Seven games make up the week 7 schedule in NBL Division One as Solent continue their quest to remain unbeaten in 2019/20. What can the chasing pack do to close the gap? Let's take a look at the fixtures lined up for this weekend.
One of the teams looking to catch table toppers Solent are Reading, who like Hemel Storm currently sit at 5-1. After an opening day loss to Westminster, the Rockets have reeled off five straight wins and now sit joint 2nd in the table.
With Nick Richards currently scoring a D1M 7th best 22.0ppg, adding in the likes of American forward A.J Carr (a joint league best 6.0apg) and loanee Liam Davies (18.0ppg) helps to make the Rockets a formidable outfit. Grabbing a tough 90-86 road win last time out against Liverpool will also have shown Coach Keane that his side can grind out the Ws when needed.
Leicester currently sit in 8th on the edge of the playoff places and their 3-3 record involves wins over Bradford, Nottingham and Barking. American T.J. Henderson continues to light up the league with an entertaining 26.2ppg. If players like American forward Roderick Howell (15.0ppg, 7.0rpg) and former BBLer Martyn Gayle (13.5ppg) can continue to chip in with contributions, the Warriors may be able to start making a move up the table.
Sunday's only other game sees the Nottingham Hoods (1-5) host Worthing Thunder (4-2). With new additions A.J. Basi and Dominic Ives still bedding in after joining the Thunder, expect both players to begin forming a solid core with Alex Owumi, Zaire Taylor and youngster Cam Hildreth. That might be too much to overcome for a Hoods side still looking for some consistency.
The pick of Saturday's action could be on the South coast as Team Solent Kestrels (6-0) host a talented Derby Trailblazers (4-2) who are well placed to rub shoulders with the division's top side. Malcolm Smith and Johde Campbell can both put points up offensively, but can the Trailblazers slow down a Kestrels' offence that has topped the 100-point mark in four of their six wins this season?
Elsewhere, Hemel Storm (5-1) will look to keep their good start to the season going as they host a Loughborough Riders (4-2) team who beat Derby on the road last time out. That win came courtesy of 27 points from Alex Roberts, he averages 17.3ppg on the year.
Essex & Herts Leopards (0-6) are still sat at the foot of the D1M table, they head to Thames Valley (4-2) side who would love to keep the Leopards winless for another week. Despite their struggles, Hafeez Abdul currently leads the league in scoring for Essex with 26.5ppg.
Finally, there's a battle of the newly promoted sides in the Capital as Westminster Warriors (2-4) go up against Liverpool (2-4), whilst Bradford Dragons (1-5) play host to fellow strugglers Barking Abbey (1-5).
5:30pm - Westminster Warriors v Liverpool - LIVE STATS
6:00pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers v Essex & Herts Leopards - LIVE STATS
6:00pm - Team Solent Kestrels v Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS
6:15pm - Bradford Dragons v Barking Abbey - LIVE STATS
7:00pm - Hemel Storm v Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS
Main image credit - Shaun Colley
18 Jan 2021