Eagles will face the best defence
The most watertight defence in British basketball will face one of its most potent attacks tomorrow as Leicester Riders face Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Cup final.
The clash is a repeat of last season's play-off final, which saw the Eagles secure a clean sweep of all the domestic trophies.
But this season has seen Riders seek revenge on their Tyneside counterparts. Their 75-63 victory, in October, was their first win on Newcastle soil for 15 years.
In terms of the numbers, the two sides match up pretty closely – as would be expected for the top two teams in the BBL Championship.
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The Jelson Homes DMU-backed Riders have been setting the standard defensively this season – they boast the best defence in the league, averaging just 70.1 points conceded a game.
The Eagles, led by player coach Fab Flournoy, have also made team defence a speciality. They currently stand fourth in the BBL for points conceded, leaking five points a game more than Riders.
At the offensive end, the Eagles have a definite edge. The reigning BBL Cup champions average 87.2 points a game, second only to Plymouth, compared to the Riders' 80.6 points.
The Eagles are also more prolific with their free-throws and from behind the three-point line.
The Eagles three-point percentage comes in at 35 per cent – fourth in the standings – compared to ninth-place Riders with 29.6 per cent.
They sink 70.1 per cent of their free throws, compared to Riders' 66.3 per cent.
Riders do, however, have the edge with two-point shooting percentage.
Where Riders do have the upper hand is scoring from the bench. Riders are second in these standings, getting a 31.7 points a game contribution, while Eagles are fourth with 30.2 points per game.