There are three debutantes this week, including a Great Britain Olympian and a Riders backcourt duo.
Zaire Taylor (Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders) The rookie Riders guard has been gradually growing in influence since he arrived in British Basketball back in September. During the first few months of the campaign, the likes of John Fraley, Drew Sullivan, Jay Couisnard and Pavol Lasonsky have generally taken the limelight, but Taylor has found recognition for his input by way of a debut BBL Team Of The Week appearance. It was made possible due to his efforts in a hard fought win at Manchester Giants when despite having difficulty in getting his perimeter game going, he excelled to great effect in other areas. He finished with 23 points thanks to making the most of getting to the hoop and also sinking a perfect eight of eight free-throws. Taylor also added a fabulous seven assists, four rebounds and two steals.
Connor Washington (Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders) Its a Riders double in our backcourt this week as Connor Washington also grabs his first BBL Team Of The Week appearance courtesy of a magnificent eye-popping, three-point shooting display against Mersey Tigers. He was on absolute fire from downtown as he found the hot-hand to make seven triples from eleven attempts which left the shell-shocked visitors trailing in Riders wake. That helped Washington to accumulate 24 points and a great night of work was underlined when he also handed out five assists, grabbed three rebounds and harvested two steals to wrap up a convincing victory for the home team and extend their lead at the top of the BBL Championship.
Colin OReilly (UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders) Not for the first time this season, Colin OReilly posted the best performance of the weekend. Although after losing to Glasgow Rocks on Saturday night, it will probably have tasted slightly bitter-sweet for the Irish forward who provided the inspiration for his team to bounce straight back with a success against London Lions on Sunday. His display was typically influential in so many facets of the game, pouring in a massive 29 points including three scores from long-range, pulling down six rebounds, dishing up five assists and coming up with a block as he secured a third appearance of the season in our line-up.
Kieron Achara (Glasgow Rocks) Yes, Great Britain forward Kieron Achara finally makes it into our a starting five although the fact he hasnt made it until now reflects his willingness and desire to play for the team which has been every bit as important and influential as any individual numbers. But, as he showed last weekend when Rocks achieved a magnificent win double on the road, he is capable of stepping up when required, and posting dominant displays. He was excellent in the win at Surrey Heat, but even better 24 hours earlier against UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders. He put his opponent to the sword with a sublime 23 points, not missing a single shot inside and dropping three triples to go with six rebounds and a block.
Alif Bland (Cheshire) The centre secures impressive consecutive BBL Team Of The Week appearances after playing his part in a quite thrilling victory in the north-west derby against Manchester Giants. Whilst Chez Marks grabbed the plaudits for his buzzer beating three-pointer which sent the Cheshire fans at Northgate into raptures, it was the rock solid contribution of Bland which laid the foundation for the win. He recorded a fine double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds, but it was four precious defensive stops in the shape of three blocked shots and a steal which really mattered in such an intense and close contest which provided an immeasurable morale boost to everyone at the club.
Off The Bench: Chez Marks (Cheshire), EJ Harrison (Glasgow Rocks), Drew Sullivan (Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders), Matt Schneck (UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders), Stefan Gill (Manchester Giants), Orlan Jackman (London Lions), Chavis Holmes (Surrey Heat)
Glasgow Rocks (BBL) agreed terms with 25-year old American point guard Neil Watson (180-73kg-91, college: S.Mississippi) from Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders. In 33 BBL games in United Kingdom he had 14.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.6apg and 1.6spg (in top 5) last season. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-British BBL 1st Team and All-Imports Team. Watson was voted Kansas C... [read more]
Glasgow Rocks (BBL) agreed terms with 25-year old American point guard Neil Watson (180-73kg-91, college: S.Mississippi) from Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders. In 33 BBL games in United Kingdom he had 14.6ppg, 3.3rpg, 4.6apg and 1.6spg (in top 5) last season. He helped them to win the regular season and make it to the final. They also played in the Cup final. Quite impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-British BBL 1st Team and All-Imports Team. Watson was voted Kansas City Kansan's 4A Player of the Year back in 2009 at his college time. Watson graduated from University of Southern Mississippi in 2014 and it is his third season as a professional player.
The Pacers and Nuggets will play a regular-season game in London - 2 days ago
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This season's NBA Global Games slate will once again feature a regular-season contest in London, with the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets getting tapped to head across the pond and square off at O2 Arena on Jan. 12, 2017. 'We are thrilled to return for our seventh regular-season game in London,' NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. 'With almost 25 percent of players in the NBA born outside of the United States, we are seeing firsthand the global growth of our game, which ha... [read more]
This season's NBA Global Games slate will once again feature a regular-season contest in London, with the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets getting tapped to head across the pond and square off at O2 Arena on Jan. 12, 2017. 'We are thrilled to return for our seventh regular-season game in London,' NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. 'With almost 25 percent of players in the NBA born outside of the United States, we are seeing firsthand the global growth of our game, which has never been more popular in the U.K.' While Indiana has played preseason contests in China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Germany and Spain, this marks the first time that the Pacers have headed overseas for regular-season duty and, as it happens, they'll be following in the footsteps of their NFL counterpart, the Indianapolis Colts, who'll take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in October. The chance to watch Paul George (6'9''-G/F-90, college: Fresno St.), one of the stars of the U.S. men's national basketball team heavily favored to win gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next month, figures to be one of the signature draws for the London audience. It's the Nuggets' roster, though, that features plenty of European flair, led by Italian scorer Danilo Gallinari, a pair of talented Southeastern European centers in Serbia's Nikola Jokic and Bosnia's Jusuf Nurkic (7'0''-C-94), and Frenchmen Joffrey Lauvergne (6'11''-PF-91, agency: BeoBasket) and Axel Toupane (6'6''-G/F-92, agency: Comsport). Denver also features talented young guards Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris and 2016 first-round pick Jamal Murray, as well as power forward Kenneth Faried (6'8''-F-89, college: Morehead St.), who won gold as a member of Team USA at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. 'It will be a true honor and a great experience to represent both the Nuggets and the NBA in London as part of the NBA Global Games in 2017,' Gallinari said in a statement. 'Our entire team and organization are looking forward to this opportunity to showcase our league to fans overseas.' This will be the NBA's seventh regular-season game in London. Last year's edition saw the Toronto Raptors knock off the Orlando Magic; games from earlier years have featured the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons, making the Nuggets the first Western Conference team ever to make the trip for a 'home' game far, far away from home. The 2017 Global Games calendar will also once again include a return to Mexico City. The Phoenix Suns will play 'host' to both the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs in mid-January, marking the first time ever that the NBA has played two regular-season games in Mexico. Courtesy of: yahoo.com
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