Sheffield Sharks: winning starts on defence

Sheffield Sharks v Cheshire Phoenix at the EIS in Sheffield Jerrold Brooks in action
Sheffield Sharks v Cheshire Phoenix at the EIS in Sheffield Jerrold Brooks in action
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Coach Atiba Lyons is preaching defence to his Sheffield Sharks team as his side look to improve performances into the new season, writes Chris Lewis.

After starting the BBL Championship with a 2-4 record, Sharks are working hard in training to shore up both ends of the floor.

“We’re addressing some issues from the last few weeks” Lyons said. “We’re starting to pick it up a little bit but we still have a ways to go.

“We are inconsistent in a lot of places defensively and offensively, but we’ve got the right kind of mindset for a team and we’ll be alright.”

After suffering a 87-90 home loss to Worcester Wolves on Sunday, Lyons bemoaned Sharks up and down defence.

“I feel we showed some of that inconsistency on the defensive end especially in the third, early in the fourth quarter” he said.

“We had it there to win, a minute left, we just had two big breakdowns. We gave up an offensive rebound on a free throw and then a steal for a layup and that quickly we went from two points up to three points down. We just got to make sure we do a much better job closing games out.”

He added: “A lot of it comes down to not the first person that scores, but its the second, third pass that’s getting through and that’s the one we have to get better with.”

Sharks schedule has been challenging so far this season, with each loss coming against last season’s top four teams.

“It’s sobering when you jump in the league, first few games, against that level of talent” Lyons said. “Every game that we’ve lost we’ve definitely been there and played well with the team. We’ve got a long way to go, though.”

Sharks remain in every BBL competition and Lyons is confident that they will change their fortunes.

“We’re definitely going to try and get top four and hopefully win some silverware” he said. “We just got to try to stay alive in these competitions.”

“We have a big game against Leicester and hopefully fans can come and support us up there.”

“We got to stay alive and 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.”