Breaking Down the CBA 2015/16 Season: Part Three

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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”

The Von Wafer Redemption Tour Begins in Changzhou

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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”

Wild Scenes As Shanxi Brawl With Qingdao Players, Fans And Anyone Else Who Wants Some (Edit)

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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.

Continue reading “Wild Scenes As Shanxi Brawl With Qingdao Players, Fans And Anyone Else Who Wants Some (Edit)”

Shark Fin Hoops Indepth CBA Play-Off Preview: Quarter Finals

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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.

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#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”

Von Wafer Released Following Injury

For the third consecutive season, the Sharks’ season has been thrown into chaos following the injury to a star American guard. Two years ago, it was Ryan Forehan-Kelly then Gilbert Arenas’ infamous problems with his groin in 2012 and now Von Wafer will also be forced to end his season early following an injury if reports from Sina Sports are to be believed. Continue reading “Von Wafer Released Following Injury”