NBL1 preview: 9/10 March - live streams, stats and more

Seven D1M games fill the weekend, including a Saturday night first-vs-third battle.

Leaders Derby head to Hemel on Saturday evening with the hopes of moving one step closer to the regular season title, but that won't be easy against the defending champs on their own court.

There's plenty to be excited about elsewhere, including Barking and London Elite trying to pick up points in the fight for survival against Loughborough and City of Birmingham.

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

Hemel Storm (13-4) vs Derby Trailblazers (17-2)

Derby can take a massive step towards the D1M regular-season title this weekend as they take on Hemel Storm.

The Trailblazers have four games to go after tomorrow night's encounter, and only one of those remaining opponents currently sits inside the top six.

As 104-96 victors when these sides last met in the Midlands, Derby enjoyed 12/14 three-point shooting from Jonas Dieterich to get them over the line in late October which still remains one of the standout performances of the season.

This Hemel roster has undergone some renovation work since that clash, with the addition of a number of notable figures.

Taylor Johnson needs no introduction to NBL fans at this point and the American's partnership with former BBL winner Darien Nelson-Henry has been fruitful so far.

A loss at home to seventh-place Bradford to end February could yet come back to haunt the defending champs, though they were without one of the league's leading forwards that day in Hakeem Sylla (22.7PPG, 9.1RPG).

The Guinea international's clash with DTB's Malcolm Smith tomorrow is bound to be top viewing, as will the competition between Hemel guards Johnson  and Sam Newman against Derby standouts Sam Masten and Charlie Brown, who dished 15 assists last weekend against Barking.

There's no margin for error for Hemel in this one, and even if they win they'll still need another loss from the leaders to stand a chance of retaining their regular season crown. Still, Hemel can only take care of their own business, and that continues at home tomorrow night.


Elsewhere this weekend

Four games remain on Barking Abbey's schedule (3-17) as they try to climb off the bottom of the standings. Needing at least six points from a possible eight, a win against Loughborough Riders (10-9) would be huge.

Likewise, fellow strugglers London Elite (3-16) are also right up against it in their quest to escape the bottom two. They host a team who was a candidate to replace the Londoners a few weeks ago before back-to-back wins, City of Birmingham Rockets (7-12).

KitKing Trophy finalists Bradford Dragons (9-10) are still alive in the playoff hunt and will be eager for another two points against one of the teams outside of the post-season bubble looking in, Worthing Thunder (6-12).

Essex Rebels (15-3) will no doubt have one eye on the action between Hemel and Derby up at the top, but the title challengers shouldn't take their eye off the ball against Nottingham Hoods (7-11), who are scrapping to hold onto a playoff spot.

Thames Valley Cavaliers (6-14) can seal the fate of the likes of Barking and London if they can pick up some late-season points in  11th. That won't be easy against a Newcastle University (13-6) side still pushing hard for a top four finish.

Sunday's only game sees Hemel doubling up as they take a trip to Newcastle's main rivals for fourth Reading Rockets (13-6).

The Rockets won both their games last weekend to begin building a bit of late momentum, but it'll still be a big ask to keep that going against the reigning champs.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 9 March

3pm - Barking Abbey vs Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

6:15pm - Bradford Dragons vs Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - London Elite vs City of Birmingham Rockets - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - Essex Rebels vs Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS

7pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers vs Newcastle University - LIVE STATS

7pm - Hemel Storm vs Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS

Sunday 10 March

4pm - Reading Rockets vs Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM


Main image credit - Matt Cook