Basketball: Tucker remains rational over a Bullets victory

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Birmingham Bullets have rarely been odds on to win a BBL Championship game this season, but tonight is an exception when Leicester Riders visit the Birmingham Sports Centre looking for their first victory in the second city since 1987.

Bullets' solitary win this season - out of more than 30 games in all competitions - was against Riders on 17 January, but despite the positive omens the Birmingham coach, Steve Tucker, opted for a sober evaluation. Leicester, with only three wins, have struggled to score more than 80 points this season, but Tucker criticised his players' lack of defensive effort and warned: "If Leicester can score on anybody, they'll score on us."

But then Tucker has recruited two former Harlem Globetrotters in Trey Moore and Rob Griffin, so little wonder they play no defence. On Tuesday night Bullets shipped 127 points at Brighton - the highest total of the season - and have also suffered the biggest losing margin, 63 points, against Thames Valley Tigers.

Second-from-bottom Riders may be better on court but are in worst shape off it. The club chairman, Professor Jim Saker, has warned the fans that their business plan is not working and the club is "not sustainable" in their exile at Loughborough University, where they have played since the demolition of Leicester's Granby Halls.

In England Basketball's First Division, the leaders, Plymouth Raiders, seem certain to maintain their four-point lead against Solent Stars, despite the danger man Matt Story, who recently scored 52 points against Bath Romans.

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