NBL Division One preview - Week 11 (7/8 December 2019)

As D1M rolls towards the mid-season break, there's still time another few weeks of fixtures with plenty of points on offer. The NBL cameras are once again going to be catching some great D1M action, with five other games also taking place across the weekend.

Game of the Week

Team Solent Kestrels (10-0) v Hemel Storm (8-2)

It's 1st plays joint 2nd on the South coast this Saturday and the NBL crew will be there to broadcast all the action live from shortly before 6:00pm.

Solent have been in unstoppable form so far this season, rarely looking troubled on their way to a 10-0 record. With so many talented players to call upon, the Kestrels have consistently found a way to fire on offence regardless of the situation. Their defence also remains the best in the division, allowing just 62.8 ppg.

What can Hemel do to try and knock the leaders off course? One thing they do have is size, with forward Lee Hodges leading the way in that department. The 7'0" centre has already collected a Player of the Week award this season, and averages north of 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. 

The Kestrels are currently riding a regular season winning streak of 18 games, stretching all the way back to February 2019. Included in that run was a 101-81 win over the Storm, so Coach Spinks will need to get everything out of his roster if there's going to be any kid of upset tomorrow. 

To watch the game, you can use the button below to go straight to the Basketball England YouTube channel.

Elsewhere in D1M

There's a battle between the division's two Warriors in the Midlands as Leicester (4-6) host Westminster (3-7). Coach Brown's side have won one of their last four, whilst the visitors have won one from six, so someone's form will begin trending upwards after tomorrow.

Former D1M regular season champs Loughborough (6-4) are yet to hit their best form so far in 2019/20, but they're still a difficult team to face as 5th place Thames Valley Cavaliers (7-3) head to town tomorrow. Harrison Gamble is a new addition for Coach Jarram's team having moved from parent side Leicester Riders. He already looks an excellent signing, averaging 31.5 points in his first two games.

Saturday's only other fixture sees two resurgent sides lock horns further down the standings as Essex & Herts Leopards (1-9) travel to Nottingham Hoods (3-7). The Leopards enjoyed their first win of the season last week as they beat Liverpool, with the Hoods overcoming an 0-5 start to go 3-2 since.

Moving into Sunday, Worthing Thunder (8-2) will look to keep pace with leaders Solent as they entertain a struggling Liverpool (2-8). With the recent news that influential duo Jack Hudson and David Ulph have opted to leave the club for the BBL, the Merseyside team are currently struggling to fill the void left by two of their more prominent players. That might make a trip to Worthing a tough one, but the former D2M champs will no doubt hope to right their ship soon enough.

In the final game of the weekend, Reading Rockets (7-3) will look to bounce back from a lacklustre defeat against Derby last week as they take on Bradford Dragons (4-6). Coach Keane had some stern words for his Rockets following the loss, and no doubt his roster will want to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

Full fixtures and stats

Saturday 7 December 2019

4:30pm - Leicester Warriors v Westminster Warriors - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Loughborough Riders v Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS
6:00pm - Team Solent Kestrels v Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS
6:30pm - Nottingham Hoods v Essex & Herts Leopards - LIVE STATS

Sunday 8 December 2019

4:00pm - Worthing Thunder v Liverpool - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Reading Rockets v Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS

Main image credit - Hemel Storm