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‘Togetherness Crucial For Tough Month Ahead'

Ex-Flyers forward Tom Hutchinson believes his former side need to play together in order to pick up much needed victories in November.

"A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist. That's how I want you to play,” - Mike Krzyzewski

The Flyers have taken a week’s break from the busy BBL schedule to reflect on a slow start to the 2016/17 campaign which sees them 1-4 in the BBL Championship. Four consecutive losses following a hard fought opening night win has no doubt led to a week of concentrated practice. Coach Kapoulas will certainly be focusing on how to get this new group playing consistent team basketball.

Trust The Process

Flyers have had a tough run of recent games, underdogs in all of their last four fixtures (London Lions, Sheffield Sharks, Leicester Riders and Glasgow Rocks) only to face Leicester again this coming Saturday at the SGS WISE arena, in a game where a consistent 40-minute team performance is paramount.

Leicester Riding High
Andy Thomson scored 15 of his 20 points against the Flyers from open looks behind the three-point-line.

Flyers defended well against Riders at times, leading in steals and almost matching in rebounding, but suffered from too many break-downs in communication. Andy Thompson left alone in pick and pop situations and late help scrambles freeing Tyler Bernardini to punish Flyers from the three-point line. A lack of concentration in the third quarter allowed Leicester to go on to score 80 points which didn’t reflect Flyers' considerable defensive effort for much of the game.

Two nights later in Glasgow and Bristol allowed the Rocks to take early control whilst struggling to score at times. A third quarter flurry saw Flyers almost take the lead but Glasgow retook control on their way to 84 points.

Offensive Struggles

Off-Target Flyers
Bristol are currently making just 45% of their shots so far this season -  the second lowest in the BBL.

Flyers are struggling to score the basketball. The team don’t lack individual talent - at least six players are capable of having a big scoring night. The problem comes from a lack of consistent team offensive execution. This is reflected in Flyers' poor shooting percentages as they struggle to get good looks at the basket. We see the odd well executed half court set in amongst too many contested jump shots with the shot clock winding down.

Flyers need to play smart if they are to start to pick up wins. Offensive ball movement, spacing, communication and patience must improve. Taking advantage of mismatches and taking what the defensive gives them rather than trying to force the issue. The desire and effort is there; this just needs to translate onto the floor. Teething problems are expected when bringing together a group of new young players but to start winning games, Flyers need to play together consistently in order to make the much needed transformation.

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.