Part three of the CBA preview is a go! Today, we’ll evaluate the Jiangsu Tongxi Monkey Kings, Liaoning Leopards, Shanxi Dragons, Shandong Bulls and Shanghai Sharks and see whether improvement is in their path or if there will be some disappointment once the season is over. Part One and Part Two can still be read here. Continue reading “Breaking Down the CBA 2015/16 Season: Part Three”
On the flip side of the fourth quarter rule that now allows only one import on the court at any time, many things have changed in the CBA. Now there are ‘import no. 1’ and ‘import no. 2’ statuses, a seldom-before-seen hierarchy for foreigners and a distinctly fresh flavor to the Chinese free agency market. It seems teams have also gotten wise to the need to balance out their rosters. One only has to look at thrice-time champions Beijing– whose wisely built roster allows homegrown players like Li Gen and Sun Yue to thrive without not taking numbers away from Randolph Morris and Stephon Marbury– to realize how successful this special blend actually is. Continue reading “Keeping Up With The Zhou’s: CBA Teams Looking To Get Local Assets.”
Its play-off time in the Chinese Basketball Association, which, to the league’s credit, has become more and more exciting with every season. This year, it’s an interesting mix between old hands like Guangdong, Beijing and Xinjiang and new faces like Qingdao and Jilin. The structure is fairly simple; 1st vs. 8th, 2nd vs 7th and so on, until the two remaining teams from both sides of the eight seed bracket face off in a best of seven Finals. Games start on Febuary 6th but it makes sense to first break down who is in the postseason and how they might fare.
#1 Seed: Guangdong Tigers (34-4)
For the fourth season in a row, the Tigers have finished the regular season atop of the standings. But this time around, they finished with their best ever record in the modern CBA era and won twenty-six games in a row. After initially deciding that they wanted to get younger with Emmanuel Mudiay, now it looks like Guangdong have decided to rely on veterans. Mudiay has been watching things from the sidelines since December and in his place Will Bynum (21.4ppg, 7.4apg) handles the ball whilst Yi Jianlian (27.4ppg), Zhu Fangyu (18.9ppg including 47% from downtown) and Wang Shipeng (45% from downtown) space the floor and wait for the defense to panic. Yet the big question is still the same; can the Tigers win the title again after a period of relative inconsistency (one title in three seasons having previous won seven out of eight CBA Finals between 2004-2011)? On paper, you would say ‘of course, idiot’ but this is an older team that found themselves bested in last year’s semi-finals by a Beijing side with both street smarts AND youth on their side. A year on from that painful loss, the Tigers would once again face Beijing for the third CBA postseason in four years should both teams make it to the semi-finals and the Ducks are leading the ongoing series 2-0. If and when that scenario happens, it may well be this Guangdong roster’s Waterloo moment. Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops Indepth CBA Play-Off Preview: Quarter Finals”
With the CBA set to start on Sunday, November 1st, CBA teams are gearing up for another season of wall-to-wall basketball. Having dealt with the bottom half of the league last week, now its time to look at the teams who will be expected to compete for play-off sports and ultimately vie for the title itself.
The Shanxi Dragons have completed the retooling of their overseas roster following the acquisition of former Bobcats/Hornets and Sixers big man, BJ Mullins. The signing now means the Dragons have a pretty formidable trio of imports and Mullins will slot in well next to Zaid Abbas and Von Wafer. Continue reading “BJ Mullens Signs In Shanxi”
The Shanghai Sharks walked out of Shanxi province with a rare win at an arena they have typically struggled at, thanks in part to the sharp shooting of Von Wafer. The absence of Marcus Williams through injury certainly helped but a win is a win and the Sharks now have three of them whilst the Dragons, soon to relocate to Beijing, are on a 0-4 run and could be a ‘dead pool’ team if this run of form continues. Continue reading “Shanghai Sharks 111 – Shanxi Dragons 102: Shanghai Pull Off Smash And Grab Raid In Rare Win At Shanxi”
Liu Wei turned thirty-three in style by achieving the closest thing basketball has to a Geordie Howe hat-trick as he scored a season-high 37 points, dished out 5 assists and then squared up to Bao Zhaobao, a man almost ten years his junior and nine inches taller. Oh, and Shanghai beat their bogey team by a big margin. Continue reading “Shanghai Sharks 113 – Shanxi Dragons 102: Liu Wei Slays The Dragons In Treble Digit Romp”