The Scorchers turn their attention from the top of the BBL to the other end of the table this Friday, as they travel to Worcester Wolves for a 7.30pm tip-off.
But Creon Raftopolous knows that recent performances against Leicester Riders and London Lions augur well for this basement battle and what the coach calls a “big crunch game” with the seasonal head-to-head locked at 1-1.
Wolves last week released England international Adam Thoseby, but in their last two games have beaten Manchester Giants 97-78 and scored another 93 points in narrow defeat to second-placed Esh Group Eagles Newcastle.
“Nobody wants to finish at the bottom, so hopefully we will be able to travel down and get a decent result. We are both in a position where we’ll be really hungry, and we really need to take our A game there,” he admits, but is able to take positives from two games that may have ended in defeats but contained many good moments as Scorchers matched two of the BBL’s top sides for long periods.
“Every game is like a rollercoaster ride, it’s going to have its ups and downs, but when we have a down it’s pretty bad and at really crucial times. It’s about putting that consistent play together in order for us to get a win. From a defensive point of view, we still need to be a lot better.”
Once again, slow starts to the first and third quarters cost Scorchers against the Lions but Creon was pleased with the way his players “showed great character to fight back and get it down to single digits. Guys are standing up and be counted and everybody’s trying to make a contribution.”
Highlighting Lions’ 20 offensive rebounds as the game’s key statistic, Creon continues: “We got ourselves back in the game but they’re such a good team, you’re not going to get many opportunities. Against the top teams we definitely have to be at our best all the time, and if you’re going to give anything but your best you’ll have a big problem.”