The winner of tonight’s clash between the Plymouth Raiders and the Surrey Scorchers are guaranteed a place in this season BBL playoffs.
Plymouth and Surrey have an excellent record against the Flyers, meaning they only need one win this weekend from their two matches. The Raiders have the easiest path to the playoffs with the Scorchers tonight and the Giants Sunday. The Scorchers host Bristol Flyers on Sunday evening. Bristol, who host the Giants on Saturday night will need to win both games this weekend and hope whoever loses tonight will lose on Sunday.
Both sides need the win, but especially the Scorchers will be desperate to clinch their spot tonight, to prevent a winner takes all showdown on Sunday against the Flyers. The Raiders know that they have a winnable game when they travel to Manchester on Sunday, and, consequently tonight has slightly less important for them.
Despite, the safety net of the bottom placed Giants on Sunday, the Raiders will be keen to end their home regular season in commanding fashion, sending their fans and players into the playoffs with confidence.
Aside from a postseason berth, bragging rights are also up for grabs. Tonight’s game marks the final time these sides will meet in the regular season, the season series tied one a piece, with both victories going to the home team in commanding fashion.
The last meeting between the two was a big 99-75 win for the Scorchers, Quincy Taylor top scored for Surrey with 22 points shooting 77%. Taylor leads the Scorchers in scoring with an average of 16.2 points per game, with surprisingly poor shooting from 3 point range. Taylor is currently tenth in the league in assists with 4.5 per game.
Plymouth’s top scorer is 6’7″ forward, Corey Dixon, averaging 18.7 points per game. Dixon adds to his scoring with 6.9 rebounds per game and 0.9 blocks. The Scorchers will look to lock down Dixon again if they hope for a win tonight. Dixon was limited to just 8 points (4-11 shooting) and 4 rebounds in 20 minutes of basketball.
Plymouth head into tonight’s game on a four-game losing stretch including a big 30 point loss to the Riders, and coming straight off a narrow road loss to the Glasgow Rocks. The Scorchers enter with 5 wins from their last seven games. Last weekend Surrey snapped a two-loss skid pulling off a shock overtime win over the second-placed Newcastle Eagles.
Surrey is in much better form heading into tonight’s game and will probably see tonight as their best opportunity to make the postseason. Plymouth has been slumping of late, and if they can be forced into early foul trouble like they were against the Riders it could settle the contest.
Surrey will edge this one on the road, but it will be close. Surrey by less than 3, in a classic game you need to watch.