The Lions, though traditionally inept (in the previous three seasons, the Lions have a 29/98 record), have been on a bit of a hot streak recently, winning their last three games against Qingdao, Shandong and Foshan. Indeed, round 16’s 108-93 blow-out win against the Dralions was their first away win of the season and now the ‘Golden Lions’ have pulled away from the basement of the CBA with a 5-10 record (1-7 on the road).
Their main threat will be Donell Harvey (22.4 ppg/13.5rpg), who had a five-year spell in the NBA with a number of teams, most notably the Denver Nuggets. The swingman has had two previous seasons in China (with the Jiangsu Dragons between 2008-2010) before moving to Bosnia to play for KK Igokea. Lebanese point guard, Rony Fahed (17.6 ppg) will also require some attention as will small forward, Zhang Nan (15.8 ppg).
Even at the start of the season, the Sharks will have looked at the CBA fixture list and drawn a big red line under this one. Tianjin have historically been a weaker team than the Sharks and this is a game that the Sharks must win if they are to move up the table. This is an middling team with seemingly little support from the bench and a poor record on the road. If the Sharks want to prove its critics wrong, they need to handle their business at home on Wednesday night.