2021/22 British Basketball League Playoffs preview: When is it, format, top teams and more
The BBL season is close to its conclusion with the eight best teams in Britain set to battle it out in the 2021/22 Playoffs.
The Leicester Riders will fancy their chances of striking playoff success after a historic season, meanwhile, the Newcastle Eagles do not have a chance to defend their crown after being one of two ball clubs to miss out on post-season basketball.
Leicester Riders heavily fancied
The Riders are chasing a treble after clinching the BBL Cup and BBL Championship already this campaign. They enter the playoffs as the 1-seed after winning the title by the biggest margin in league history, 16 points. They secured the league against their playoff opponents, the Plymouth Patriots.
Leicester were very dominant, averaging 91 points scored and 72 points conceded per game in 21/22. Patrick Whelan and reigning BBL and BBL Cup MVP Geno Crandall have led the team this year and will be pivotal if they win this season's playoffs.
As for the Patriots, they have reached the playoffs in their first-ever season in the BBL despite losing their opening eight league games. They will rely heavily on Antonio Williams - who averaged 18.6 PPG - if they are to pull off an upset.
Who else is in action?
Both teams go into the playoffs in contrasting form. The Giants have lost four of their last five games - including a blowout loss to their playoff opponents. The Flyers, on the other hand, have won four of their last five.
The London Lions and the Sheffield Sharks are two teams who can potentially cause the Riders some problems further down the line. The Lions face Cheshire Phoenix and have Isaiah Reese - who led the league in PPG with 19.3 in 30.7 minutes a game - on their side.
The Lions go into the playoffs on a three-game win streak, including a victory against the Phoenix. The first of their two-legged tie tips off on Friday at 19:30.
Second-seed Sharks take on the Glasgow Rocks and get their post-season underway on Friday night. Glasgow point-guard Jordan Johnson is one to watch in this series after he dropped 15 assists and 15 points in the last meeting between these two teams. Johnson averaged 18.4 PPG and 8.4 APG this season.
The playoff format
The women are also in playoff action
The playoffs in the Women's BBL are also close to tipping off. The London Lions won all 24 games in the regular season and are heavily favoured for playoff success. They take on the Durham Palatinates.
Both teams only play each other once in each round in the WBBL playoffs.
The women's final also takes place on May 15. The tip off is at 13:15, three hours before the men's final. The Lions are looking to go back-to-back after lifting their first playoff trophy last season.