NBL1 Preview: Playoffs - Round One (24/25 April 2021) - live streams, stats and more

The 2020/21 NBL campaign has reached the playoffs, with six post-season games set for this weekend.

With top two seeds Solent and Thames Valley both earning a bye until next week's quarter-finals, it's all to play for between the division's other 12 sides

We take a look at all the weekend's matchups below, with each heading clickable for live stats, plus links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

#3 Hemel Storm v #14 Nottingham Hoods

Hemel go into tomorrow's contest with Nottingham searching for a win that would set up a tie with either Essex or Bradford.

These sides met just once during the regular season, with Storm sealing a comfortable 109-68 victory thanks to 28 points from Greg Poleon.

The American enjoyed a stunning campaign in D1M, and his 23.7PPG and 11.3RPG have placed him in the running for this season's NBL Player of the Year award.

Nottingham will no doubt have their handful with the talented forward as well as guard Mike Williams, who dropped 33 points against Thames Valley last weekend.

If Hoods are to spring the upset, look for a big game from Victor Olarerin. He had a team-high 18.9PPG during the regular season.

Hemel's Greg Poleon (Luke Simcock)

#4 Derby Trailblazers v #13 Oaklands Wolves

Oaklands Wolves will be hoping that third time's the charm on Sunday as they head to Derby to face the Trailblazers.

DTB have come out on top in both meetings between the two sides this season, taking the tie at Wildcats Arena 124-93 before squeaking a W in Oaklands 92-88.

Derby have only lost twice this season against teams outside of the top three, suggesting the Wolves could be up against it this weekend.

If the visitors are to run Derby close again, they'll no doubt turn to American Jordan Santiago. The talented guard led the team in points (22.3), assists (4.6) and steals (3.2) per game this season.

#5 Team Newcastle University v #12 Leicester Warriors

Team Newcastle University host a home playoff game tomorrow in their first season since promotion from D2, quite the statement for what the team has assembled over the last few years.

The trio of Ronald Blain, David Moya and Brandon Federici have all excelled this term, pushing the Knights to a surprise fifth place finish.

The North East side have also beaten the Warriors in both their games this season, with an 84-76 win in Leicester and a 94-91 W in the return leg.

That most recent contest was Mo Williams' first game with his new side, his 36 points kept the Warriors in touch that day and set the former BBL man on his way to an eventual D1M scoring title.

He'll need more of that this weekend if Leicester are going to stage an upset.

#6 Essex Rebels v #11 Bradford Dragons

Another newly promoted side hosting a playoff game, Essex can certainly be pleased with their regular season performance.

4-1 in their last five games, including a win against a weakened Solent Kestrels line up, the Rebels are also a team on a roll. Lee Hodges performances last weekend earned him a place in the Rebound Team of the Week, and alongside the talented Ethan Price, the Dragons will have their hands full in the front court.

When Essex claimed a 101-86 victory over the Dragons in January, it was guard Sam Newman who did the damage as he top scored on 21 points. 

Great Osobor has been impressive for Bradford over the last few months, putting the young star in the running for the NBL U19 Player of the Year award. If coach Mellor's team are to secure a W here, he could be a key contributor.

#7 Worthing Thunder v #10 BA London Lions

Few sides are hotter coming into the post season than Worthing, who have strung together a number of impressive performances to win five in a row.

Their most recent victory was an 85-82 win over this weekend's opponents BA London Lions, with Zaire Taylor top scoring on 23 points.

BA are the only road team in this weekend's draw to have enjoyed a win over their opponents in the regular season. Worthing's current win streak began off the back of an 84-73 defeat by the Lions in late March.

That game was in East London though, with Worthing enjoying home advantage on Sunday.

#8 Loughborough Riders v #9 Reading Rockets

Loughborough's Kyle Jimenez set a new NBL record of 10.3APG* during the regular season, an impressive feat for the talented point guard.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games man dished 11 assists when these sides last met, adding 23 points as the Riders claimed a comfortable 95-77 victory.

American O'Showen Williams had a game-high 28 points that day and has been Reading's offensive focal point for much of the year. The guard closed the regular season with a league sixth-best 21.8PPG and a 39.8 3PT%.

Both teams are 1-2 in their last three coming into the playoffs, and as back-to-back seeds, expect a close encounter.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 24 April

2:30pm - Loughborough Riders v Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
4pm - Team Newcastle University v Leicester Warriors - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION
5pm - Hemel Storm v Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STREAM/LIVE STREAM LOCATION

Sunday 25 April

1pm - Essex Rebels v Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM
5pm - Worthing Thunder v BA London Lions - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION
5:30pm - Derby Trailblazers v Oaklands Wolves - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

*Since records were tracked in 2008/09