To say Mike Harris is experienced when it comes to Chinese basketball would be a huge understatement. The American forward has been in and around the CBA since 2006, when he burst onto the scene with the Shenzhen Leopards, who were then based in Dongguan. A little while later, he was in the NBA, playing for the Houston Rockets and alongside Yao Ming himself. A couple of years after that, Harris was playing for a newly retired Yao, when the later took over his hometown Shanghai Sharks team and brought in Harris as one of the key rebuilding blocks. Continue reading “Mike Harris Gears Up For Well-Deserved Title Shot”
A quick burst of obvious news from this week; a bear defecated in the woods, the Pope attended Mass and Greg Oden is out with injury. Only one of those stories affects a basketball team in China but the ongoing situation surrounding the former number one draft pick remains potent and could turn ugly at any second. Continue reading “Greg Oden Injury Woes Continue To Blight Jiangsu”
The fourth and final part of our monster CBA preview is in the books. The new season is almost upon us but not before we break down the final five teams. Xinjiang are once again a monster, Sichuan could be a real problem for everyone whilst Qingdao, Tianjin and Zhejiang all have undergone big roster changes. Continue reading “Breaking Down The CBA Season: Part Four”
The last time anyone heard from Von Wafer, he was almost sparking riots during a play-off game in Shandong province. Back then, the American was playing for the Shanxi Dragons and was seen as the central instigator in a series of scuffles between his team and the Qingdao Eagles, including one incident that lead to a Qingdao player being punched in the nuts. Continue reading “The Von Wafer Redemption Tour Begins in Changzhou”
In an increasingly guard driven league, it is important to remember that an overseas power forward or center is absolutely critical to a CBA team. A good big man tends to solve many problems overnight and a middling franchise can often upgrade its front court with just one phone call to the right player.
Liaoning Leopards vs. Beijing Ducks
Is Liaoning, the team that always flatters to deceive, about to finally fulfill its destiny and win a CBA title? This will be the fifth time the Leopards have made the championship series but not since the mid 1990’s (when the team made three consecutive Finals) have Liaoning looked this good. They have a proven scorer and ball handler in Lester Hudson, a very useful big man that gets it down down low and shooters that space the floor and knock down their shots at a high clip. Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops CBA Play-Off Preview: Finals”
Guangdong Tigers (1) vs Beijing Ducks (3)
Shit, as they say, is about to get very real. It only took three games for Beijing to walk straight through Jilin (and its also worth stressing that the starters were rested for the second half of the final game) whilst Guangdong needed four attempts to put a plucky but outmatched Dongguan to the sword. Ultimately though, things went as expected and the holders of the last combined eight CBA titles will now face off for the third time in the last four years. Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops CBA Play-Off Preview: Semi Finals”
It’s that time of year again, folks. The CBA play-offs are in full swing and with Shanxi involved in the mix, this can only mean one thing; absolutely massive brawls. Now longtime readers of this blog will know that the Dragons are the closest thing China has to the Oakland Raiders. Indeed, the last time they were in the play-offs, their fans rioted at least once and during one road game at Shanghai, a Shanxi assistant coach in his fifties heckled the entire Sharks arena and beckoned for particularly irate fans to climb over the railings and do something about it. But this time around, Shanxi may have painted their masterpiece. You’ve got brawling with players, fans coming down from the stands and a second mob of pissed off supporters waiting outside. There really is something for everyone in this encounter.
Shark Fin Hoops: Guangdong (3) – Dongguan (0); Liaoning (3) – Guangsha (0); Qingdao (3) – Shanxi (2); Beijing (3) – Jilin (1).
Chinese Sport Review’s David Yang: Guangdong (3) – Dongguan (0); Liaoning (3) – Guangsha (2); Qingdao (3) – Shanxi (1); Beijing (2) – Jilin (3).
One World Sport’s CBA Play by Play Announcer Scott Greene: Guangdong (3) – Dongguan (0); Liaoning (3) – Guangsha (0); Qingdao (3) – Shanxi (2); Beijing (3) – Jilin (1).
One World Sport’s CBA Play by Play Announcer Keith Irizary: Guangdong (3) – Dongguan (0); Liaoning (3) – Guangsha (0); Qingdao (2) – Shanxi (3); Beijing (3) – Jilin (1).
Basketball Buddha’s Nick Bedard: Guangdong (3) – Dongguan (0); Liaoning (3) – Guangsha (1); Qingdao (3) – Shanxi (2); Beijing (3) – Jilin (1).
Shot Suey’s Marco Catanzaro: Guangdong (3) – Dongguan (2); Liaoning (3) – Guangsha (2); Qingdao (1) – Shanxi (3); Beijing (2) – Jilin (3).
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”