London Lions vs Plymouth Raiders – Preview

After back-to-back wins last weekend, Plymouth Raiders now face London Lions who sit top of the BBL.

The Raiders took a huge step towards play-off security in week 27 with stunning wins against London City Royals and Worcester Wolves respectively.  After overcoming a 20-point deficit against the reigning BBL Trophy champions in London, the Raiders went on to decimate Worcester in front of a rapturous Pavilions crowd.  Despite having three games still to play this season, Raiders Head Coach Paul James has guided the Raiders to their highest win total since 2012.  James remained humble in his post-weekend interview, citing the importance of practice in relation to Plymouth’s recent performances. 

“The last couple of weeks, we’ve had some really solid practice sessions… Everybody is really tuned and focused in to what we’re doing now and the execution has been good.  They’ve been following our instructions as far as our game plan is concerned and we’ve had two fantastic wins this weekend.”

Special praise has to be reserved for Donte Nicholas and Josh Wilcher for their efforts during the Raiders winning weekend.  In just 24 hours, this weeks 27 All-Star Five inductees scored a staggering 72 points between them.  Not only did Nicholas produce a dramatic buzzer beater to break Royals hearts on Saturday night, the Raiders guard was able to produce his second triple-double of the season the very next day. Devontavius Payne is also proving to be an indispensable cog in this final run-in, scoring 39 points over the two games.  Raiders fans will be eager to see if Payne and the revitalised Joonas Järveläinen can replicate their recent form against the leagues very best this Wednesday evening. With one of the most dangerous dual threats in the BBL firing on all cylinders and a red-hot supporting cast, another win in the capital is surely an attainable goal for the resurgent Raiders now.       

The Lions are currently six points clear at the top of the BBL having only lost five games all season. A win against the Raiders would all but guarantee their number one ranking as we lurch towards the post-season.  Ladarius Tabb and Justin Robinson have been the stand out performers for the Lions in 2018/2019 thus far.  Tabb is averaging 17.59 points and 10 assists per game making him the player to watch for Coach James.  Reigning BBL MVP Justin Robinson has been enjoying another outstanding season for the Lions, averaging a team-leading 18.29 points per game.  The electric point guard is undoubtedly one of the top players in the country and his athleticism alone is enough to cause problems for even the best defences. 

If you want to stay up to date with all the latest Raiders news, you can follow the official Twitter page @officialraiders.  You can get tickets for our last home game of the season, a south-west derby against Bristol, at www.plymouthraiders.com/tickets.  Tip-off is at 3.00 p.m. on April the 21st. Come out and support your city!

Let’s go Raiders! 

Josh Lines