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Owen Parker


Posted Monday, October 22nd 2018

Analysis » By the numbers - Raiders @ Flyers

Bristol Flyers earned early bragging rights in the south west derby, but where was Friday’s game won and lost?

Flyers ground out a win in a physical game characterised by spells of intense defence, physicality and shooting difficulties. The box score shows the areas where Flyers were able to gain an edge and build towards their hard-fought victory.

Box Score

Plenty of whistles

Getting to the line early and often was key for Plymouth in the opening quarter. Flyers committed seven fouls in the period sending Raiders to the line for 12 free throws. The damage was limited to eight points at the line with Donte Nicholas missing three and Josh Wilcher missing one. Flyers drew five fouls of their own but only made it to the line for four attempts and missed all but one. Raiders’ success in getting Flyers in foul trouble was a key factor in them winning the first quarter.

Nicholas was Flyers other main problem early. His speed and aggression off the dribble led to multiple easy baskets. His nine points led all scorers in the first period and primarily came from drives to the basket. He was also efficient initially, shooting 4/5 (80.0%) from two point range in the first ten minutes. Bristol made defensive adjustments to contain Nicholas through the rest of the game - Fred Thomas, Chris Taylor and Panos Mayindombe all put in shifts guarding Nicholas and limited him to just four more points in the rest of the contest. With his scoring curtailed Nicholas turned distributor and became the assists leader for the game, giving out eight dimes.

Crash the boards

Flyers out-rebounded Plymouth throughout the game. They set the tone early hauling in 11 boards in the first quarter alone while Raiders had just six. By the end of the game, Flyers had 58 rebounds to Raiders 35. Bristol grabbed 26 offensive rebounds and turned this into 16 second chance points. Raiders had 15 offensive rebounds and utilised these extra possessions for 13 second chance points.

Flyers really picked up their defence in the second quarter. They held Raiders to just nine points in the period on 3/16 (18.8%) shooting from the floor. Gray, Taylor and Thomas all took turns as rim protectors, each blocking a shot during the quarter. The defence fueled the offence and Bristol were able to link stops to scores and take back the lead going into half time. 

Rested and ready

Justin Gray hit an incredible 5/7 (71.4%) from 3pt range

Flyers continued their high level of performance into the third period. A 10-0 run after their half time rest was key in building a lead that the visitors were never able to overturn. The Flyers frontcourt joined in the block party with Edozie, Delpeche and Tevin Falzon all swatting away Raiders shots in the third quarter. Gray took over the game with 13 points in the period.

Both teams struggled mightily from three point range through the first half. Flyers went 1/11 (9.1%) in total with only McCloud able to connect from distance. Raiders were marginally better in that they shot a little less, going 1/9 (11.1%) with sharp shooting substitute Joonas Jarvelainen hitting the only make.

The three-point barrier remained up for most players in the second half. Fred Thomas found open looks but was unable to connect all game, going 0/8 from deep. Despite struggling with his shot he made some huge defensive plays while limiting his fouls.

Raider Run

Plymouth tightened their rotation down to just five players through the final quarter and were able to make a run. It was their new signing Devontavius Payne who heated up in the second half. He made a trio of triples in quick succession to bring Raiders back into the game in the fourth period. Gray did not take a three in the first half but was Flyers best shooter in the second half. He hit an incredible 5/7 (71.4%) from deep in the second half including some extremely timely makes when Plymouth were looking dangerous to hold on for the 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.

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