by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix will aim to seal their place in the BBL Play-Offs with a victory over the Plymouth Raiders later this evening.
The Raiders triumphed in the first two meetings between the two sides in the 2020/21 regular season, however this will be their first trip to the EPSV since the 12th of January 2020.
Paul James’ team has obtained four victories in their last five games. The Raiders currently sit in third place in the BBL Championship Table.
Date: Sunday 18th April, 2021
Tip-off: 5 p.m.
Competition: BBL Championship
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 games) live 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.
RAIDERS SCOUTING REPORT
The Raiders have a 26-12 record in all competitions.
James’ team has picked up 13 wins and just five losses on the road in all competitions.
The Raiders are currently third in the BBL Championship, with a 17-9 record after 26 games.
Plymouth ranks in the top four in both hustle stats (steals & blocks) with 7.8 steals (4th most in BBL) and 3 blocks (2nd most in BBL) per contest.
Plymouth ranks first in rebounding, with 38.6 boards per night, however they’re dead last in assists-per-game, with just 16 on average.
The Raiders are averaging 46.1% shooting from the floor, 35.2% from deep and 68.4% from the charity stripe.
The visitors have the second best defence in the BBL, at just 77.2 points-allowed-per-game while their offense ranks fifth, at 84.2 points-per-game.
The Raiders commit the most fouls in the BBL (20 per contest) and also turn the ball over at a high rate (14.4 turnovers per game – 2nd most in BBL).
Mike Morsell and Ashley Hamilton are tied in scoring, at 15.8 points-per-game apiece, while Rickey McGill is slightly behind the two, at 14.2 points-per game. Will Neighbour (9.9) and Chris Porter-Bunton (9) are on the cusp of averaging double-figure points.
McGill leads the Raiders in assists and steals, with 5.2 dimes and 1.8 steals per game.
Prince Ibeh averages the most blocks in the BBL (1.8) and also leads Plymouth in rebounds-per-game (7.3), however he hasn’t played since April 3rd.
Former Nix centre Michael Ochereobia is averaging 6.7 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Raiders.
Plymouth Raiders: Rickey McGill — Plymouth’s guard has been on a tear since the 5th of March, as he’s scored 15 or more points in eight consecutive games. He’s averaging 14.2 points, 5.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game in the regular season.
Cheshire Phoenix: Kahron Ross — The Nix will need a big performance from their star point-guard against the in-form Raiders. Ross scored a joint team-high 14 points against the London Lions however his assist-to-turnover ratio was below-par. The Lehigh alum must score and distribute at a high level against the Raiders.
Ben Thomas: “Today’s game against Plymouth is huge! We know how to compete with this team, we’ve done it in both games this season. But we know we have to do it for 40 minutes.
“They’re very talented and have a lot of depth. We just need to outwork them, especially defensively.”
NEXT HOME GAME
The Nix will be back in action at the EPSV on Thursday 22nd of April, against the Glasgow Rocks in the BBL Championship. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.