Andray Blatche and The Xinjiang Tigers; A Culture Of Chaos At China’s Richest Basketball Team

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Far away from the world’s eyes, the Xinjiang Tigers have existed in Chinese sport as a monolith for how one should absolutely not run a professional team. Fickle, slick and shameless; if there is talent for sale, the Tigers are picking up the phone and asking how much. Now Andray Blatche has even chosen Xinjiang over the NBA. Those numbers again, folks; three years, $7.5 million and the chance to be the most prominent athlete for a thousand mile in any direction.

Continue reading “Andray Blatche and The Xinjiang Tigers; A Culture Of Chaos At China’s Richest Basketball Team”

Heads Look Set To Roll At Panicking Xinjiang

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The oft used quote that those who don’t learn from their history are only doomed to repeat it seems particularly apt in Xinjiang right now. The Tigers, forever looking to win their first ever CBA title, once again broke out the checkbook early on in the year to build up star-studded line-up. Liu Wei, Cao Fei, Zhou Qi, Jordan Crawford and Andray Blatche all arrived at the start of the year and yet the team is 9-4 when they were expecting to be 13-0. The reality is that in the industrial city of Urumqi, it is title or bust and their constantly anxious fan base is now once again calling for something to be done to get the team back on track. Continue reading “Heads Look Set To Roll At Panicking Xinjiang”

Shark Fin Hoops CBA Preseason Power Rankings: 11 – 20

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With the Chinese Basketball Association starting on November 1st, basketball in the country is starting to slowly come back to life. By now teams have filled their rosters with free agents from both inside and outside of China and its now probably the best time to assess the quality of each of the twenty teams in the newly expanded league. This of course being China, fortunes can change very quickly for some organizations depending on the overseas players they brought in (or didn’t) and which local players managed to improve over the summer break. In the first of two segments, its time to look at the bottom half of the league based on the information that’s been available for much of the last couple of months. Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops CBA Preseason Power Rankings: 11 – 20”

Foreigners And The Fourth Quarter; Making Sense Of The New CBA Rule Change

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Consider it official. After a lot of speculation, the Chinese Basketball Association will once again change its rules about the participation of foreign players in the league as it looks to shift the league away from American hero ball and towards a style of play that will involve local players more often.

Previously, teams were allowed to play both their foreigners for a combined six quarters, meaning each split a quarter in the first half and then play for the whole of the second. Under new proposals that will be applied with immediate effect, only one foreigner will be allowed to play for the fourth quarter. Both foreigners will be able to play but they will have to sub out for one-another. Continue reading “Foreigners And The Fourth Quarter; Making Sense Of The New CBA Rule Change”

Zhejiang Bulls 89 – Shanghai Sharks 86

 

The Sharks came remarkably close to overcoming the odds yet again but instead yet down in flames after a display of tenacious defending ultimately wasn’t enough to nullify JR Smith. The former Denver Nugget eventually managed to do enough damage to lead his side to victory over a Shanghai team that took Zhejiang Bulls all the way into overtime before the home side finished the game on top. Continue reading “Zhejiang Bulls 89 – Shanghai Sharks 86”

Scouting Report: Zhejiang Bulls

The Sharks, having on their first away game of the season against Bayi Rockets, now journey to Yiwu for a tricky tie against the Zhejiang Bulls, who obviously made the headlines in the summer with their acquisition of former Denver Nuggets man, JR Smith.

Zhejiang are currently holding an 8-4 record overall, but are 4-2 at home after defeats by Beijing and Shandong.
Standing in the way of the Sharks winning an improbable fourth game-in-a-row will be the suddenly in-form JR SMith. The American was initially criticised for a low-scoring couple of games which he argued was more team orientated than lazy. Since then, Smith has burst into life and put up a couple scores in the high forties and fifties. Having had an unsettled start to the season, Smith has finally found his groove and has spent the last few weeks mercilessly dunking on opponents electrifying the league in general. The forward is lethal driving to the rim but is also averaging almost 50% from three-point range meaning that the Sharks will be weary of backing off against the American.

Josh Boone will also have to be kept under wraps if the Sharks are to do well. The former New Jersey Net kept the team ticking along whilst Smith found his mojo and will be more than happy to put up a decent score if he isn’t shown the appropriate respect by whoever is marking him. On the defnesive side of the game, Boone is averaging 11 rebounds a game highlighting his importance of both sides of the court.

Cao Fei and Ding Jinhui are also threats to the the Sharks, particularly in front of their homecrowd in Yiwu. The Bulls have put up at least 93 points at home this season and when they get going, can’t be stopped without maximium effort.

With Kelly recovering from his injury quicker than expected and Tseng seemingly a day or two away, Shanghai have a fighitng chance but this is a very decent team that the Sharks are about to play. I would be shocked if the Sharks did the dirty on the Bulls but its posible, but it would need some clinical shooting and being hard on defence at the same time. A tall order indeed…

CBA Round Up: Round 3

Xinjiang Tigers 111 – Bayi Rockets 92

Patrick Mills made 28 points including two three-pointers whilst Kenyon Martin made a low-key 12 points but with 12 rebounds and 4 assists as Xinjiang overcame boo-hiss military bad boys, Bayi. Mengke Bateer also got 19 points with 5 rebounds and 5 assists as the Tigers made short work of their opposition, who committed 23 turnovers over the course of the game.

Zhejiang Bulls 113-98 Fujian Sturgons

Once again, Josh Boone was the man for Zhejiang, making 17-19 from the floor as the Bulls eased past Fujian with JR Smith putting up 20 points and four assists in another under-the-radar performance .

Anthony Robson made 45 points for Fujian including 7 three-pointers and 6 rebounds in feisty performance that kept the score respectable but ultimately the game belong to Zhejiang who did what they needed to do infront of their home fans.

Other Standout Results

  • Lester Hudson continued to be unstoppable, this time putting up a whopping 50 points for Qingdao, who still managed to lose to Jilin 104-101.
  • Marty Collins scored 28, Hu Xuefeng got 20 and Yi Li made 22 as part of a solid team performance with Jiangsu beating a determined Dongguan Guangdong outfit that committed 22 team fouls. Josh Akognon made 25 points himself for the Leopards but Jiangsu picked up their first win of the season.
  • The reigning champions, Guangdong, lost their first game of the season and obviously Stephon Marbury has some fun in proceedings, making 18 points and dishing out 8 assists to boot. Ji Zhe and Zhu Yanxi also made 18 points as the Ducks did the business in a somewhat unexpected victory against Guangdong, 104-92.
  • Wilson Chandler put on another show, assembling a double-double that consisted of 42 points and 10 rebounds to give the his team something to smile about after a loss on the road to Shandong, 97-89. Othello Hunter’s own double-double of 27 points and nineteen rebounds, plus Sun Jie’s three-point laden 24 was key for the Dragons, who improve to 3-0.
 Round 3 Results
Zhejiang 113-98 Fujian
Shandong 97-89 Guangsha
Foshan 102-98 Shanghai
Tianjin 93-76 Liaoning
Guangdong 92-104 Beijing
Jiangsu 103-96 Dongguan
Jilin 104-101 Qingdao
Xinjiang, 111-92 Bayi

CBA Round Up: Round 2

Zhejiang Bulls 101 – Dongguan Leopards 73

J.R. Smith turned in a workmanlike performance as Zhejiang Bulls did away with Dongguan Leopards 101-73. Josh Boone put up 24 points including a couple of crowd pleasing dunks, and 13 rebounds,  whilst Smith, now returned from his brief elopement to Beijing scored a modest 15 points plus five assists and six rebounds.

Forward Cao Fei also got in on the act, scoring 21 points and the Bulls can be pleased with a clinical dismantling of a Dongguan side that posed little threat to Zhejiang attempts to get their opening win of the season at the second time of asking. Continue reading “CBA Round Up: Round 2”