Worcester Wolves are Ready to Pounce

Worcester Wolves Weekend Preview

Last Updated: Apr 10, 2014 09:08pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Thursday 10 April 2014 – London Lions vs Worcester Wolves

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle should win the BBL Championship this weekend, according to Paul James - but his Worcester Wolves will be ready to pounce if they don't.

Eagles can secure the title with victories over Birmingham Knights and Surrey United but Wolves still have a chance to steal it, if they win their remaining five games, starting with Thursday's trip to London Lions, (tip off 7.30pm). "Newcastle can't, well shouldn't, lose the league from here," said James.

"They have had a couple of disappointments this season in the Cup and Trophy, but have done a great job in the league to win some crucial games, so hats off to them.

"All we can do is continue to try and win every game from here. For the Wolves organisation, this season has been one of epic magnitude, something that we have been building since my arrival."

James believes his opposite number on Thursday, Vince Macaulay, is attempting to construct something similar in the capital and while things may not have always followed the blueprint this term, the play-off-bound Lions remain a real threat.

James added: "I think that London are a team in transition, getting used to a new home and what they can do in it.

"They have shown signs this season of being a very competitive team, but a few things have not worked out for them as they probably would have liked in the playing department.

"They are without question, a very dangerous team though and you have to prepare well for them."

Lions coach Vince Macaulay commented: "I think Worcester have been exceptional this season. I think Paul James recruited very well at the start and made the necessary adjustments after the season started.

“Their American players have been very good and raised the bar amongst the English players; hence they have won a trophy."

Meanwhile Wolves centre Will Creekmore remarked: "With Newcastle having the head-to-head against us, it's not looking good. Anything can happen, but right now we are just focused on winning games and taking care of our business.

“London is a physical, athletic team. It's always a dog fight playing against them and we expect nothing different."

Friday 11 April 14 – Worcester Wolves vs Leicester Riders

This is the time of year when the small details can decide a team's fate and Leicester Riders forward Jay Couisnard has identified one aspect of his team's play which needs addressing ahead of Friday's trip to the University of Worcester Arena to meet Worcester Wolves, (tip off 7.30pm).

Riders are currently fourth in the table with just a game at Durham Wildcats on Sunday to follow Friday's contest and close their season.

Play-off positions and all-important momentum are at stake and Couisnard believes the Riders' ability to hold their nerve from the charity stripe could be key.

"This year our free throws have cost us a few games so we really do need to shore up that area of our game," said Couisnard.

"We just have to make those down the stretch and the outcome will be in our favour."

Free throw shooting will undoubtedly play a big part in play-off basketball, but Couisnard is not yet looking that far ahead, instead focusing all his energy on rounding off the regular season, starting at Worcester.

Couisnard added: "Each one of us signed to play a full season and we still have two more games on that agreement.

"We'll look ahead to the play-offs when it's time to. So for this next weekend we just want to focus on our strategies and what we need to do to have a 2-0 outing.

"Worcester is a good team and they have played well this year. I expect a hard fought game, a very competitive one at that."

Wolves coach Paul James remarked: "Leicester have been one of the best defensive teams in the league again this season and we will need to continue being clinical at the offensive end of the court, as we have been over the past few weeks.

"Defensively we need to make every shot they take a tough look, but above all we need to keep it together as a team."

Riders coach Rob Paternostro commented: "The Wolves are a talented team that can be very explosive, they can score both inside and out, it's very important that we limit their runs."



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