The Friday Night BBL Preview: 20th December 2013

The final weekend before Christmas in the BBL begins with three fixtures tonight, with all those involved determined to put the holiday period on the backburner for a little while longer as they take care of business in the BBL Championship.

Lions @ Wolves (7:30pm tip-off)

Paul James’ Worcester side are the only team to have beaten the Lions at home during this current campaign, albeit in overtime by a solitary point, however it was a victory nonetheless.

Scoring freely over recent weeks, together with the recent addition of Kai Williams, another notch in the W column would give Coach James a very merry Christmas into the festive break.

Vince Macaulay’s Lions now face one of the toughest league schedules spanning across 2013 and 2014 – their next five fixtures (including this game tonight) sees them face the current top four sides and the resurgent Glasgow Rocks, who they fell foul of at the start of December. The defeat at Leicester last weekend put a dent in their Championship hopes, but to turn things around with a win over the Wolves would set them back on course once more.

Rocks @ Sharks (7:30pm tip-off)

Sheffield Sharks take on Glasgow Rocks for the first time this season – and although Birmingham Knights incurred the wrath of the Sharks last Sunday, the home side will still want to shake off the memories of last Friday’s stunning BBL Cup semi-final loss to Newcastle Eagles.

Another point to note is that table-topping Sheffield have yet to lose a game at home this season, so the visit of Sterling Davis’ Rocks at this stage of the year; it could be a mentally crushing defeat if they were to lose such a record just before Christmas.

Knights @ Eagles (7:30pm tip-off)

The victors of last Friday’s BBL Cup semi-final, the Newcastle Eagles, could have another early Christmas present come their way at Sport Central as Birmingham Knights make their way to the North East.

Paul Douglas, who played in Newcastle colours during the 1990s, makes his second trip of the season to Newcastle with his Knights, who were soundly beaten by 59 points in October.

Currently sat joint-bottom with Surrey United, it would be a huge ask for some Christmas cheer to be sprinkled on his side’s efforts, but a focused performance with plenty of positives to take away into their home fixture against Manchester Giants on Saturday could be the best outcome for the Midlands outfit.

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