After a massive 12 games last weekend, D2M fans are having to make do with just 4 this weekend as some teams take the time off to recharge their batteries ready for the final few weeks of the season. We’ll break down the league and look at the battles going on in the standings as we head towards the post season.
1st – Team Newcastle - 18-2, 36 points
2nd – Thames Valley Cavaliers - 17-3, 34 points
3rd – Kent Crusaders - 16-3, 32 points
Games this weekend - None
A 3 horse race in a battle for 2 potential promotion spots, this one is going to go down to the wire not just for a place in D1M, but also for the title! With all 3 of these sides off this weekend, we’ll have to wait and see how this one unfolds. With remaining fixtures that include Thames Valley v Kent, Team Newcastle v Kent and Thames Valley v Team Newcastle, this one is going to be crazy down the stretch. With those games still remaining, nobody has secured a head to head yet either. All you can really say is Newcastle are currently in pole position having lost only twice. How long will that last though?
4th – Ipswich - 11-10, 22 points
5th – London Westside - 10-10, 20 points
Games this weekend – Ipswich v Newham Neptunes
Ipswich play their final game of the regular season this weekend as they host already relegated Newham. The Suffolk outfit need to win that game to make London Westside’s task of finishing 4th that much harder. Still, London Westside are off this weekend and by the time they next hit the court on the 19th, they’ll know what is required to secure 4th and a home tie in the 1st round of the playoffs. Holding the head to head in this one, Westside simply need to match Ipswich’s point total to claim that 4th spot. Their game on the 19th away at Pioneers won’t be easy and the London side finish their season with a home tie against Kent. Winning both those games will be tough so Westside will be hoping that Newham can spring a surprise this weekend.
Ipswich and Caleb Fuller (blue kit) will be doing their best to claim another win this weekend - Pavel Kricka
6th – Nottingham Hoods – 9-11, 18 points
7th – Tees Valley Mohawks – 8-12, 16 points
8th – London Greenhouse Pioneers – 7-12, 14 points
9th – Derbyshire Arrows – 7-13, 14 points
Games this weekend – Liverpool v London Greenhouse Pioneers, Nottingham Hoods vs Doncaster Danum Eagles, Derbyshire Arrows v Tees Valley Mohawks
A tight bunch in the middle of the pack, it’s not out of the question that Nottingham could sneak into 5th if they win out and Westside falter twice. They do own the head to head with them as well. Still, winning out will be tough as the Hoods entertain both Doncaster and Kent to finish their season, topping the title chasing Crusaders is sure to be a tough ask. This weekend’s tie with Doncaster should be a more straight forward affair, but a team scrapping for survival is always dangerous.
Delaney Powell has been a constant threat for Nottingham Hoods this season - Nottingham Hoods
The game between Derbyshire and Tees Valley on Saturday will be key with just 2 points between those sides and the head to head currently belonging to Tees Valley after a 3-point win back in December. Hitting the road to finish their season, the Mohawks are in Derbyshire here and Doncaster next week and will be feeling they can win both those games to finish strong. 6th place may be a stretch unless the Hoods lose both their remaining games and Tees Valley win out, but a post season place via 7th or 8th is still attainable.
As the only side in this bunch with 3 games to go, the Pioneers have been a mixed bag of late. Beating the Arrows by a single point in mid-February, the London side have lost 3 of 4 since then with an upset win over Kent punctuating that run. With games @ Liverpool, vs Westside and @ Doncaster to finish the year, this team are going to need to dig deep to put wins on the board and cement a post season place. The Pioneers only own the head to head with Tees Valley here as well, that won’t help. Their game this weekend vs Liverpool really is a big one.
A team on the slide, Derbyshire Arrows are limping towards the line. Losers in 7 straight, their 2 remaining games on the season are that big game with Tees Valley tomorrow followed by a trip to Thames Valley to end their year. With a victory over the Cavs looking unlikely, the Derbyshire side must beat Tees Valley this weekend. Doing so and securing the head to head would mean that even if the Arrows lost in London, they’d still make the playoffs if Tees Valley couldn’t win their last game. If the Arrows lose here though, their post season dreams will probably be over.
10th – Doncaster Danum Eagles – 6-13, 12 points
11th – Liverpool – 6-14, 12 points
12th – Newham Neptunes – 4-16, 8 points
Games this weekend – Liverpool v London Greenhouse Pioneers, Nottingham Hoods v Doncaster Danum Eagles, Ipswich v Newham Neptunes
With both Doncaster and Liverpool picking up a win and a loss last weekend, the key take away was Liverpool securing the head to head between these teams. With a game in hand though, Doncaster can still put plenty of pressure on Liverpool if they can pick up points between now and the end of the season. This weekend’s trip to Nottingham is a tough one with the Hoods in solid form right now, especially considering the Eagles have only won once on the road this season. Still, Danum finish their year with home games against Tees Valley and London Pioneers. Having won 3 of their last 4 games in Doncaster, those games are probably the sides best route for escaping the drop.
Matt Martin (white kit) will be a key man if Doncaster are to avoid the drop - Liverpool Basketball Club
Liverpool only have 2 games remaining but their final fixtures is a juicy tie on the road to Newham. With the head to head vs Doncaster in their favour, a win this weekend against the Pioneers would put Liverpool in a strong position and really force Danum to pick up points in reply. If Liverpool were able to win out, that would mean that the Eagles would have to do the same and that could be very difficult.
Newham unfortunately can’t escape the bottom 2 and face the potential of D3 basketball next season. Unable to pass both Doncaster and Liverpool with just 2 games to go, the Neptunes will finish in the bottom 2. With a game against Ipswich this weekend and Liverpool after that, this team can still play a big part in the final standings in D2M and should try to finish in 12th if they can.