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Author

Aaron Eamer

writes

Posted Tuesday, January 29th 2019

Analysis » By the numbers - Phoenix @ Flyers

Coming off the back of a mixed weekend, the Bristol Flyers hosted the Cheshire Phoenix at the WISE Campus, whose recent addition of CJ Gettys was likely to be a focal-point for the home side throughout the night.


EVENLY MATCHED EARLY ON

The first period saw the Phoenix come out as the hotter of the two sides as they took a 14-7 lead over the first five minutes. The away side though wouldn’t be able to push on in quite the fashion they’d begun as what looked to be tiredness would set in. Bristol would outscore Cheshire 13-3 to end the quarter and give themselves a three-point lead.

And talking of three-points, both teams were able to shoot great numbers from range early on – The Flyers were able to drop 12 of their 20 points from range, whilst Cheshire added nine of their 17 from the same distance. Both teams were shooting better from outside than inside.

And the similarities weren’t done there. Both sides added six assists, were only one rebound apart and one turnover apart. The difference after one quarter was simply an extra three made by Bristol as Lewis Champion took hold in the early stages, contributing half of his side’s 20 points.


BOOST FROM THE BENCH

Moving on into the second quarter and Bristol’s shooting efforts did not continue at all. After one they had made 40% from three and 100% from the free throw line but went on to shoot 0% from both distances in the second ten minutes. 0/3 from three and 0/3 from the line. It was a horrific turnaround as only one starter was able to register a basket for the Flyers – Fred Thomas.

This meant that Bristol staying in the game would come almost exclusively from their bench. Much like last week against Sheffield where the bench was able to contribute heavily, they did once more with 12 of Bristol’s 14. 

The Flyers also went on to turn the ball over a total of six times in the second quarter. This was combatted by the fact they were also able to force Cheshire into four turnovers of their own but giving the ball up so many times gave Cheshire all they needed to grab the half-time lead. 

And simply, it was Cheshire’s shooting that put them in the position to take that lead. They were able to continue shooting 50% from distance whilst also shooting the same percentage from two-point range. 

With the first half over, it wasn’t CJ Gettys that was causing the problems for the Flyers but team captain, Momcilo Latinovic. At the half, Latinovic was shooting 75% from three and a cause for great concern heading into the second half.

Cheshire’s lead would be slim at five points but of Bristol’s 34 points in the game to this stage, their bench had provided half of them. Starters, Fred Thomas, Chris Taylor and Daniel Edozie, by the half, had combined for 1/8 from the field and 0/2 from the line.

It was also noticeable that Cheshire had been able to make the most of their second chance opportunities. Although both teams had pulled in eight offensive rebounds, Bristol had only added four points from them. Cheshire in comparison were able to tack on an additional 12 points so although they may not have been effective on their first shot attempts, the put backs were dropping.


THREE-POINT FRUSTRATION

Into the second half and it was all looking very familiar for Bristol fans. Turnover issues and misfiring from three were the home side’s downfall as the Flyers’ six second quarter turnovers were topped by seven in the third period. Fortunately for the Flyers, the Phoenix would only score four points from these seven failed possessions. That isn’t to say that is a positive as it meant the Flyers gave up seven chances to shoot the ball... And when they were only able to make four shots in the quarter, extra shots were very much needed to get them back into the game!

But once again, Cheshire’s shooting would take them forwards. Their shooting from three dropped down to 40% but to make up for that slight dip, they’d increase their percentage from two-point range, making 5/9 in the quarter.

Bristol’s bench scoring was then able to overtake its starters for the game as the starters continued to falter, but with no player making more than one basket there was just nobody really taking hold for the home side. Frustrations were visible on the three-point shooting column of the box score with six players throwing shots from behind-the-arc and only one dropping.


LOCKDOWN DEFENCE

Onto the fourth quarter, a 12-point deficit to overcome and Cheshire gave Bristol every chance to do so as the away side turned the ball over ten times in the quarter alone! This was ridiculously high for a team that had handled the ball reasonably well throughout the game until this point and allowed Bristol to record nine points from these.

Unfortunately for Bristol, their own ball handling issues wouldn’t cease. After giving the ball six times in the second and seven times in the third, they’d turn it over eight more times in the fourth! Losing out on eight extra opportunities to score would prove to be brutal as these were so desperately needed with a double-figure deficit to overcome.

Cheshire were only able to shoot 25% for the quarter, registering just 12 points as Bristol’s shooting hit the 50% mark in the same period. It though, once again was Bristol’s ineffective three-point shooting that would be their downfall, the home side making just one of their five shots from behind-the-arc. In comparison, they were able to shoot over 70% from two-point range and over 80% from inside the paint.


TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

Tevin Falzon and Fred Thomas were the two men to come alive in the fourth to give Bristol hope as the starters finally grabbed the game but it was too-little, too-late with Cheshire finishing the game with the same advantage they finished the first half with. Up by five.

Both teams registered over 20 turnovers in a game that seemingly was not pretty to watch at all. Fortunately for Cheshire, their shooting on the day was enough to bail them out as their 44% from three in comparison to Bristol’s 25% was too heavy a difference.


Next Game

Home team logo Worcester Wolves vs Away team logo Bristol Flyers

Monday, September 16th at 7:30PM

University of Worcester Arena