Sheffield Sharks will welcome London Lions to the English Institute of Sport tomorrow night as they look for back to back wins for the first time this season, in the BBL.
Seventh-placed Sheffield look to equal fifth-placed London’s record with a home victory, writes Ben Moorcroft.
Sheffield go in to this fixture with the greater momentum of the two teams as they managed to go into Leeds Force and leave with a 14 point win (71-85.)
Earlier in the season it was apparent that defence had let Sheffield down.
However it has been a strength in recent weeks. Against Leeds they took an early 10-5 point lead and never let the lead relinquish.
For five consecutive matches the team has held their opposition to below fifty percent shooting.
This has been essential given the team’s chronically poor shooting from beyond the three point line.
In their last two outings the team has only managed to convert nine from 33 attempts from behind the arc which is joint last in the league. Therefore Sheffield have compensated for their poor shooting by attacking the basket.
Against Leeds, the team totalled 40 free throw attempts emphasising the teams interior presence in the form of Mike Tuck and TJ Robinson.
Star man Jerrold Brooks tied his season high 33 points against Leeds which only goes to confirm the American point guard’s importance to the team.
Sheffield has also enjoyed good production out of Robinson and Mike Cook.
However Sheffield’s success depends on the performance of their second unit.
More so than any other team in the league, Sheffield depend on their bench to provide valuable minutes.
Sheffield’s front court will be tested by Lions six feet seven inches tall American power forward Demond Watt.
Averaging 19.8 points and 8.6 rebounds a game the 26-year-old Watt will provide a stern test for what is usually a reliable combination of Tuck and Robinson.
The Lions are the first of three consecutive home games against teams below Sheffield offering an opportunity to push up the league.
Coach Lyons said before this home stand; “We need to take one game at a time but we know that this is a chance to put together a run and put us in a great position”.