Michael Miller - The First Interview
Posted: Friday, June 11th 2021
Wednesday, April 18th 2018
Bristol Flyers club statistician, Aaron Eamer breaks down the key stats which led to Tuesday's win over Sheffield Sharks at the WISE Arena.
The Bristol Flyers grabbed a vital win in the hunt for the playoffs at the WISE arena in what was described by acting head coach Nick Burns as a ‘rollercoaster’ of a game.
All the best plays from Flyers victory over Sheffield. pic.twitter.com/wx5aUjMFCs— Bristol Flyers (@BristolFlyers) April 17, 2018
Despite Sheffield having the better of the shooting opportunities in the first quarter, Bristol came out of the first period with a six point lead. The home side were shooting at just 37% after the first ten minutes, in comparison to Sheffield’s 50%. Fortunately for the Flyers, where Sheffield was efficient at scoring the ball, they weren’t able to keep hold of the ball enough.
The away side turned the ball over on seven occasions in the first period. Unfortunately Bristol weren’t able to make the most of them though. If Sheffield had continued to shoot 50% on the six extra turnovers they had on top of Bristol’s one, they would have, at least, drawn the game level.
The Flyers were able to top up their low percentage from the field with a good volume of shots from the free throw line. Jordan Davis led the way with four of his seven first period points coming from the charity stripe.
Into the second quarter and Sheffield turned the game around. This time it was Bristol turning the ball over at a high rate, giving up the ball six times in the second period. Sheffield too were able to convert these six turnovers into ten points. Something Bristol weren’t able to capitalise on early into the game.
But that wasn’t where the poor play finished for the Flyers.
The home side made five shots in the period whilst Sheffield were able to reply with ten. Bristol seemingly had no answer for the Sharks’ Dirk Williams as he put up as many points in the quarter as the entire Bristol team combined (10).
Bristol’s shooting percentages dropped from 37% to 30% and they weren’t able to rely on getting to the foul line anymore either, getting there just once and missing.
The one positive Bristol could take from the second quarter is despite all the poor shooting, they were still able to rebound at a good rate and didn’t allow Sheffield to dominate in that area. When looking at the numbers it looks as if the Flyers were getting destroyed on the boards as Tony Wroblicky already grabbed ten, but the Flyers were getting rebounding contributions across the team to combat Wroblicky’s personal numbers.
At half-time, Bristol looked to be on a downward trend and it could have been worse if not for the first quarter lead - then things looked to be getting worse after the break.
Into the second half and Bristol suddenly found themselves at the wrong end of a 17-7 run and a 12-point deficit. It wasn’t until around four minutes left of the third quarter that Bristol decided they wanted to play rather than let the game get away from them.
In those final four(ish) minutes, Bristol were suddenly able to get a run of their own going and finally start to show why they are in the play-off race. The Flyers were able to outscore the Sharks 17-2 in the closing minutes of the third quarter and bring themselves to within a single point.
Adam Weary took it upon himself to respond to Chris Alexander’s ten third quarter points with ten of his own, whilst Jordan Davis added five assists, three more than he’d registered in the entire first half.
It was a huge turnaround as the home side poured in eight points from Sheffield turnovers. Flyers were also beginning to make shots from all around the court with four threes dropping, all from different scorers.
Into the final period and with Bristol on the ascendancy it suddenly all fell flat again as Sheffield extended their one point lead to nine.
Bristol again were not making shots and needed to find a different route to take over the game and ensure Sheffield didn’t confirm their playoff position.
And in the final five minutes of the game, they did.
Bristol once again turned the game around, holding Sheffield to just four points in the final five minutes of the game whilst scoring 16 for themselves. But Bristol’s points in the fourth quarter were not easy to come by.
Of the Flyers’ 22 points in the final period, 14 of them came from the free throw line. Yes, 14.
Those 14 made free throws were the same amount Sheffield took for the entire game (8/14) and allowed Bristol to come back in an unprecedented manner.
The Flyers actually only made four field goals in the final period, shooting just 29% - One of their worst periods of the game. Fortunately, Sheffield’s discipline dropped as they fouled Bristol nine times and saw two players foul out. Adam Weary once again lead from the front and although the guard missed both of his field goals in the period, he shot 7/8 from the line.
Bristol’s ability to get to the line in the final period, coupled with a huge defensive effort in the final five minutes was ultimately enough. Sheffield turned the ball over six times in the final period, almost mirroring their first quarter, and the Delpeche brothers made sure to clean up any loose shots, grabbing ten of Bristol’s 11 rebounds in the period. Marcus Delpeche was able to pull in seven of his nine total rebounds in the final period alone, ensuring Bristol finished strong and putting them in a great position heading into a busy weekend in the BBL.
A passionate fan of basketball since 2004, Aaron briefly played at SGS (then Filton College) under Head Coach Andreas Kapoulas.
Fast forward a number of years, Aaron now contributes to recording the statistics for the Flyers home games as a club Statistician, you’ll often find him sat at the table courtside taking stats into his laptop at every home game.
Do you agree with Aaron? Follow him on Twitter @eamer and let him know what you think!
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