Consistency is the key for an improving Sharks in 2013

Basketball: Latest news, reports and more.
Basketball: Latest news, reports and more.

SHEFFIELD Sharks coach Atiba Lyons is hoping for consistency from his team in 2013.

After Sunday’s excellent home win against Manchester Giants at the EIS, Lyons said an all-round solid team effort was key to the 87-68 victory.

“Defensively we rotated well, we just played hard. That’s the most complete 40 minutes in terms of effort, energy and intensity we’ve had,” he said.

“We really pulled back this week and focused on mental stuff rather than physical stuff and I think we responded well from it.”

Having done it once Lyons is now asking his team for a repeat show when Sharks visit the Giants on Thursday in the BBL Trophy first round.

He said: “The key thing for us is having consistency and having the guys play more consistent. We have guys that have been really up and down.

“If we’ve have three or four just playing solid we’ve still been losing games so we needed a little bit more.

“We have to have five guys playing (well) and not just three or four on the court. It’s getting that consistency.”

As a player Lyons was one of the BBL’s best defensive forwards.

At times this season Sharks have crumbled at the defensive end but he said his team stuck to their game plan against the Giants even after the visitors had cut a sizable lead down to five-points.

He said: “The goal for the game was to keep them under 70 (points).

“I told them we could do it if we played good defence; if we didn’t then they could score a 100. We came out and responded well.

“They made a run and I told them that’s the run they’re going to make, we have to stay strong and not panic. We kept our composure, we stuck to our system and guys made shots.

“It helps everything if you can hit some tough shots.”

Sharks are now ninth in the BBL Championship table just two points, but with a game in hand, behind Cheshire Phoenix and London Lions in joint seventh place.

A top eight spot would see Sheffield qualify for the first round of the end of season play-offs.