The Saturday BBL Preview: 16th November 2013

Two helpings of BBL Championship action this Saturday evening – one sees a mid-table battle whilst the other will produce a Championship leader by the end of tonight’s proceedings.

Rocks @ Wildcats (7:00pm tip-off)

Durham Wildcats have never beaten the Glasgow Rocks since their arrival in the BBL; eight wins from eight for the Scottish side. However, tonight that could all change.

Neither team has had the best of times of late, but Lee Davie’s Wildcats stopped the rot with confident display against Birmingham Knights last weekend to halt a three-game losing streak. This weekend will test his side’s mettle facing the Rocks and Cheshire Phoenix away on Sunday – two teams at the moment who are looking to fight it out lower down the Championship table.

Durham have been better on the boards (although Glasgow possess Daniel Northern, one of the league’s leading rebounders) and have garnered more points than Rocks which is why the next point is confusing ahead of this match up.

Despite the fact he has been their highest points scorer so far, scoring 84% from the FT line, Chez Marks was cut from the Glasgow roster this week and replaced by up-and-coming GB guard, Alex Marcotullio. The reasons behind this? More of a presence inside perhaps? Reduction of turnovers maybe? Only Sterling Davis knows, but many Glasgow supporters will be hoping he can deliver a lot of these, just more often throughout the game, and not at the last few seconds…

However, who can argue it’s reminiscent of the man he is replacing…

This could either be a masterstroke or a big faux pas depending upon how the next set of games go for Glasgow; talk about being thrown in the deep end!

The betting suggests a tight game, however, you would be hard pushed to think anything other than a first ever win for Durham over Glasgow considering the mystery of Marcotullio’s points.

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

November hasn’t exactly been the best for Paul James and his Worcester Wolves. Since winning both the coach and player of the month awards for October (James and Will Creekmore respectively), they have only won one game in four in all competitions. That, compounded with Friday night’s postponement of their fixture against Surrey United will no doubt have caused a slight headache in regards to preparations for this massive test away to Leicester Riders.

The last time these two sides met was in the quarter-finals of the BBL Cup at the John Sandford Centre where the Riders marched on through to the semi-final stage, but Rob Paternostro will be desperate to win this one to keep the all-important Championship head-to-head alive.

Wolves will be just as keen though to put this one to bed, knowing what is at stake considering how tight the league is already shaping up to be, but the in-form Leicester Riders, who are favourites for this contest tonight, will not want to lose their 100% home record in the BBL Championship that has stood now since February 25th, 2012.

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