NBL Division One Preview - Week 22 (29 February/1 March 2020)

We're now into the final month of the regular season, with nine games taking place across the weekend. We take a look at all the match-ups in D1M.

Game of the week

Loughborough Riders (13-6) v Leicester Warriors (9-10)

Fifth-placed Riders host Warriors on Saturday as a Midlands derby kicks off week 22 in the perfect way. Both sides made light work of Division One strugglers in week 20, as Riders downed Westminster Warriors and Leicester saw off Liverpool.

Captain Reis Pinnock was influential for the hosts last week with 30 points and going 4/5 from range, while Warriors enjoyed a typical T.J. Henderson performance (34 points) to make them the form players who can make the difference in a derby game. With both sides facing a double-header they will want to get their weekend off to the best start.

Elsewhere in D1M

Barking Abbey (4-14) host Riders on Sunday having faced a tough outing against Thames Valley Cavaliers last week. One shining light was the performance of young centre Theo Hughes who will want to continue to impress as BA try to produce a tighter contest in week 21. Abbey are also on the road to Nottingham Hoods (6-14) as they get a chance to close the gap on the team just above them in 10th. 

Liverpool (3-18) face the daunting task of hosting the unbeaten Solent Kestrels (18-0) on Saturday. The visitors maintained their perfect record with a double-header win last week as Ian Smith impressed with a triple-double to take the player of the week award in D1M. Solent also travel to Leicester Warriors on Sunday as they pick up their NBL schedule after their domestic cup heroics.

Worthing Thunder (12-7) travel to Westminster Warriors (3-18) on the back of an impressive win over third-placed Hemel, with an in-form Cameron Hildreth among their ranks after his double-double last time out. If he and Thunder carry their form into this, it could be another tough weekend for Warriors.

Thames Valley Cavaliers (16-4) host Derby Trailblazers (13-7) with the ever-present Taylor Johnson as the danger man after dropping 35 points in a 13/15 shooting performance in their Barking Abbey win. Derby know they face a tougher test than last week's win over struggling Essex & Herts Leopards.

Leopards (2-18) will hope a similar return to Orlan Jackson's 26 point, 14 rebound double-double in that game will get them on the right side of the scoreline this week against Reading Rockets (13-7), who will want to bounce back from that heavy Solent defeat.

Hemel Storm's (15-6) thumping loss to Thunder will leave them chomping at the bit to put Bradford Dragons to the sword on Saturday. Dragons suffered a heavy defeat to Kestrels last week but will be on a high after edging a one-point game with Hoods in the second of their double-header.

Full fixtures and stats

Saturday 29 February

2:00pm - Loughborough Riders v Leicester Warriors - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Liverpool v Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS
5:30pm - Westminster Warriors v Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS
6:30pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers v Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS
6:30pm - Nottingham Hoods v Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS
7:00pm - Hemel Storm v Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS

Sunday 1 March

3:00pm - Leicester Warriors v Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS
3:30pm - Loughborough Riders v Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS
5:00pm Reading Rockets v Essex & Herts Leopards - LIVE STATS

Main image credit - Joe Pinchin/Leicester Riders