Improvement needed for Sheffield Sharks ahead of playoff clash tonight

Written by Amos Wynn

Sheffield Sharks will look to bounce back from defeat as they take on Newcastle Eagles in the BBL playoffs this evening (tip-off 5pm).

The Yorkshire side finished the regular season with a 68-80 defeat to London Lions at Ponds Forge Arena on Friday.

Both teams entered the game already knowing their league positions, and places in the final eight were confirmed, leaving the meeting as an opportunity to prepare for the knockout stages of the competition.

Heading into the evening, London sat 12 points ahead of Sharks in the table, with that gap clear to see at points during the night, with the visitors in control of proceedings during the early stages.

Sharks did show glimpses of promise, as they grew into the opening quarter.

They would have gone into the first stoppage level, but for a London three-pointer on the buzzer to make it 23-26.

Tempers were also high, with Sheffield head coach, Atiba Lyons, being warned for his conduct on the side lines.

Frustrations continued to grow at the start of the second, as London came back out on court looking bright.

A time-out was soon prompted, as the difference between the sides was extended to eight points.

It wasn’t long before there was another stoppage in play, this time, because of issues with the stop clock.

After that problem was resolved, play resumed, with Lions strengthening their advantage.

Sharks will be looking to bounce back this evening.

Meanwhile Sharks were struggling to convert their chances, as the team from the capital went into half time with a 36-47 lead.

A change of ends did not bring a change of fortunes, as London continued to dominate, extending the lead to 18 points five minutes into the third quarter.

After another time out, the Sharks improved and were able to slightly close the gap between the two sides.

The game was sown up heading into the final ten minutes, with scores at 50-64.

The final quarter brought no shocks, as the Lions’ lead remained intact.

The Sharks were able to reduce the deficit once again, but the chase was never truly on.

Sheffield will be hoping for an improved display in tonight’s quarter-final, after finishing the regular season with back-to-back defeat.

Mistakes will have to be removed and some of the more positive moments from Friday will need to be replicated.

Written by Amos Wynn

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