The visit of the Foshan Dralions on Wednesday is a chance for the Sharks to get their revenge against the side that defeated them back in November thanks to an improbably brilliant performance from Gerald Green. The former Boston guard dragged his side back from the brink of defeat with an electrifying performance of booming dunks and big threes in a game that began Shanghai’s early season slide into the bottom of the table.
Now at 10-8, the Sharks have recovered to the point where a play-off place is still attainable. Foshan, on the other hand, are currently second from bottom in the table with a 5-12 record, having lost three games in a row since their upset victory of the Beijing Ducks in Round 14. Their much hyped foreign import, Green, is gone and the team has the second worst defense in the league with a 104 ppg average.
Predictably, the main offensive thrust will come via Foshan’s towering overseas imports, Marcus Douthit and Marcus Haslip, who are averaging 20.8 and 19.4 ppg respectively, although there is seemingly little else to write home about in the Dralions dressing room.
On paper, the Sharks should be able to take care of the Dralions (2-8 record on the road) with or without the injured Ryan Forehan Kelly. However, losing a key player will be a blow to the side’s moral, and Foshan had the stuff to beat the last high-flying team that were not focused enough. Coach Panaggio will have to ensure that his side are switched on from the first play of the game to keep their team’s winning streak going.