In further proof that supporting the Shanghai Sharks is bad for your health, the boys from the Yuanshen held on against a frenzied late fight back from the Jiangsu Dragons to record their second away win of the season but more impressively, have now won four out of their last five games. Coach Panaggio will be pleased with how his side kept its cool amidst the ebb and flow of gritty defense and instant fast breaks to ultimately dismantle an underperforming but still dangerous Dragons side. Continue reading “Jiangsu Dragons 96 – Shanghai Sharks 98”
Having had an extra day to rest following their overtime loss to Zhejiang Bulls, the Shanghai Sharks remain on the road but this time will be playing against the vastly underperforming Jiangsu Dragons.
Though Shanghai are hardly setting the CBA on fire, their mid table target were considerably lower than the Dragons, who had ambitions of making the play-offs once again following a successful 19-12 finish last season. Instead the team from Nanjing find themselves in free fall and currently sit at the bottom of the table with a 3-10 record along with the Tianjin Lions.
This was not part of the plan for a side who were semi-finalists in last year’s tournament. The team have already released one set of overseas players, Marty Collins and Dan Gadzuric, and retooled their line-up with Marcus Williams and Jackson Vroman, but this has still not helped the situation and the Dragons have lost their last three games.
Shanghai will arrive as guests against a side whose overal record is terrible but do have a 3-5 record when playing infront of their home crowd. That said, the Sharks have won three out of the last four games as well as pushing a championship contender all the way before running out of gas in overtime.
Jiangsu’s yet-to-settle Americans duo of Vroman and Williams will be dangerous, as will the willy trio of Hu Xuefeng, Meng Da and Li Yi but the Sharks must show their ruthless streak against a side that have clearly lost their way so far this season. The Sharks could be considered the favorite for this game and now have to play like it against a disorientated side that are here for the taking
Both JR Smith and Wilson Chandler have stated that nethier will be backing out of their CBA contracts should the NBA lock-out resolve itself before the Chinese league finishes in 2012. Chandler, who is effectively the new king of East China following an impressive pre-season tournament where he continually scored big, is easily the most hyped basketball player in the country right now.
Smith, who picked up a double in his last game (thirty points with ten rebounds) and won the previous one with a buzzer beating three, is also enjoying a happy honeymoon with his new fan base, and has begin posting from his Weibo account (in China, facebook and twitter are blocked and in their place are Chinese alturnatives that mimic the aforementioned social network sites)
Fosham’s Gerald Greene continues to garner a lot of love, based largely on his dunking exploits, and it appears that Chinese basketball will automatically go through withdrawl symptoms if Green’s victory at the Slam Dunk contest in 2007 isn’t mentioned once a sentence should his name be uttered.
Kenyon Martin on the other hand is doing less well, despite making good numbers over his pre-season games and has been variously described by bloggers as ‘blue collar’ and ‘needing time to adjust’ so sayeth google translator.
Meanwhile, Dongguan coach, Al Gore (not him) has suggusted that Fosham deliberately tanked to allow them to be able to sign more overseas players due to their low ranking. Gore goes onto argue that whilst the recruiting of big name players is important, there is obviously the danger that Chinese youngsters lose their spots to North American journeymen.
Beijing Ducks point guard and full-time eccentric Stephon Marbury has been taking time off from playing due to fatique but also to observe the tactics of his coach from the sidelines with a view to one day donning a suit and incohieriantly pointing at a clipboard himself.
With the league to start soon, the pick of the emerging youngsters seems to be Jiangsu Dragon’s teenage shooting-guard, Ding Yan Yu-hang, whose been getting far more looks now that attention is firmly set on recently arrived, former Milwaukee Bucks centre, Dan Gadzuric.
The ongoing NBA lockout has understandably been a massive coup to other basketball leagues around the world, who have invited a number of its currently unpaid players for a spot of moonlighting in a variety of interesting locations. Deron Williams is in Turkey, Tony Parker and Rudy Fernandez are turning up for teams in their native France and Spain, and players from the basketball’s most lucrative league can be found plying their trade in Israel, Russia, Brazil, Poland, South Korea, Slovenia, Serbia, Lithuania and Montenegro to name but a few.
China has also got in on the act but with a crucial difference. Though the NBA lock-out allows for players to play for other teams, the majority of the players playing overseas have opt-out clauses in these invariably year-long contracts that will allow them to return to the NBA if and when the labour dispute ends. China on the other hand is taking a firm line with teams in the CBA reaching out to NBA players, insisting that only free agents can be signed, all of whom will be expected to fulfill the duration of their CBA contracts. Continue reading “The NBA Lockout and What It Means To Chinese Basketball”