NBL Division One Preview - Week 23 (7/8 March 2020)

Unlucky for some but not for NBL fans, as a monster 13 games take place in D1M. We look forward to an exciting round of games in week 23.

Game of the week

Thames Valley Cavaliers (16-5) v Loughborough Riders (15-6)

Second welcomes fourth on Sunday, as Riders take on Cavaliers on the back of their Midlands derby win over Leicester.

They won't want to ease off like they did in the fourth, though, as Cavaliers are sure to prove more testing opposition. They themselves will want to put things right after falling second best in a highly entertaining overtime defeat to Derby Trailblazers last week.

It's the usual player in form for the hosts that Riders need to somehow contain, with Taylor Johnson boasting a stat line of 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in week 22. He'll get two bites at the cherry to continue his form this weekend as Cavaliers also take on Nottingham Hoods (7-14).

Elsewhere in D1M

Riders face one of their toughest weeks of the season with both games in a double-header weekend seeing them play teams above them, as they first face the unbeaten leaders Solent Kestrels (20-0).

In another interesting match up at the top, Kestrels will also be on the road to third-placed Hemel Storm (16-6), who strengthened their case for a top-four finish with last week's win over Bradford Dragons. 

Leicester Warriors (9-12) host Worthing Thunder (13-7) looking to bounce back from that low-scoring defeat to Riders. Thunder and Cam Hildreth will be a hard side to beat though as he continues to shine, with another 32 points added last week.

It's a battle at the bottom as Liverpool (3-19) take on Essex & Herts Leopards (3-18). Week 22 player of the week Elvisi Dusha hit 36 points in a vital win over Reading Rockets in overtime as they potentially hit form at the wrong time for Liverpool. The hosts face another challenge in Thunder on the Sunday, while Leopards host Hoods, so neither side will want to end week 23 with a double defeat.

Among the battle at the bottom are Westminster Warriors (3-19) who have a double-game week of their own with Bradford Dragons (11-10) and Leicester Warriors (9-12). They'll be watching the bottom-two clash closely as they continue to struggle for points.

Derby Trailblazers (14-7) will use that big overtime win over Cavaliers last week as a marker for their clash with Barking Abbey (4-13) and the visit of Reading Rockets, who will want to put that defeat to Leopards behind them. They'll have two chances to get back on form themselves when they also hit the road to Bradford Dragons.

Fixtures and results

Saturday 7 March

3:00pm - Leicester Warriors v Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Liverpool v Essex & Herts Leopards - LIVE STATS
5:30pm - Westminster Warriors v Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS
6:00pm - Solent Kestrels v Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS
7:15pm - Derby Trailblazers v Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
7:30pm - Nottingham Hoods v Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS

Sunday 8 March

3:00pm - Liverpool v Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS
3:30pm - Essex & Herts Leopards v Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS
4:15pm - Bradford Dragons v Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
4:15pm - Derby Trailblazers v Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS
4:30pm - Westminster Warriors v Leicester Warriors - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Hemel Storm v Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS
6:00pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers v Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

Main image credit - Luke Simcock