NBL1 Preview: Week 24 (10/11 April 2021) - live streams, stats and more

Double digits are up in D1M, with 10 games spread across week 24.

All eyes will no doubt be on Sunday's top-of-the-table clash between Solent and Thames Valley, with the winner of that contest putting themselves in pole position to take the regular season title.

Thames Valley still need to navigate a tricky tie with Reading on Saturday though, and there's plenty of other exciting contests across the division to look forward to as part of a busy weekend.

We take a look all 10 games below, with links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

Team Solent Kestrels (14-1) v Thames Valley Cavaliers (15-1)

It's top plays second on the South Coast on Sunday, with Thames Valley heading to Solent in a hugely important match up.

Whilst not technically a title decider as both teams still have games to play, the top two have only lost once each this season and the prospect of either team dropping points outside of this game appears remote.

Whichever side wins on Sunday will put the destination of the D1M title in their own hands, safe in the knowledge that a perfect end to the season will mean they can’t be caught by the chasing pack.

Thames Valley won the previous league meeting between the two sides in late March, emerging victorious 81-70 thanks to 19 points from Lewis Champion. Solent did beat TVC in the final of the L Lynch Trophy three weeks ago though, winning 87-78.

The Cavs warm up to Sunday’s showdown with a home tilt against Reading on Saturday, before finishing their schedule the following weekend away to third place Hemel.

Solent also have a pair of games scheduled once they’ve played their title rivals here, hosting Leicester and then travelling to Essex as part of a double-header next weekend.

The Kestrels also have an away game with Nottingham to rearrange, that game was postponed last month and will need an alternative date.

Sunday's contest will have a huge impact on the 2020/21 title race and the NBL Live cameras will be there to capture all the action, with play set to get underway at 2pm


Elsewhere this weekend

There are five games on Saturday, beginning with BA London Lions (6-9) hosting Hemel Storm (12-4).

Currently third in the standings, Hemel aren't going to catch the top two but will no doubt want to finish the season strong and head up the chasing pack ready for the playoffs.

That could be tricky against a Lions side that have won two of their last three and ran Storm close in their previous meeting, which finished 84-81.

A Midlands derby between Leicester Warriors (5-12) and Loughborough Riders (7-10) is sure to provide plenty of fireworks, especially with the two sides playing out a thrilling 99-97 Riders win back in late November. 

Bradford Dragons (6-10) and Derby Trailblazers (12-5) met just three weeks ago, with the Yorkshire side putting a dent in Derby's late season push, coming out on top 90-88 thanks to 23 points from Andreas Lycoudis.

With DTB looking to stay ahead of fifth place Newcastle, expect coach Shaw's side to aim for revenge here and what would be a valuable W.

Bottom side Nottingham Hoods (2-13) host an in-form Worthing Thunder (7-10) that appear to be hitting their stride in recent weeks, making them a team to avoid with the post-season nearly upon us.

Last week Thunder dished 27 assists on their way to 97 points against Leicester, a similar performance here could be difficult for the Hoods to contain.

The final game on Saturday sees Reading Rockets (6-10) head across the M4 to take on Thames Valley Cavaliers (15-1).

Reading have come out on the wrong end of single score games against both TVC and Hemel in recent weeks, showing that the Rockets have the quality on their roster to run the top teams close, and potentially cause an upset here.

Alongside Solent Thames Valley, there are four other games on the slate for Sunday to wrap the weekend.

Essex Rebels (7-9) are at home to Hemel, staging the return leg of one of the shocks of the NBL season.

The Rebels beat Storm 97-94 on the road in late January, knocking off their in-form opponents during a thrilling win. Essex will no doubt be happy with a top eight finish in their maiden top flight season, but they'll need to finish strong to avoid slipping down a tightly-contested mid-pack.

Oaklands Wolves (4-14) and Team Newcastle University (11-6) square off for the second time in as many weeks, with the two sides already playing in the North East last Saturday.

Newcastle took that fixture 96-76 thanks to 29 points from Ronald Blain, and the Knights would love to win their final regular season game in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Bradford and Nottingham go head-to-head on Sunday in Nottingham, despite the fixture being a Dragons home game.

In the current COVID climate, Nottingham Wildcats Arena has played home to a number of teams as well as regular tenants Nottingham Hoods. All three of Bradford's remaining games are at the venue, including both contests this weekend, though the Dragons are 1-3 across their last four at Wildcats Arena.

WorthingBA London Lions is the final game of the weekend, and with just two points separating a host of sides in the battle for sixth to eleventh, a win would be very valuable to either team.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 10 April

1pm - BA London Lions v Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS
1:30pm - Loughborough Riders v Leicester Warriors - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM
2pm - Derby Trailblazers v Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION
3pm - Worthing Thunder v Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION
3pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers v Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Sunday 11 April

1pm - Essex Rebels v Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM
2pm - Team Solent Kestrels v Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM
3pm - Oaklands Wolves v Team Newcastle University - LIVE STATS
4pm - Bradford Dragons v Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS
4pm - Worthing Thunder v BA London Lions - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM LOCATION

Main image credit - Luke Simcock