL Championship, while the Nix snapped their four-game losing streak with a win on Sunday afternoon against the Glasgow Rocks.

GAME DETAILS

Date: Wednesday 14th April, 2021

Tip-off: 6 p.m.

Competition: BBL Championship

Where: Copper Box Arena

How to watch: BBL Player

The BBL Player is the new one-stop-shop for all BBL action as you can watch every club and every game (excluding Bristol’s home gameslive and on-demand for £19.99 per month. Alternatively, single-game passes are priced at £4.99.

Because of how the BBL is structured, all the money from the BBL Player goes directly to the clubs, so make sure to select the Cheshire Phoenix as your ‘club to support’ when registering, as all the revenue will help carry the club through this incredibly difficult period of financial insecurity.

LIONS SCOUTING REPORT

Photo Credit: Adam Day

The Lions have a 25-11 record in all competitions.

The Londoners lost the BBL Cup Final against the Newcastle Eagles but managed to secure their first piece of silverware against the Plymouth Raiders in the BBL Trophy Final.

Macaulay’s team is currently second in the BBL Championship table, with a 16-7 record after 23 games.

The Lions have the best offence in the league, at 90.8 points-per-game, however their defence ranks just 7th at 82.8 points allowed per game.

The Lions reign supreme in terms of three-point shooting (31 attempts per game, 39.5% conversion rate).

The Londoners are shooting the third best overall percentage from the field (46.5% FG) and they’re also the most accurate team from the free-throw line, at 78.5%.

The BBL Trophy champions rank second in assists-per-game, with 21.4 and are also joint-second in steals-per-game, with 8.1.

The Londoners allow their opponents more free-throw attempts (22.9 per contest) than any other team in the league, but they also force opposing teams into the most turnovers (15.2 per contest).

Dirk Williams is London’s most prolific scorer, at 17.4 points-per-game. He has made more three-point shots (70) than any other player in the BBL.

DeAndre Liggins is London second-best scorer, rebounder and distributor as he’s currently averaging 14.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.9 assists on 41.3% shooting from three-point range.

The Lions have six players who are shooting 39% or better from deep: Williams, Liggins, Joe Ikhinmwin, Andre Lockhart, Justin Robinson and Shane Walker.

The Lions have triumphed in three of the last five meetings between the two sides.

KEY PLAYERS

Photo Credit: London Lions

London Lions: Dirk Williams — London’s sharpshooter was ineffective in his team’s loss at the EPSV back in February, as he amassed just nine points on nine shots, so he’ll want to put on a better display at the Copper Box Arena. Williams is currently averaging 17.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists on 39.1% shooting from deep.

Cheshire Phoenix: Mike McCall Jr. — Phoenix’s guard contributed with 18 points (7-11 FG), six rebounds and four assists off the bench in his team’s 87-80 win over the Lions in February. McCall Jr will have to replicate that performance in Phoenix’s lone trip to the capital.

COACH’S CORNER

Photo Credit: Adam Day

Ben Thomas: “We’ve had some really good performances against London this season and we need another one tonight! 

“We know how they want to play and what we need to do to counter that. It’s just about going out there and playing hard for 40 minutes. Our effort will determine the outcome!”

NEXT HOME GAME

The Nix will be back in action at the EPSV on Sunday 18th of April, against the Plymouth Raiders in the BBL Championship. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.

 

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