Preview: Riders at Giants

The Riders play the second of back-to-back games, heading to Manchester to face the Giants. 

After last night’s win against the Scorchers, they look to continue their hot start to the season.

Fixture information 

Leicester Riders @ Manchester Giants

National Basketball Performance Centre

Saturday, October 14, 8 PM

Watch live!

No Rest for Riders 

The Riders are rolling entering tonight’s game, having won four games on the bounce. Their 4-1 record means they sit a clear second in the standings early in the season. 

It was a confident win last time out against the Scorchers. Led by Kimbal Mackenzie’s 22 points, six assists and six rebounds, the Riders took control in the third and saw out a 92-74 win. 

There’s little opportunity for rest and recovery for this one, as they are set to take on the Giants just a day later. 

With that in mind, no Rider played over 27 minutes in the Scorchers games, as they look to rely on their deep bench to get them through a congested schedule. 

Led by Mackenzie, 47 of the Riders’ points against Surrey came off the bench, and they’ll need more of the same to come away with a win. 

Giants suffer from strong schedule 

It hasn’t been the start to the season the Giants may have imagined under new Head Coach Brian Semonian. They possess a 1-3 record following losses to the Caledonia Gladiators and the London Lions twice. 

They have faced some of British basketball’s sternest opposition in the Lions and Gladiators, and while their first two fixtures featured blowouts, they fought the undefeated Lions wire-to-wire last time out. 

The Giants ultimately fell 94-89, but forced the League’s leading scorer Matt Morgan to ice the game at the free throw line. Second-year Giant Nick Lewis led the team with 24, beaten only by Morgan’s 30 in the game. 

The defensive end of the ball has seen Manchester struggle early in the season, giving up a League-worst 94 points per game through four fixtures. They’ll have to shore up defensively in this one, as they take on the second-highest scorers in the British Basketball League. 

Key matchup 

Former Rider Jamell Anderson leads the Giants’ scoring so far this season, putting up 16.5 points per game. The versatile two-way wing has established himself as a top-level scorer over the last few seasons and has continued that form into this year. 

Anderson, a 6’7” wing, is playing in his 13th professional season, which has featured 12 years in the British Basketball League. His stature and skillset allow him to impact every aspect of the game, from scoring, rebounding and elite defence against all four positions. 

Looking to help occupy Anderson on both ends is Canadian wing TJ Lall. the 6’6” small forward is able to match up with Anderson in frame, and his offensive and defensive talents can challenge him on both ends. 

Lall impressed early in his Riders tenure, earning Player of the Game honours with 14 points and four rebounds against the Plymouth City Patriots, leading the team to their first win of the season. 

A second-year pro, having spent last season in the Japanese first division for Kyoto Hannaryz, is sure to play a big role from a pivotal position on the court in this one. 

Played for both: Jamell Anderson

Most of Anderson’s storied British basketball career was spent in Leicester, where he won eight trophies for the Riders. 

He signed in 2011 from the Essex Pirates and helped the team to their first piece of silverware in 12 years, with a treble in 2013. 

His final season with the Riders was 2021, concluding his decade-long commitment to the club with a BBL Championship title. 

Jamell’s defensive prowess earned him a spot on the Defensive Team of the year twice with the Riders, and once last season with the Cheshire Phoenix. 

He left the Riders for the Giants for 2021/22, scoring 10.8 points per game on the year. Anderson re-signed with the Manchester Giants last year, after departing the city for the Cheshire Phoenix last season. 

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