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Key Matchups- Bristol Flyers

Leicester Riders are set to take on the Bristol Flyers on the road, in their last game before the 2024 British Basketball League All-Star game.

Here are the key battles to watch in the game…

Brad Greene vs Sam Idowu

The Riders face the challenge of taking on the League’s leading rebounder in Brad Greene. The American, who was named the All-Star starter for the centre position, has averaged a double double this season with 12.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. 

Greene is a force on the offensive boards. He leads all players in offensive rebounds with 3.9 per game, on a team that grabs the most rebounds of any team this season. 

The 6’11” California native went off for 19 points and 17 rebounds against the Riders in December, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds. 

In the rematch, however, in January, Riders big man Sam Idowu was his equal. Greene was held to 7 points, while Idowu muscled his way to 15 points, 14 rebounds and 2 blocks, pulling down 5 offensive rebounds going against Greene. 

Idowu has been a physical force inside the paint off the bench for the Riders this season, . He has the size, the physicality and the hustle to contest Greene on the boards, and limit the Flyers’ second chance opportunities.  

Trejon Jacob vs TJ Lall

Despite his team’s loss, Trejon Jacob led the Flyers in a spirited performance last time against Leicester, scoring 16 points with 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. 

He scored 10 points in the third to keep Bristol in the game, but the visitors couldn’t capitalise on the offensive momentum, and Leicester kept their opponents at arm’s length. 

Jacob has averaged 17 points in the last two games against Leicester, finding joy putting points on the board. The American is putting up 12.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game committing to the glass from the wing. 

Tasked with helping to slow Jacob down will be Canadian wing TJ Lall, who is coming off the back of a Team of the Week selection for his performance against the Cheshire Phoenix.  

With leading scorer Teddy Allen and captain Kimbal Mackenzie ejected from the game, Lall stepped up in the fourth against the Phoenix to lead the team to a win. He scored seven to start the quarter, bringing his game tally to 22 points and 7 rebounds. 

Lall has made his name as an elite two-way wing, able to impact every facet of a contest. His size and length, combined with his playmaking and shooting ability, makes him a versatile threat on the offensive end.

On defence, Lall can pick up all five positions, and will feel comfortable going up against Jacob’s scoring threat from the wing. Should Jacob get hot again in this one, Coach Rob Paternostro will feel confident in Lall’s ability to stem the tide. 

Tevin Olison vs Jaren Holmes

Alongside Greene, Bristol’s other All-Star on their roster is Memphis-born guard Tevin Olison, who is shining in his second season as a pro. 

Olison is Bristol’s leading scorer, averaging 15.8 points per game on 46.5% shooting from the field. He’s taken a step up from his rookie year, where he averaged 10 points as a rookie for the Flyers. 

Olison missed the previous two fixtures against the Riders through injury, but played at home against Leicester at the start of the season. He scored 17 points on 37.5% shooting from three, leading his team’s scoring in a 92-74 Riders win. 

Going face to face with Olison in the backcourt will be Leicester’s own All-Star, Jaren Holmes, who has been playing elite hoops of late. 

He went off for 15 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in the game, stepping up alongside Lall. Holmes has gone off for big performances throughout the year, and is the Riders’ second leading scorer on the season. 

Michigan-born Holmes is putting up 13.2 points and 4.4 rebounds from the backcourt, and can go toe-to-toe with any guard in the League on both ends of the ball. 

Expect a battle between the two All-Star guards in Bristol.