NBL1 Preview: Week 19 (6/7 March 2021) - live streams, stats and more

The NBL action keeps on coming at an impressive pace, with eight league games this weekend to go with both L Lynch Trophy semi-finals.

Reading, Essex, BA London Lions and Oaklands Wolves are all in league double-header action, as Sunday sees Solent host Worthing and Thames Valley entertain Loughborough in the L Lynch Trophy.

We take a look at all the weekend's games below, with links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

Thames Valley Cavaliers (9-1) v Essex Rebels (4-6)

Second place Thames Valley will aim to keep pace with leaders Solent as they welcome Essex Rebels to Uxbridge College tomorrow.

The Cavs are hot off a 122-49 dismantling of Nottingham Hoods last weekend, their third win in a row.

Essex also beat Nottingham two weeks ago before knocking off Worthing 94-69 last weekend, thanks in part to 19 point, 14 rebound double-double from Sam Newman.

Sam Newman has been in solid form for Essex this season (Luke Simcock)

The Rebels rank tied second for transition offence this season, thanks in part to explosive guard play from Newman, Tom Child, Jordan Gray, plus brothers Rory and Ben Winter.

The D1M debutants enjoyed a 24-2 advantage in fast break points last weekend against Thunder, so expect coach Norfolk's side to try and stretch the Cavs where possible.

Thames Valley rank second for points per game at 96.2, and they're a top five unit on the glass as well (41.2rpg). Both those numbers are boosted by the stellar play of Hakeem Sylla (21.1ppg, 11.1rpg) and Taylor Johnson (24.1ppg, 7rpg).

Add in the likes of Blayne Freckleton, Lewis Champion plus Bernard Hehetro and TVC have plenty of ways to win this one tomorrow.


Elsewhere this weekend

The action begins with Derby Trailblazers' (8-3) trip to East London to play BA London Lions (2-6).

Derby started the season brightly but back-to-back defeats to Thames Valley and Hemel have pegged the Midlands side back in recent weeks. Playing a Lions team that have lost six in a row could prove to be a solid tonic, however.

A pair of two win teams go head-to-head as Oaklands Wolves (2-10) visit Nottingham Hoods (2-9).

With relegation already ruled out for any side this season, the league's bottom two teams don't have that issue looming over them, but both teams still have plenty to play for as they develop young rosters. 

Nottingham's Victor Olarerin remains the side's top offensive option, whilst guards Kane Daley and Toby Gastaldi-Davies both made it to double digit scoring in the Wolves' 101-74 midweek loss to Loughborough.

Hemel Storm (9-3) couldn't derail unbeaten leaders Solent last weekend, they'll look to bounce back tomorrow night against Bradford Dragons (5-5).

The Yorkshire side also lost out to the Kestrels last weekend as the South coast outfit enjoyed a successful double-header, but the Dragons' 5-5 record has still allowed them to stay in the hunt for a post-season spot.

Saturday's only other contest sees Reading Rockets (4-5) entertain Team Solent Kestrels (11-0).

At this stage, it appears a tough ask for any NBL side to knock the Kestrels off their perch, considering they now have an unbeaten streak that stretches over the 50 game mark.

That said, Reading's O'Showen Williams is a top 10 player for points, assists and steals and the American guard can be a handful for any side.

Three games fill the Sunday slate, starting with Leicester Warriors (3-9) against Essex Rebels.

Few sides are hotter than the Warriors right now, who have pulled off three straight wins since the arrival of former BBL forward Mo Williams.

Four of Leicester's next five games are also against sides in the bottom half of the standings, suggesting their good form could continue for a while longer yet.

BA London Lions and Oaklands Wolves both conclude their double-header weekends as they meet in London, with both sides looking to pull away from the bottom three.

The weekend closes with Reading's game against Team Newcastle University (9-3), with the North East side winning seven of their last eight contests.

The 78-53 victory over Reading last Saturday saw trio Ronald Blain, Brandon Federici and David Moya all make it to double digits scoring, and all three will look to keep their good form going in this one.

L Lynch Trophy

The semi-finals of the L Lynch Trophy are upon us, starting with Team Solent Kestrels against Worthing Thunder on Sunday afternoon.

Solent have already beaten their local rivals 96-69 in the pool stage of this competition, plus 108-75 at home and 107-57 on the road in league play.

The Thunder have shown an uptick in form recently, going 2-2 in their last four, but it's hard to look past Solent as anything other than heavy favourites here.

The other semi-final sees Loughborough Riders take on Thames Valley Cavaliers.

92-79 winners when these teams met in the Midlands in January, Thames Valley will no doubt fancy their chances of a repeat result here if they stick to their game plan.

That said, the Riders are a quality team that is somewhat hidden by their 5-9 league record, considering five of those losses have come by three points or less.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 27 February

2pm - BA London Lions v Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS
2pm - Nottingham Hoods v Oaklands Wolves - LIVE STATS
3pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers v Essex Rebels - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM
6pm - Reading Rockets v Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS/LIVESTREAM
7pm - Hemel Storm v Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS/LIVESTREAM LOCATION

Sunday 28 February

1:30pm - Leicester Warriors v Essex Rebels - LIVE STATS
2pm - BA London Lions v Oaklands Wolves - LIVE STATS
3pm - Reading Rockets v Team Newcastle University - LIVE STATS/ LIVESTREAM
L Lynch Trophy 3pm - Team Solent Kestrels v Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS/LIVESTREAM
L Lynch Trophy
4pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers v Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Main image credit - Lizzy Harrison