Preview: Cheshire Phoenix @ Manchester Giants 29/12/17

The Manchester Giants will host the Cheshire Phoenix in a sell-out Friday night (29th December 2017) in the second clash of the season between the two North West outfits.

Danny Byrne’s Manchester Giants have started the season with a 2-10 record with their last league fixture being a 116-98 away win against Leeds on the 8th December. Ingus Bankevics lead the way for the Giants that day with 31 points, supported by Richard Bell collecting 6 rebounds and Captain Callum Jones dishing 11 assists.

The Giants lost on their last outing, a first-round Trophy exit to the London Lion, 73-105 at home. David Kadiri, the athletic Forward of the Giants scored a game-high 23 points (Andre Lockhart of the Lions bagged 20) in a losing effort that saw the Giants concede 30 points in the second period.

The Phoenix enter Friday’s game fresh off a home Trophy victory over the Glasgow Rocks, 79-75. CJ Gettys, the leading points scorer of the Phoenix (20PPG 181 Points in total) lead all scorers with 21 points, GB captain Keiron Achara following with 20. The Phoenix left it late, trailing by six points heading into the final quarter of the contest, but, led by  90% scoring by Gettys knocked out the Rocks, who were hoping for a good Trophy run.

Manchester and Cheshire have met once this season, with a shock away win by the Giants 79-88. CJ Gettys put in an incredible effort leading all scorers with 31 points and adding 13 rebounds in the losing cause. Manchester was lead by David Kadiri’s 23 points and 13 rebounds with 9 assists from Callum Jones. Cheshire’s game is built on big men and paint scoring, netting just 16% from three-point range in the loss.

The Giants are a team of very athletic players. Austin Rettig is incredible to watch, the raw athleticism on show can be breathtaking, but he needs to convert this meaningfully into points production, averaging 10 points per game. The Giants are lead in scoring and rebounding by David Kadiri, 17.4 PPG and 9.4 RPG, but are overall, a low scoring side 79.33 points per game, and have the second-worst defence conceding 97.42 points per game.

Phoenix are a team that is focused on paint scoring. They are lead by big man CJ Gettys, 20 points per game, 181 points, and are a high scoring side averaging 84.56 points per game. Cheshire concedes 82.11 points per game, a differential of +2.45 and are the highest rebounding team in the league, whilst being amongst the worst 3 point shooting team, better only than the Giants.

Friday night will be the battle of the paint. The most efficient scoring side will be victorious as they were in their last meeting. Cheshire was remarkably wasteful conceding 16 points off turnovers and making just three three-point shots all night against the Giants. Friday is a battle of the paint, but the winner may well be the side who hits more three-pointers, which neither side are particularly good at.

It will be an exciting encounter in front of a sold-out crowd, with two sides who play exciting basketball. Manchester will be buoyed by their victory over Cheshire in their last meeting, but both sides will be looking at this fixture as winnable.

Follow Splitfocussports on twitter and online for a full report and interviews on this game and throughout the rest of the BBL season.

Highlights of Manchester’s win over Cheshire back in November:

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