Having had several days rest, the Sharks will be travelling to the far north of the country with the hope of winning only their second road game of the season against a woeful Jilin side that have done little to impress anyone this year.
The Tigers are historically very bad but still enjoy a decent advantage playing in their remote Changchun home. Last season, Osama Dahglas scored a triple-double against Shanghai when the Sharks came to visit and travelling this far into the sticks is always a tricky task for most sides in the league.
In 2012/13, the much travelled Dewarrick Spencer is the main man for the Tigers and a season average of 28.1/6.3/3.9 is a solid body of work but also underlines how critical the guard is to Jilin. Samuel Hoskin (20.6 ppg, 10.4rpg) is the home side’s second option but other than the two experienced Americans and possibly Zhang Biao chipping in down low, there is little for Jilin to scare people with.
With little coverage on Liu Wei and Gilbert Arenas’ health, this game is not as clear-cut as it seems. If one or both men were back for Sunday night, I would pick Shanghai but whether back-up point guard Ge Yong is ready to lead the team away from home in a must-win game remains to be seen. Hopefully the Sharks medical team can work their magic because the visitors badly need this win.