NBL1 preview: 6/7 April - live streams, stats and more

The final weekend of the D1M regular season is here.

Derby can claim the title with a pair of wins at home to City of Birmingham and Bradford, but any kind of slip up could open the door for Essex as they travel to Newcastle University.

The final playoff place, the #8 seed, is still up for grabs, but CoB will need to win in Derby and hope Nottingham lose to Worthing for a change to the standings there.

The bottom two have been confirmed for some time now, with Barking and London Elite both facing potential relegation to D2M.

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

Derby Trailblazers (18-4) vs Bradford Dragons (11-12)

Derby will be fully aware of what is required to win the D1M regular season title by the time they line up against Bradford on Sunday afternoon.

Tomorrow sees Essex travel to Newcastle and Derby at home to CoB, meaning the Trailblazers clash with the Dragons on Sunday will take place once that action is concluded.

If the Rebels can't win in the North East, winning either game this weekend with be enough for coach Shaw's side, who are aiming to pick up a first regular season title since 2009/10.

Derby would no doubt prefer to win out this weekend though, heading into the post-season on the back of a two-game win streak rather than some stuttering momentum.

A loss to Reading last Friday showed that the potential #1 seeds are mortal after all, going down 102-94 against a Jermiah Jenkins-inspired Rockets team.

Bradford would no doubt love to avenge their KitKing Trophy final loss with a win here, and have the talent across their roster to do it.

Zion Tordoff (14.1PPG, 10.2RPG) is in the league's top ten for efficiency as he puts the finishing touches on a standout campaign, Justin Williams (19.0PPG, 4.5APG) and Jordan Whelan (13.8PPG) both carry a constant scoring threat, whilst Ronald Blain (23.5PPG, 7.5RPG, 3.4APG) has been one of the signings of the season following his arrival in January.

Talented guard Sam Masten (24pts, 8reb, 7ast) was the main catalyst for Derby in that KitKing win, the American will no doubt be looking for a similar performance here to get his team over the line once again.


Elsewhere this weekend

Six other games make up a busy final weekend of the season.

All eyes will be on the North East as Essex Rebels (19-4) head to Newcastle University (14-9), with tomorrow's hosts losing just once on their own court in 2024. The Rebels are also expected to be without guard Victor Olarerin as he faces a one game suspension for an altercation against Hemel last month.

Defending champs Hemel Storm (18-5) have nothing but momentum to play for this weekend as they don't own the tiebreaker with Essex or Derby. Like Olarerin, Taylor Johnson is also expected to miss this weekend's clash with London Elite (3-20) as he's forced to sit a game out.

It hasn't been a season to remember for Worthing Thunder (7-15) but they can still play spoiler to Nottingham Hoods' (10-13) playoff chances if they can pick up a win in their final home game of the campaign.

Derby could have the D1M title wrapped up by Saturday night if Essex lose to Newcastle and the Trailblazers can see off City of Birmingham Rockets (9-14). The Rockets can still make the playoffs with a win and results elsewhere going in their favour, so expect the visitors to be be going full tilt in this one.

Sunday contains three games, including Derby's home tie against Bradford.

Reading Rockets (15-8) close their season with a home clash against Barking Abbey (4-19), and Loughborough Riders (13-10) do the same against a Worthing side completing their double-header.

The Rockets could still be caught for fourth spot by Newcastle if they can beat Essex and Reading fail to top Barking, so there's still plenty to play for there. Loughborough however are locked into the #6 spot regardless of what happens this weekend.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 6 April

2pm - Newcastle University vs Essex Rebels - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

7pm - Hemel Storm vs London Elite - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - Worthing Thunder vs Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - Derby Trailblazers vs City of Birmingham Rockets - LIVE STATS

Sunday 7 April

4pm - Reading Rockets vs Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

6pm - Loughborough Riders vs Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

6:30pm - Derby Trailblazers vs Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS


Main image credit - Max Lomas Photography