Gavin Love calls for a killer instinct against Leicester Riders
GAVIN LOVE has warned Marjon Plymouth Raiders they will be crucified if they are sloppy on Saturday.
Love takes his team to early BBL Championship leaders Leicester Riders, who protect the only remaining perfect record in the league this season.
Riders are 8-0 in all competitions in 2012/13 and Raiders visit John Sandford Centre without one starter, Michael Ojo (suspended) and a big doubt over bench player, Anthony Rowe (ankle sprain).
Raiders boss Love is set to travel with a depleted six-man rotation, placing even more importance on efficient, clinical basketball.
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"We're still lacking that killer instinct," said Love, whose team rebounded well last weekend with back-to-back wins on the road.
"We need to be meticulous. Just because other teams get sloppy, doesn't mean we can chill out.
"If we're sloppy on Saturday we'll get crucified."
Raiders won 86-83 at Manchester Giants last Friday to go 4-1 in the league before beating Surrey Heat 79-74 in the quarter-finals of the BBL Cup.
Love was delighted with the results, but was ever the taskmaster, demanding more when training resumed back in Plymouth on Tuesday.
He said: "We went up by nine points, Surrey got a bit sloppy, but then we did and took four bad shots when we could've blown the game open."
Raiders' one loss this season came against Heat, who left the Pavilions with a convincing 95-78 victory in the league at the end of last month.
Raiders were 3-0 and at a canter at the time.
Love said: "We probably did get sloppy in the first game against Surrey.
"We had won our first three games by a vast amount, but we didn't really have to execute in them.
"We were just running and gunning, and getting whatever we wanted and we got sloppy.
"Then Surrey challenged us and we weren't ready. But we were challenged twice last weekend and we overcame it.
"Last weekend's games improved us greatly."
Love added: "We've worked on cutting down our errors this week and having a killer instinct.
"As a coach you feel like you're working on the same things, but basketball's an easy game. It's about doing the little things. The tiny things in basketball are hugely important – timing, spacing, execution.
"Yes, we work hard every day, but it's about being smart and you don't just need good players you need smart players. We have smart players this year."