Heat Looking to Rock the Sports Park on Sunday
08 March 2012
Buy tickets online or call 01483 689111
The Guildford Heat have back-to-back games this weekend, with a trip to Leicester to take on the Riders on Saturday, followed by the visit of the Glasgow Rocks to the Surrey Sports Park on Sunday.
The Heat have been playing well of late, with impressive wins against the Plymouth Raiders at home two weeks ago and against the Milton Keynes Lions on the road last weekend. This has seen the Heat move up to seventh in the table, leap-frogging the Lions in the process. Last week's win against the Lions also gave the Heat the series head-to-head which could be crucial come play-off time and the Heat also have a game in hand over their rivals.
The Heat came unstuck against the Worcester Wolves last Sunday and will be looking to get back on track against the Rocks on Sunday. This will be the third and final game between the two teams this season with the Heat losing close games on the road in Scotland, one before Christmas and one a month ago at the start of February. That first game was marred by the season-ending injury to Mike Copeland.
The Heat's two losses against the Rocks this season have evened up the all-time series between the two teams at 12-12. In a worrying trend, the team which has won the first two games of the season has gone on to win the third in the last three seasons. Last year and three years ago the Heat swept the series 3-0 and two years ago, the Rocks had the 3-0 sweep. Now, leading 2-0, they will be looking to keep the trend alive with a win on the Heat's home court.
The Rocks are currently in good form and have won three in a row, a streak which has seen them move up the table to fifth place. The Rocks are led by player-coach Sterling Davis and have ex-Heat star EJ Harrison in their ranks. EJ has missed a lot of the season with an on-going ankle injury, but is back in the line up and looking forward to returning to the Surrey Sports Park, where he has not had the best of luck, losing in both his visits as part of the Rocks team last season.
Since EJ’s return to the team, the Rocks have a 5-2 record, having gone an even 7-7 up until that point. In EJ’s absence, American guard Mychal Green has stepped up and is leading the Rocks in both scoring (19.4 points per game) and assists (5.0 per game). He also averages a healthy 6.0 rebounds per game, making him the Rocks second-best rebounder behind DeAundre Cranston (6.8 rpg). Green top-scored in both games against the Heat, with 32 and 22 points respectively, so stopping him will be top of the Heat’s list of priorities. However, with Cranston possibly out with injury, this could leave the Rocks a little thin up front, meaning that the play of Heat Captain Mike Martin and big men Shaun Durant and Frank Holmes, who should be back after missing the Riders game, could be crucial. Frank top-scored with 24 points against the Wolves last week.
For the Heat, leading scorers Tayo Ogedengbe and Martelle McLemore have been playing well. Martelle averages 17.2 points per game, while Tayo is just behind with 16.9 ppg. Both players are averaging over 5 rebounds per game as well. Tayo topped scored in both games against the Rocks this season with 22 and 15 points.
Tayo also leads the team in field goal percentage, connecting on 52.4% of his attempts, which is good enough for ninth in the BBL. He also leads the team in both free throws made and attempted. He has got to the line 139 times this season and knocked down 91 of them. This puts him top of the BBL in free-throw attempts and second in free-throws made behind the Worcester Wolves' Tommy Freeman (who is second in free-throw attempts). As team, the Heat lead the league in free-throw attempts (17.6 per game) but are just seventh in free-throw percentage (67%). In contrast, the Rocks only get to the line an average of 12.2 times per game (second from bottom) but lead the league in free-throw percentage at 74.5% made.
The game tips off at three o'clock on Sunday afternoon (11th March) and you can get your tickets online or by calling the Heat Box Office on 01483 689111.