The picture shown above was the lead image of Sina Sport’s CBA coverage for most of Sunday and early Monday morning. In it, Stephon Marbury is glaring angrily at his Beijing teammate and former LA Laker, Sun Yue. Meanwhile, with both men trapped in their own private imbroglio, Shandong’s Ding Yanyuhan hangs from the rim amid the sound of a home arena rising to its feet. Few images speak this loud; few moments better incapsulate how much trouble the reigning CBA champions are in.
In a change to last season’s preview (in part because nether myself, Marco nor Patrick can decide who is going to finish where in the 2015/16 standings), this season at Shark Fin Hoops, we’re going to breakdown all twenty teams in the league, profiling who we think is going to do what. This season is arguable the most unpredictable in years, with several legitimate title contenders and a number of sides that could surprise anyone on their day. So, in the first of four parts, here is the breakdown of the Bayi Rockets, Beijing Ducks, Chongqing Dragons, Dongguan/Shenzhen Leopards and Fujian Sturgeons.
Back in 2014, the Chongqing Flying Dragons were one of two new expansion teams in the CBA and like most expansion teams, they weren’t really any good. Although they had one of the better scorers in the CBA in Willie Warren, the team sucked hard and finished bottom of the standings with a 4-32 record. Yet now the Dragons are moving to a different city less than a year after making their debut in Chongqing. Continue reading “Untapped and Unknown; Chongqing’s Relocation And The CBA’s Basketball Market”
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.”
Guangsha has been a stable playoff team in the past years, not missing the top eight since 2007. Unfortunately, with only one series won and a plethora of 0-3 losses, the squad hailing from Hangzhou seems stuck in no man’s land. Enter Jeremy Pargo, the youngest of the Pargo brothers (Jannero is currently playing for the Charlotte Hornets whilst Jeremy himself has had a few NBA stints) and a Euroleague pure scorer. Will he be the one to carry the Lions out of (high-level) mediocrity?
Never doubt the power of money, folks. The Xinjiang Tigers, barely five months after an embarrassing failure to make the CBA play-offs, have loaded up once again for a roster that looks– on paper at least– to be close to unstoppable. This is of course the Xinjiang way; win the offseason and come into the subsequent CBA campaign with everyone talking about them. Its happened many times before but this time, its especially galling. Not only have they added Li Gen, one of China’s best shooters, the Tigers have also hired Liu Quiping to act as the coach for the forthcoming campaign. Continue reading “Xinjiang Add Li Gen and Liu Qiuping; Once Again Look To Buy Title”
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”