The Shanghai Sharks, once again missing Liu Wei and Gilbert Arenas, were mercilessly routed by a confident home team who knew they were going to win the second they could get both their overseas players on the court together. PJ Ramos scored 29 points in the rout as Shanghai were blown away in humiliating fashion.
Spacing the court well throughout the first half, the Lions either looked to set-up the 7″4 Ramos for some easy lay-ups or alternatively found men in the corners to get the damage done from long-range. It was simple but brutally effective and when Ramos came off, 7″1 Wang Zheng came in and Gary Forbes either picked off treys or charged into the space created by Wang for close range baskets.
Shanghai- to their credit, fought hard- particularly in the first half but simply found themselves outmatched. Ge Yang had a good game on offense as he scored a season high 22 points but his ball handling ability were at times lacking as he overplayed several passes and at times seemed nervous in the face of Guangsha pressure.
DJ White once again had a solid outing and a statline of 22/12/3 still doesn’t reflect the effort he showed as he relentlessly charged into the paint despite knowing that Guangsha’s gigantic centres were ready and waiting for him. A couple of powerful dunks underlined his committment to the cause but it wasn’t going to be enough on its own.
As the game went on, things simple kept on getting worse for Shanghai. Forbes- who came tantalizingly close to a triple double thanks to his 26 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists, was the key in the second quarter and he ruthlessly exploited any gaps he could find in the Sharks’ defense.
The Domican swingman was the silk to the steel of Ramos, who continued to make his baskets from under the rim despite the best efforts of Shanghai’s bigs. Moreover, when he wasn’t dropping in lay-ups, he was talking to anyone who would listen. He and White enjoyed a continuous conversation throughout the fourth quarter and the Puerto Rican giant was also keen to whisper in the ear of Zhang Zhaoxu as the game drifted away. It was hard to tell what was being said but it probably wasn’t about the weather.
In the end, it was a classic Hangzhou victory. Give the ball to the foreigners and get out the way. It wasn’t innovative but it still helped yield an easy victory. It also ends the Sharks’ extremely faint hopes of making the playoffs.