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”
Five years after his last visit to the Yuanshen, Yi Jianlian made up for lost time by scoring 26 points and hauling in 12 boards as the Guangdong Tigers routed their hosts in ruthless fashion. The seven-footer was an offensive force for most of his time on the court and made a powerful statement to any teams watching him back in the NBA. Continue reading “Shanghai Sharks 72 – Guangdong Tigers 97: Yi Jianlian Crushes Shanghai As Tigers’ Winning Streak Goes On”
The Guangdong Tigers, the CBA’s dominant powerhouse for almost a decade flexed their muscles in a strong, methodical performance as they eventually nullified a feisty Shanghai Sharks team in Guangzhou. The gamble to rest overseas duo Terrence Williams and Ike Diogu for the first quarter paid off handsomely for the home side as the two imports made the most of their fresher legs to run riot at times over the visiting team. Continue reading “Guangdong Tigers 103 – Shanghai Sharks 96: Guangdong Make A Statement With All-Action Victory”
Having already played the first of their two games in Guangdong for this road trip, the Sharks are within sight of a three game home stretch starting on Friday. However, before they can get back to Shanghai, the Sharks will first have to deal with the difficult task of a road game against the Guangdong Tigers. Continue reading “Scouting Report: Guangdong Tigers (7-2)”
Its been a VERY long off-season in Shanghai since game five of the CBA playoffs against Shanxi but that obviously doesn’t mean that the Sharks’ former overseas players are sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Indeed, former Sharks forward, Mike Harris, has just finished his stint with Puerto Rican outfit Athletico San German and will now be leaving the island with some decent numbers on his CV.
Continue reading “Mike Harris Checks Out Of Puerto Rico In Style”
After a brief break to take in the madness of the CBA postseason, Edward Bothfeld is back to survey the wreckage of Fujian and Guangsha’s seasons now that they have been knocked out of the playoffs, as well as giving his thoughts on Wilson Chandler’s acrimonious departure from Hangzhou. Continue reading “Web Chat VIII: CBA Playoffs And More Wilson Chandler Shenanigans”
With the CBA playoffs about to start on Wednesday, the Shanghai Daily’s Alex Linder (who went 10-10 the last time he was speculating on the Sharks’ fortunes) and Niubball’s Edward Bothfeld throw down their predictions for what should be an exciting and pretty unpredictable set of quarter-final ties.
Continue reading “CBA Postseason: Bumper Prediction Special (Edited Second Version)”