Sheffield Sharks take on Manchester Giants tonight as they look to rebound from Sunday’s loss. After a narrow defeat to Worcester Wolves, eyes are on the Sharks to see how they respond, writes Ben Moorcroft.
A lack of concentration and poor execution last Sunday let down the Sharks in what was an otherwise pleasing performance. At the end of the game Mike Cook missed two free throws to tie it before the Wolves finally pulled ahead.
Having played two more games than Sheffield, Manchester have one more win and one additional loss. The two teams have already met this season, in the BBL Cup. Sharks managed to win 82-77, their first win in all competitions.
Sharks will look to guard Jerrold Brooks and power forward Antone Robinson. Both feature in the league’s latest BBL All-Star. Brooks and Robinson combined account for 38.5 pts per game, making them the most dangerous partnership in the league.
However it has been Sharks’ defensive worries which has let the team down. In their last games facing Cheshire and Worcester, Sharks allowed their opponents to shoot 60% and 63.8% from two point range respectively.
Sharks forward Patrick Horstmann said: “We need to become more consistent and improve on the defensive end. Manchester are a talented team that have good scorers. We need to play good defence for 40 minutes and control the tempo to have a chance to win.”
Manchester Giants are coming off an impressive away victory in London as they too hope to build momentum and get their BBL Championship season kick started.
Manchester’s main threat will come from second year man Ingus Bankevics who is fifth in the league in terms of scoring.
This is the final of three consecutive home games for Sheffield winning the first and losing the latest contest.
Coach Atiba Lyons and company will hope to gain confidence ahead of difficult back to back away games to Newcastle Eagles and Leicester Riders.