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Scouting Report: London Lions

Leicester Riders are set to take on the London Lions in their second game of the weekend. They will face the League champions for the final time in the British Basketball League Championship, heading to the Copper Box for the second time. 

Here, we take you through what to expect from our opponents… 

Shooting efficiency

London have operated with killer efficiency on the offensive end this season. They lead the League in field goal, three point and free throw percentage, their effective field goal percentage sitting at 58% on the season, 4% more than the second ranked Riders. 

The Lions attack the hoop to generate offence. They lead all teams in points in the paint and free throw rate, getting easy buckets at the rim and putting their opponents in foul trouble consistently. 

While their leading scorer, Matthew Morgan, is the second highest scorer in the League with 19.4 points per game, the Lions share the ball to great effect to lead all teams in assists. 

The Riders offensive production is close to matching the Lions on the season, scoring just one point less on average in their games, but they’ll have to lock in on the defensive end to find success in this game, especially because of the quality London has on the other side of the ball. 

Stifling defence

While some of the Lions’ defensive success can be credited to their high field goal percentage, preventing opponents getting easy looks on the fastbreak, they have ranked among the League’s best in their score stopping. 

The Lions are the best at stopping transition buckets, allowing only 15.4 fast break points per game, they also hold their opponents to the worst field goal percentage of any other team at just 41%. 

In addition, London close possessions consistently, allowing few second looks at the basket. Their 31.69 defensive rebounds per game is best of any team. Their defence is a contributing factor with that number, forcing their opponents into more misses and getting more opportunities for defensive rebounds. 

Another aspect of London’s stifling defence is their rim protection. Led by the league-leading rim protector Josh Sharma, who sends away the most shots of any player with 1.7 per game, London tops the blocked shots charts also. 

The Riders’ high powered scoring will need to be at its best to overcome London’s defence. 

Giveaways

An area of weakness in the table toppers is their tendency to give away possessions. 

The Lions turn the ball over 15.69 times per game, the most in the League. This leads to them giving up the third most points off turnovers per game at 13.86 per game. 

While their shooting efficiency means London doesn’t give up many fastbreak points, but the Riders will look to take advantage of any Lions turnovers to generate good shots against London’s defence. 

The Riders rank third in fastbreak points, and their desire to get out and run in transition may play a factor in the action at the Copper Box.