Sheffield Sharks go into the game against Leeds Force at the Carnegie Sports Centre tomorrow with hopes of stabilising their season and cementing themselves in the playoff race after a flurry of inconsistent performances.
After a below-par start to the season, Sharks finally looked like a Championship contender when they outclassed the previously unbeaten Leicester Riders in their back yard by 79-85. But as has been the case all season for Sheffield, they took one step forward only to take two steps back, falling at home to Glasgow Rocks 86-92 in an overtime loss just one week later. An inspired performance by Glasgow’s Warren Gillis enabled Will Hall to hit a game tying bucket and send the match to overtime, where Sharks eventually fell.
Sharks were due to face Cheshire Phoenix last Sunday but the game was cancelled, giving Sheffield a two week break. They will need to be fit as they prepare to tackle a gruelling January schedule featuring six games.
Sharks will have to worry about Leeds first however, a team enjoying only its second year in the BBL. Force got off to a bad start this season, losing by three points to Cheshire Phoenix in their opener before losing by at least 26 points in five of their next seven games. Three consecutive wins in November helped Leeds get back on track, giving them five wins from 14 matches. They sit in seventh in the Championship, one spot above Sheffield.
Sharks have underachieved so far this season. However, speaking recently, Sharks Coach Atiba Lyons was upbeat on his team’s chances. “We’re definitely going to try and get top four and hopefully win some silverware” he said.
“We have got to just try to fight until we put it together, which I know we will do, we need to keep fighting and try to get to that championship level.”