Flyers Flashback: Cheshire Phoenix vs Bristol Flyers - 13/04/18
Posted: Saturday, March 28th 2020
Saturday, October 6th 2018
Bristol Flyers statistician Owen Parker takes an in-depth look at the key stats from Friday night's narrow victory against Worcester Wolves.
Flyers held off a huge fourth quarter comeback from Worcester Wolves to seal a victory on Friday. This was a game with huge momentum shifts and the stats illustrate where the flow of the game turned.
Both Wolves and Flyers started out uncharacteristically cold from beyond the arc. Flyers shot 0.0% (0/4) from three point range in the first period and picked up to just 22.2% (2/9) at half-time. Wolves were 16.7% (2/12) across the first half with only Miki Servera and Captain Adam Thoseby able to connect.
Flyers were hugely successful in feeding their forwards the ball in the low post in the first half. This resulted in successful scoring at short range, particularly from Marcus Delpeche. At half-time Flyers had outscored Wolves in paint scoring 22 points to 16. Delpeche had 11 points in the first half, shooting 5/8 (62.5%) from the floor and adding an and one free throw. Delpeche finished the game with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 fouls drawn. He was key in limiting minutes for the opposition forwards by getting them into foul trouble early.
Bristol were hugely successful in generating extra possessions through strong rebounding. They out-rebounded Wolves 27 to 15 in total across the first half. Flyers attacked the glass on both ends. They consolidated defensive plays by collecting rebounds after forcing misses, hauling in 18 defensive rebounds in the first half. They were also aggressive in chasing down their misses and had nine offensive rebounds to just one for Wolves. This gave Flyers the chance to generate additional scoring, netting 14 second chance points to Wolves one in the first half. By the end of the game Flyers had a huge 45 rebounds to 31 for Worcester.
The third period saw Flyers balloon their lead to 25 points. They achieved this with a flurry of three pointers going 6/11 (55.5%) from deep in the quarter. In particular Fred Thomas and Justin Gray heated up in the quarter. Thomas had an early three. Mid-way through the quarter the pair put together an impressive sequence which saw them alternate made shots to score a trio of triples and make a 9-2 run in just over a minute.
Gray followed up with a fourth splash from behind the arc and finally a breakaway dunk late in the period to total 11 points in the third quarter alone. He finished the game with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists. He made a deep three pointer down the stretch when the game looked like it might get away from Flyers. Gray put in a big performance on both ends of the floor having taken the lead on defending Wolves guard Miki Servera.
Flyers may have thought their job was done heading into the fourth quarter with a sizeable lead to rely upon. Wolves proved that they were not going to give up easily with a tenacious final quarter. Active hands in the passing lanes forced a run of Flyers turnovers. Bristol gave away possession eight times in the last quarter, whilst Wolves were able to turn these defensive stops into scoring opportunities with 21 second half points coming from turnovers compared to just four in the first half. With Flyers struggling to develop possessions on offence their scoring dropped away.
Multiple Wolves players zeroed in on their long range shooting in the final quarter. They matched Flyers third quarter shooting going 6/11 (55.5%). Darrell Combs was instrumental in the come-back sinking two three pointers and getting to the free throw line for six foul shots. He had 14 points in the quarter and finished the game leading all scorers with 21. Big man Robert Crawford was also a huge factor in the come back with two made three pointers and multiple steals. Wolves re-energised crowd, revitalised defence and resurgent shooting saw them completed a 25-9 point run to keep the game tied with under a minute remaining. This surge of scoring is dramatically visualised on the scoring development chart with Wolves able to climb out of the deep hole Flyers had put them in during the third quarter.
With Wolves having claimed the momentum it became Lewis Champion’s chance to make a turnaround of form and dispel an earlier run of missed shots. Champion was 0-4 from distance but found himself with the ball at the top of the arc and Thoseby in front of him. Thoseby backed up as Champion dribbled, perhaps aware his match-up was struggling from long range. Champion astutely read the defence and seized the opportunity to pull up. His shot put Flyers back in the lead with just 20 seconds left in the game. Flyers were able to contest two last ditch efforts to tie it up again from Wolves and seal their win.
A passionate fan of basketball since 1995, Owen has been involved with the Bristol Flyers since 2012 initially as a fan during the NBL Div 1 days, then as a volunteer and since 2016/2017 as a club statistician.
You’ll find him sat at the table courtside at WISE recording stats on his laptop at home games. He is also a table official and the manager of the Flyers II.
Do you agree with Owen? Follow him on Twitter @OwenParker83 and let him know what you think!
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