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'Defensive Troubles Costing Flyers'

“The only important statistic is the final score” – Bill Russell 

There’s no two ways about it, Flyers need to win a game. A disappointing weekend began with yet another close loss to Worcester Wolves and ended with a more comprehensive defeat to Cheshire Phoenix.

Defensive woes cost Flyers again

Bullied in the paint

59% of Worcester Wolves points were scored from the paint against Bristol Flyers, only Newcastle Eagles scored a higher percentage of points from the paint this weekend.

Worcester out-rebounded Flyers on Friday night, securing 51 boards and scoring 17 points from second chance opportunities. Flyers failed to adequately guard the paint. 46 points in the paint is simply too many.

Despite defensive troubles, Flyers were right there at the end of the 4th quarter and had opportunities to win the game. Saturday night saw Flyers back at SGS WISE arena to face Cheshire Phoenix. The game started at a frenetic pace. Flyers lacked poise in the first half. They needed to control the pace of the game and execute offensively in order to slow the game in the half court and counteract obvious fatigue from the previous night’s game.

A number of turnovers led to Flyers facing an 11 point deficit at half time. Not until the 3rd quarter did Flyers get consistent open looks at the basket. Shots started to drop when they weren’t forced but instead came as a result of good offensive execution.

Third quarter push not enough

Late starters
Flyers have scored on average 33% of their points total in the third quarter each game this season, compared to just 20% in the opening quarter.

Consistently strong third quarters are becoming commonplace for Flyers, no doubt spurred by coach Kapoulas’ half-time team talks. However, the players on the floor need to find a way to rally together and improve communication throughout the game without the influence of the coaches.

To quote Gregg Popovich- “I can’t make every decision for you. I don’t have 14 timeouts. You guys got to get together and talk” Cheshire scored 90 points on Saturday and that’s just too many. Flyers were outdone on the glass and points in the paint. 14 points from turnovers completes the story.

Past Flyers teams have always taken pride in winning games with their defence. The current group are scoring the basketball; they just need to find more consistency in their play on both ends of the floor. I can’t fault the effort level; this isn’t an issue of complacency. You can see how badly the players want to win; they just need to be smart about how to get there.

Flyers will hope to secure their first win of the season away at Leeds Force this Friday, October 2nd before their next home game against 2015 BBL Champions Newcastle Eagles on Saturday, October 10th - click here to buy tickets online.

Written by Tom Hutchinson - Tom played for Bristol Flyers from its inception in National League division three and was part of the roster that won promotions to divisions two and one before injury forced his early retirement.

Do you agree with Tom? Leave him a comment or ask him a question below.

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