Playoff Preview: Leicester Riders v Sheffield Sharks Game Two

Leicester Riders are set to take on the Sheffield Sharks in Game Two of the British Basketball League Playoff Quarter-Finals.

The Riders enter the game leading the best-of-three series 1-0, meaning a win in the game would see them advance to the Semi-Finals.

Here is everything you need to know about the fixture.

Fixture information 

Leicester Riders vs Sheffield Sharks

British Basketball League Playoffs: Quarter-Finals Game Two

Mattioli Arena, Leicester 

6:45 pm

Game One Recap

The Riders enter Game Two up 1-0 in the series, after taking Game One on the road 84-81. 

Riders’ rookie duo of Miryne Thomas and Jaren Holmes led the team to the win with a combined 46 points and 14 rebounds, Thomas leading the way with 24/8. 

After a hot start for the Riders, seeing them up double digits within minutes, the Sharks responded through their bench play to take the lead back, which they held until midway through the fourth. 

But a late Riders surge saw them bounce back in the clutch, locking the Sharks down with their defence. Teddy Allen sealed the win with two trips to the foul line, meaning Leicester are now one win away from the Semi-Finals. 

One to watch 

The Sharks’ bench, which scored 59 points in Game One, was led by a game-high 25 points from American guard Prentiss Nixon. 

It was a season-high for Nixon, who scored 20 on only two occasions prior this season, both times in December. 

Nixon averaged 9.2 points per game over the course of the year, but caught fire early in this one for 11 first quarter points off the bench, and led the hosts in the clutch to keep them in contention late. He went 9-15 from the field and 4-9 from three in 23 minutes of play. 

The third-year pro will take confidence into Game Two after his performance on Sunday, potentially providing a spark off the bench for the Sharks. 

The Numbers

The Riders went through shooting struggles in Game One despite coming away with the win, shooting 6-26 from behind the three point line. 

However, looking back on how the season series played out, Leicester can take confidence back to the Mattioli Arena where they shot 46% from three against the Sharks from three this season. 

This is in contrast to the 26% three point percentage in Sheffield. Leicester can expect to produce a more consistent threat from three in Game Two of the series. 

Turnover troubles also followed a similar trend. The Riders gave up double digit turnovers in their two road games against the Sharks this season, and another 12 in Game One. 

But at home, it was 6 turnovers per game for Leicester, and over 100 points scored on both occasions. 

If the numbers are anything to go by, home court advantage is set to play a role in Saturday’s action. 

Where to watch 

Only a few tickets remain to the Riders home playoff opener. You can get them here.

Tickets include entry to the Riders women’s playoff game against Essex Rebels at 2:45 pm. 

READ MORE: Playoff Preview: Leicester Riders vs Essex Rebels

Doors to the Arena open at 2:15, and the first 1,200 fans through the door will receive a free Dark Horse playoff t-shirt thanks to the generosity of the Riders’ sponsors at RDL Technologies, Vertu Motors, Torr Waterfield, Jelson Homes and EverythingBranded.

The game will also be shown live on Sky Sports and Sky Sports YouTube.