February Statistical Review in the BBL

35 games played. 16 victories on the road. 2 unbeaten teams. Two 40 point hauls. A double-OT thriller and a BBL Trophy semi-final.

The Molten BBL Coach of the Month award was given to Paul James after guiding his Worcester Wolves side to 5th in the league after six wins from six in FebruaryWorcester have boosted their top four hopes with five straight wins in the league and also progressed to the last four of the BBL Trophy. The 94-88 victory in Newcastle was their stand-out win but the Wolves have also completed double-duty for the last two weekends in which a victory was achieved after two additional periods against the London Lions. Alex Owumi (16p/10r/8a) and Carlos Fernandez (14p/10r/7a) both came close to achieving the rare feat in the BBL of a triple-double.

Rob Paternostro came close to winning the award for the second month running as the Leicester Riders also went 6-0 in February to maintain their place at the top of the standings. The Riders set up a semi-final clash with Worcester after going to Guildford to beat Surrey Heat 82-66. The league leaders’ defence continues to make a difference and Leicester managed to hold their opponents to an average of 60 points a game during the month and winning by 14.1 points on average.

At the other end of the spectrum, Surrey are in a poor run of form having slipped to sixth place in the league after such a bright start with Creon Raftopoulos‘ men losing all four league games this month. Mersey Tigers also suffered defeat in every league game in February as their quest for a first victory drags on. Glasgow had enjoyed a five game winning streak before falling to a 76-72 defeat at home to Leicester but are still level on points with Plymouth. The play-off race continues with London, Sheffield, Manchester, Cheshire and Durham all battling it out for the seventh and eighth spots. Phoenix and the Wildcats both went 1-5 for February while the Lions picked up 8 points from seven games, the Giants won two from five and Sheffield maintained 8th place with a 2-1 record for the month whilst opening up a 14 point lead in their Trophy semi-final against Cheshire.

Newcastle Eagles’ Kareem Maddox claimed the Molten BBL Player of the Month for the second time after a dominant February, averaging 21.6 points per game along with 13 rebounds per game. The BBL rookie tied his season-high points tally with 29 against the Cheshire Phoenix and ended the month with a monster double-double of 26 points and 20 rebounds whilst adding four assists, three steals and four blocks to an incredible stat-line. Maddox is having a stellar season with the Eagles and the American currently averages 15.8ppg (20th) and 10.2rpg (2nd) but is yet to score from beyond the arc this season.

Charles Smith ran his team-mate close with an impressive month averaging 32.2 ppg in four games with a total of 128 points. The league veteran had a BBL season-high 49 points against Durham at the beginning of the month on 8-10 shooting from downtown whilst collecting 16 boards to complete a memorable performance. Smith went 100% from the free throw line in the four games and has now gone 28/28 from the foul line over his last 13 games. The Eagles‘ forward failed to connect from beyond the arc against Plymouth (0-3) but managed to net a total of 19 with a 52% success rate. Most recently, Smith carried Newcastle to a win in Surrey with a 33 point haul and 10 rebounds. Joe Chapman dished out 10+ assists in three games over January/February and leads the league in that category with an average of 7.6.

Michael Ojo was the other player in February to have a 40 point game in his outing against Cheshire and followed that outstanding performance with 61 points in his next two games against Glasgow and Surrey on his way to averaging 29.2 points per game during the month. The Raiders‘ guard also nailed all 27 of his free throw attempts and has now made 42 of his last 43 from the charity stripe. Chez Marks has dropped to second in the league scoring charts but still had an impressive month scoring 31 points on two occasions including helping the ‘Nix to a vital win against the defending champions in Newcastle.

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Game Time! Around the NBA

HOME WINS FOR HEAT, KNICKS & THUNDER WHILE CHICAGO & CLIPPERS FALL ON THE ROAD

Miami Heat (31-14) survived a resilient Charlotte Bobcats (11-36) to win 99-94 and remain at the top of the Eastern standings. Lebron James posted a near triple-double with 31 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists while Chris Bosh– 23 points- and Dwayne Wade– 20 points and 12 rebounds- added their usual support. The Bobcats- who now have the worst record in the league following the defeat- had a slender lead in the final quarter and former Laker Ramon Sessions top scored with 18 points.

STAT: Lebron James had a career high shooting percentage of 92.1 making 13/14 FG attempts.

New York Knicks (31-15) matched Miami‘s win tally for the season with a comfortable 99-85 home win against the Detroit Pistons (18-31). Carmelo Anthony had a game high 27 points with the damage done in the first half as the Knicks opened up a 21 point gap. Having received clearance just a few hours before tip-off, Jose Calderon top scored for Detroit with 18 points on his debut following his recent trade that ended an 8 year spell with the Raptors.

STAT: Tyson Chandler posted 20 rebounds for the third consecutive game to equal the franchise record for the Knicks.

Oklahoma (36-12) defeated Dallas (20-28) 112-91 after a dominant first half display helped the Thunder assert their authority. Russell Westbrook had 24 points and 7 assists with Kevin Durant contributing a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. LA Clippers (34-16) lost ground on OKC in the Western standings following their third straight defeat as the Washington Wizards (12-35) picked up a 98-90 win. Blake Griffin was ruled out of the game prior to the tip-off to join Chris Paul on the sidelines and a 28 point haul from Jamal Crawford along with a career high 22 rebounds from DeAndre Jordan were unable to end the Clippers losing run.

STAT: Clippers have won just three of their last ten games as they struggle to cope without CP3.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 25 points and 13 boards to inspire the Portland Trail Blazers (25-23) to a close-fought 100-98 win against Minnesota (18-27). The Timberwolves battled back in the fourth to set up a tense finale; outscoring the visitors 40-23 before falling short. Aldridge came up with the block on Ricky Rubio– who had 15p and 14a- in the final seconds. Another all-Western clash went to the wire in Utah as the Jazz prevailed in overtime to beat Sacramento Kings (17-33) 98-91.

STAT: It was the fifth consecutive game that Aldridge posted a double-double.

Indiana Pacers (29-19) improved to the third best record in the East after adding insult to injuries for a depleted Chicago Bulls side. David West followed up his 30 point haul against Miami with another 29 to help Indiana to a 111-101 victory- their third in a row. Marco Belinelli had a season-high 24 points in just 24 minutes off the bench with Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich all sidelined. The final game saw the Philadelphia 76ers (21-26) win their third straight game as they make their push into the play-off positions; beating Orlando 78-61. Magic have now lost ten in a row with Spencer Dawes– 21p,14r- and Jrue Holiday– 13p,14a- enjoying double-doubles in the win.

STAT: A season-best performance from Dawes eclisping a 21p,12r display against Milwaukee (21/01/13).