Niktash Signing Surges Lions to Playoffs

Robson Friend speaks with Navid Nikitash on his journey in the BBL since joining the London Lions in late November of last year, and the adjustments that were made to the team after the forward arrived from overseas.

Lions finishing strong on the other end of the court, take the win confidently.

Since joining up with Nigel Lloyd’s squad in November of last year, Navid Niktash has been an undisputed success in the power forward role.

From his first fixture against the Manchester Giants on the 25th November, where he dunked on his first possession, to Friday 10th March against the Plymouth Raiders where he led the team with 17 points, the Frenchman has aided his side in various ways since joining the club and has become one of the go-to guys in the squad.

Most prominently, the forward has made himself at home on the offensive side of the game, scoring at will more often than not from beyond the three-point line, as well as racking up good numbers inside the paint.

Making the switch to the bustling city of London was no easy transition but with help and support from teammates, Niktash seems to be settling in well:

“I feel great – thanks to my teammates – they help me a lot. I knew Kai Williams before playing in France, so, he’s helped me a lot too. Thanks to him and the rest of the team it’s all good.”

Back to winning form

In their last matchup against the Raiders at home, Niktash was one of six players who scored in double figures, emphasizing the unity amongst the squad and expanding the sheer amount of weapons head coach Lloyd has at his disposal. Niktash believes the unselfish play is important:

“I think that’s what we need, we need four/five players to score lots. We’re a really good team; sometimes we play badly but tonight we did well and now we just have to stay humble, go back to work, win more games before the playoffs.”

After suffering a losing stint at the Copper Box Arena over their last three games, the Lions conjured up a win to start moving forward and feeling confident advancing to the playoffs. The Frenchman believes the club now need to build on this:

“We need to be just at the right pace before the playoffs. Of course, now we’re fifth but we should be in a higher position. But we’ve had some bad moments but we go back to work and we’re going to be good for the playoffs.”

If the London Lions are going to ascend into the top four prior to the end of the regular season, then Navid Niktash and his expansive attacking game alongside a newly found confident front court, will be vital to Lloyd’s team.

Lions supporters hope the Frenchman can surge this club full speed ahead into the playoffs and make the city proud when May arrives, getting the spot they deserve in the playoff run.