NBL1 & National Cup preview: 16/17 December - live streams, stats and more

The final weekend of D1M action for 2023 is here, and it's packed with games plus a bonus of NBL National Cup  on Sunday.

Just like last weekend, 12 of the league's 13 teams are in action tomorrow across six exciting league ties as teams take one last opportunity to improve their place in the D1M standings before the mid-season break.

Sunday then plays host four much-anticipated National Cup quarter-finals, a festive treat for the last weekend of 2023.

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

Nottingham Hoods (6-4) vs Hemel Storm (6-3)

Top-four chasing Nottingham Hoods host reigning champs Hemel Storm in the Midlands tomorrow for what should be a hard-fought encounter.

The Hoods have looked like a solid playoff team in the first half of the season, pulling off wins against the likes of Derby, Thames Valley and Loughborough both home and away.

Their current record of 6-4 has them in tie with the Riders plus Reading and tomorrow's opponents Hemel for the third through sixth spots, and just four points back of leaders Essex.

That means a win tomorrow for either team would give them a leg up in a congested midfield going into December's mid-season break.

Having won three of their last four games, the Hoods are a team in good form, but Hemel have won four of their last five to go one better over the last six weeks.

Storm forward Hakeem Sylla (22.1PPG, 9.9RPG) leads the league's efficiency leaderboard and is sure to have a big say in the result of this one, though Nottingham's Landon Taliaferro enjoyed a spot in the Rebound Team of the Week for his 26-point, 10-rebound double-double last time out and is also a player in fine form.

Hemel are a different beast to the side that went undefeated in 2022/23, but they're still a talented side pushing to retain their crown. NBL fans will also be interested to see if this week's news on the availability on former talisman Taylor Johnson sparks the Hertfordshire team into a surprise roster move.


Elsewhere this weekend

Bradford Dragons' (3-7) final game of the year is a home tie against basement side Barking Abbey (0-9), and a win could lift the Yorkshire into the top eight if results elsewhere go their way.

Leaders Essex Rebels (8-1) are also at home, they'll take on a London Elite (2-7) team scrapping hard to avoid the bottom two spots in the standings and what could be a potential one and done return to D2M if results don't improve.

Derby Trailblazers (7-2) have what should be a straightforward home clash with 12th place Thames Valley Cavaliers (2-8) as they try to reel in Essex, though Bode Adeluola (D1M 4th best 22.3PPG) could push the Cavs into potential upset territory.

Similarly, Reading Rockets (6-2) have a trip to strugglers Worthing Thunder (3-5) knowing a win plus guaranteed dropped points for Nottingham or Hemel means they can be top four bound if they can take care of business.

Saturday's play ends with City of Birmingham Rockets (4-4) entertaining Newcastle University (5-2), who pushed not one but two players into the most recent Rebound Team of the Week. The North East side are a group in form and that could prove tricky for a CoB outfit that are 1-4 in their last five games.

National Cup

Eight will become four by the time the weekend is over as a quartet of NBL National Cup quarter-finals are set to take place on Sunday.

Team Newcastle will head to second -Derby Trailblazers, whilst Thames Valley will try to put their D1M form to one side as they entertain Reading Rockets.

Worthing's reward for knocking out holders Hemel in the last round is a home tie with much-fancied D2 outfit Milton Keynes Breakers, and the final tie of the round sees D1M leaders Essex Rebels travel to Barking Abbey.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 16 December - D1M

6:15pm - Bradford Dragons vs Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - Essex Rebels vs London Elite - LIVE STATS

7pm - Nottingham Hoods vs Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

7:30pm - Derby Trailblazers vs Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - Worthing Thunder vs Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - City of Birmingham Rockets vs Newcastle University - LIVE STATS

Sunday 17 December - NBL National Cup

2:30pm - Barking Abbey vs Essex Rebels - LIVE STATS

5pm - Worthing Thunder vs Milton Keynes Breakers - LIVE STATS

5:30pm - Derby Trailblazers vs Newcastle University - LIVE STATS

6pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS


Main image credit - Max Lomas Photography