Shanghai Sharks move on to another game on the road, this time against the team with the least imposing name in the CBA, the Fujian Sturgeons.
Based in Jinjiang, a city that sounds about as much fun as being stuck in a traffic jam on the way to a meeting you know will be long and boring, the Sturgeons have had a mostly inconsistent season that will see them going into Sunday’s game with a 4-5 record (3-2 at home).
Having finished with an 8-24 record last year, Fujian have brought in the Dr Fix-it of the CBA, Zaid Abbas, who as noted in Niubball’s excellent review of the various CBA teams, has been the a big factor in both his two former sides improving on their dire record from the previous season. Joining the Jordanian in his quest to help improve the Sturgeons from ‘terrible’ to ‘below-par’, are journeymen Will McDonald, a veteran of the Spanish leagues and guard, Anthony Roberson, who has variously played in Italy, Israel, France as well as in the NBA (he had spells with the Knicks and Golden State Warriors).
Baring the occasional flurry from Gong Songlin, Fujian play primarily through their trio of imports but that’s still enough to cause the Sharks problems. That said, compared to Guangdong and Dongguan, this is a less difficult away game and Shanghai would have fancied their chances with a full strength line-up but with Liu Wei out, Mike Harris and RFK can’t carry the team by themselves meaning that the Sharks will need a big night from Zhang Zhaoxu or a bench player to help move the scoreboard along. It’s a big ask but right now everything is a big ask away from Shanghai…