At the worst possible time (or depending who you are talking to, the best), JR Smith and the Zhejiang Bulls are riding into town. Like their provincial neighbours, the Guangsha Lions, the Bulls are in panic mode, having lost a couple of games they shouldn’t have and flailing about trying to make it to the postseason. The visitors arrive at the Yuanshen with a 4-10 record on the road and have leaked 104ppg in their travels away from Yiwi, while the Sharks, now in seventh place, can take a sizable step towards the playoffs with a win today. Lose, and it the dream could be done for this season. Everything is poised on a knife-edge. Continue reading “Scouting Report: Zhejiang Bulls”
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”
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…
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.
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”