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Scouting report: Bristol Flyers

Leicester Riders are set for their final game before the All-Star break, hitting the road to take on the Bristol Flyers.

The game features two teams with contrasting styles, looking to play the game on their own terms to take control of the fixture.

Here’s what the Riders can expect from Sunday’s opponents…

Battling on the boards 

Bristol have made their name on the boards this season, leading the League in total and offensive rebounds. The Flyers pull down an offensive board on 34.48% of their misses, leading to 11.87 second chance points per game. 

Their All-Star Brad Greene leads the League in this department, and is the only player averaging double digit rebounds in the British Basketball League this season. 

It’s a group effort on the boards, despite Greene’s dominance down low. Five players average over four a game, as the who roster crashes the glass every possession, from front court to back court. 

Sam Idowu’s outing last time the Riders faced Bristol neutralised their rebounding threat, however. He grabbed 14 boards to pair with 15 points, making the paint his own as the Riders took a Trophy win. 

Greene still pulled down 11 rebounds, but Leicetser won the rebounding battle 45-36 to take the victory. It will take the same level of effort on the glass to come away with the win in the South West. 

Points in the paint 

On the defensive end of the ball, the Flyers have a stifling defensive interior. They allow the fewest points in the paint of any team this season, allowing only 31.55 points per game around the basket. 

Bristol contest without fouling, ranking seventh in fouls per game, and their sixth ranked blocked shots ranking means they have found ways of preventing opponents from driving their way inside, and forcing difficult attempts when they do. 

The Riders rank third in points in the paint with 40.18 per outing, and will look to counteract Bristol’s interior defence to establish themselves inside. They can open up the rim from distance, however, with their second ranked 37.74% shooting from three. 

Bristol have not prevented the three at the same rate as the layup this season, allowing their opponents to shoot 35.8% from distance.

The Riders, with their sharpshooting quartet of Miryne Thomas, TJ Lall, Teddy Allen and Conner Washington who are each shooting over 40% from deep this season, will hope to continue their hot form from three to get points on the board. 

Setting the tempo

The game may feature a tug of war between two sides who play at opposite ends of the spectrum. 

Bristol plays a slow paced, half court brand of offence for the majority of their possessions. They play at the second slowest pace of any team in the League at 76.85, compared to the Riders who lead all teams at 80.61. 

The Riders continually want to get out and run in transition, using their speed and vision to push the pace and get easy looks at the rim.

In the halfcourt, they take shots early in the shot clock to maximise the amount of possessions they have in the game. 

Meanwhile the Flyers slow the tempo and grind down the shot clock, taking their shots deep into the clock through patient play. 

Both sides will look to establish the game at their tempo to take control of this matchup.