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Aaron Eamer


Posted Tuesday, January 22nd 2019

Analysis » By the numbers - Sharks @ Flyers

Welcome back to your regularly scheduled programming. It's been a while, so let’s not waste too much time and get straight to the details of the game. 


First quarter shot chart

In the opening period the two sides came out level on the scoreboard but what we really want to know is should they have been? Well, both sides shot terribly from the field.

In the opening ten minutes, Sheffield made just three shots with one of those being from three-point range. Aside from that, they were saved by getting to the line for four free throws which were all converted. This awful shooting performance which totalled to just 23.1% gave the Flyers the perfect opportunity to build an early lead, it though was not to be as the Flyers were just as bad.

The Flyers, in comparison to the Sharks made just five shots from the field. They did manage over 40% from two-point range but went 0/9 from distance.

After one quarter, we would see a cumulative total of 26 missed shots in comparison to eight makes. But we move on! The score effectively at 0-0 and both coaches with a lot of work to do.

And they each did just that.


Chris Taylor scored all ten of his BBL carreer-high points in the second quarter

With only 22 points in the first ten minutes, we saw a completely different game in the second. Sheffield would almost hit that 22 points on their own, registering 19 in the quarter, but Bristol went a step further, adding 27.

It seems like the first quarter had been forgotten by everyone on the court and it was obvious to see in the numbers as six players finished the period without missing a shot – four of these on the Flyers.

And it was unlikely hero, Chris Taylor who was the man to provide the spark for the home side, scoring all of his ten points for the game in the second quarter. The Flyers’ #9 notched his BBL career-high in points to go 3/3 from the field as well as being attributed with three of the seven Bristol assists in the period.

On the other end, Sheffield weren’t getting quite as solid a contribution from their bench as only Matthew Martin was able to add to the scoreboard, with a solitary two.

Bristol’s Marcus Delpeche added six to the board. Once again though, like in the first, Bristol’s offensive rebounding efforts were setting them apart. The home side added another five offensive boards, in comparison to Sheffield’s one. This led to Bristol taking seven more shots than the Sharks in the quarter. Now, by half-time, Bristol had taken 41 whereas Sheffield had only taken 26.

Fortunately for Sheffield, they had been able to get to the foul line at a good rate, taking 11 and making 10 of them to keep them within reach and down by just eight points.


Into the second half and the performance of both sides would drop immensely. The game was seemingly in the perfect position for one side to grab take a huge step forwards but instead, both performed similarly to how they did in the first.

The Flyers and Sharks once again combined for a total of just 22 points, this time though those points weren’t split equally as Bristol would have the slight edge due to some better shooting from three. It was Mike Vigor making two of his four from distance in the period that allowed Bristol to keep hold of the lead. But it was far from convincing.

Bristol had dominated the offensive glass in the game up until this point, but that came almost to a halt as they added just one more, allowing Sheffield to grab more than double Bristol’s total rebounds in the quarter (Bristol - 6, Sheffield – 13). Fortunately for the home side, once again Sheffield faltered in another area, this time committing six turnovers. In effect, Bristol gave up seven extra rebounds to the Sharks but then the Sharks gave the ball back six of those seven times.

The Flyers wouldn’t turn the ball over in the quarter ensuring they’d stay on top heading into the final ten minutes leading by 12, but things were about to change heavily.


In the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, Bristol’s offence dried up almost completely. They added just three points to the scoreline, moving from 51 to 54 points in the game - and it wasn’t to get much better in the final five minutes either.

Bristol’s shooting in the fourth quarter went back to first-quarter levels once again as they dropped to just 27.3%, and for the first time in the game it wouldn’t be a case that Sheffield would shoot just as poorly. The Sharks would up their game to 60%, making six more shots than the Flyers, leaving the door open for a Sharks comeback.

Chris Alexander and Mike Tuck would both score as many baskets in the quarter as Bristol did as a team - and why?

Bristol went back to what was failing them in the first. Shooting threes. The Flyers took eight shots from behind-the-arc in the quarter, matching the same amount Sheffield would take themselves. But Sheffield were hitting at a 50% rate whereas Bristol were not

Fortunately for Bristol, they made one single three.

The one moment the game will be remembered for... Winning the game.

On a night where it seems nobody deserved to win. In basketball, one team has to. We have no draws. We have no penalty shoot outs. We have mic drops… and Gray provided it.

The Flyers could look back at a second quarter performance that really helped put them into a positive position. The Flyers bench added 24 points in the game compared to Sheffield’s bench adding only two. Bristol had strength in depth, Sheffield did not.

It took Sheffield too long to find their shooting hand, and ultimately Bristol would grind it out, through better offensive rebounding and ball handling over the course of the game. Sheffield were the better shooting team, but they closed the game with ten less offensive rebounds and six more turnovers, taking 15 less shots… and if you don’t have the ball, it’ll make it very difficult for you to win.