Leicester Riders vs Plymouth Raiders – Preview

After a mixed set of results last weekend, your Plymouth Raiders face yet another road game this Saturday, as they take on the reigning BBL Champions, Leicester Riders.

Plymouth were not able to capitalise on their stunning victory in Newcastle last Friday and slumped to a disappointing 89-84 loss against the unpredictable Cheshire Phoenix just two days later.

Despite this crushing defeat, the Raiders will undoubtedly take solace from their historic win at the Eagles Community Arena. The ever-reliable Josh Wilcher directed the Raiders offence with stoic authority and contributed some crucial three’s that eventually grounded the high-flying Eagles. Rashad Hassan used his powerful 6’8 frame to carve out swathes of space for his teammates, who were able to exploit the bewildered Eagles defence.  Hassan leads the league in average points per game and remains an indispensable component of this electrifying Paul James offence. The final cog in this three-peat machine is Donte Nicholas.  Nicholas, who has cemented his status as fan favourite, scored an impressive 38 points over the two games last week.  The December BBL Player of the Month will need to come up big once again if Plymouth are to dismantle the Riders from their lofty perch.  

For fourth-place Leicester, it has been a mixed season.  Their foray into the Basketball Champions League, whilst commendable, may have had a damaging impact on their domestic campaign.  The Riders scraped past the Bristol Flyers last week and have already lost three games this season, just two less than the entirety of last year.  Despite this, Leicester still have a plethora of talent at their disposal and are unbeaten in 2019. Ole Miss Alumnus Deandre Burnett led the Riders in their low scoring win against Bristol last weekend, scoring a notable 14 points.  The explosive guard has struck a rich vein of form of late and is now averaging just over 16 points per game.  Raiders Head Coach Paul James will also want to keep an eye on the talented duo of Conner Washington and JR Holder.  Holder is a renowned three-point specialist and has made 29 from downtown so far this season.  Washington features in the league leaders top ten for both two-point and three-point percentage, an impressive feat for one of Leicester’s most captivating players.   

Raiders fans will be delighted to hear that the Leicester game will, once again, be live-streamed via the BBC Sport website. Tip off is at 19:30.  

Plymouth return to the Pavilions on the 1st of February to play the Glasgow Rocks.  Tickets are available at https://www.plymouthraiders.com/tickets/.  Don’t forget to follow @officialraiders on Twitter to keep up with all the action.  

Let’s go Raiders!  

Josh Lines