Guangsha Lions 88 – Shanghai Sharks 94; A Second Perspective

Niubball man, Edward Bothfeld is back, this time with a look at the Sharks’ unlikely victory over Guangsha from a Lions fan’s perspective

The Guangsha Lions entered Sunday’s match-up against Shanghai in a rut. They had lost two of their last three with their lone victory coming on a buzzer beater. One more loss and their recent play would send the Guangsha loyals into a full-fledged panic. Shanghai, on the other hand, is in a transition period. After losing Ryan Forehan-Kelly to a season-ending Achilles injury last week, newly signed Marcus Landry would be making his debut.

Prior to the game, he certainly seemed like he just got off the plane, “I have only been here for two days. I’m looking forward to gelling into the system. I’m not sure yet if I’m starting, we’ll find out.”

Marcus Landry did start the game and helped Shanghai get out to a quick 13-2 lead. Guangsha was unable to get into an offensive rhythm early and Wilson Chandler managed only 3 first-quarter points. Coach Jim Cleamons subbed P.J. Ramos in for him with three minutes remaining (he usually waits until the quarter) in the hopes he would provide a spark. Instead, he committed turnovers on his first two possessions and the quarter ended with Shanghai leading 25-12.

Guangsha regained their sense of urgency in the second quarter behind the shooting of Jin Lipeng and energy of Lin Chih-Chieh. However, Shanghai countered with Mike Harris, who put his mid-range game on display while scoring 12 first-half points. Chandler returned for the final three minutes of the half and dished out a few assists, but Guangsha still entered half time down 40-49.

Shanghai remained the aggressor to start the second half; forcing Guangsha to commit a shot clock violation followed by a turnover on their first two possessions and scoring 7 unanswered to extend their lead to 16. Shanghai maintained their double-digit lead for the remainder of the third.

Down 16 early in the fourth and obviously frustrated, Chandler and Ramos implored their teammates to trust themselves and shoot the ball during a timeout. Guangsha’s Chinese players sometimes get in the habit of standing and watching Chandler and Ramos do all of the heavy lifting – especially when they are behind. It was too little too late; Chandler and Ramos mounted a comeback attempt on their own. After hitting a deep three, Chandler became fired up, pounding his chest and shouting. He hit another three on the next possession that brought the crowd alive and closed the gap to 72-82.

After another Chandler three (he was 4-7 from downtown on the night), the score was 82-86. But every time Guangsha got within striking distance, Mike Harris and Marcus Landry seemed to have an answer, repeatedly making crowd-silencing shots. Ultimately, Shanghai held their composure and earned a big road victory, 97-88.

After the game Shanghai’s coach praised his team, “a great win for us. I thought we did a great job defensively. I thought we contained Wilson Chandler and we played good team defense on Ramos. I told the guys before the game one might expect a letdown after a long home stand, but it was anything but that.”

Chandler led Guangsha with 23 points on only 8 of 23 shooting. Mike Harris finished with 29 points 9 rebounds, and 5 steals, while his new teammate Marcus Landry completed his debut with 12 points on 4 of 14 shooting.

“His shots will start falling when he gets more comfortable where and when he is going to get his shots,” said Sharks coach, Daniel Panaggio.

Cleamons acknowledged his team’s struggles. “The cycle we are going through now where teams are figuring out how to defend us. We’re not playing that badly, but we have to step our game up to the next level. If we don’t make the extra pass, we will continue to struggle.”

Shanghai will continue their road-trip and play Jilin on Wednesday, while Guangsha will have time to lick their wounds and make things right during a Round 23 bye.

Shanghai Sharks 94 – Guangsha Lions 88

In a gripping, pulsating match that finished 94-88, the Shanghai Sharks beat the Guangsha Lions in a gritty defensive effort that once again neutralized Wilson Chandler. A collective effort on defense paved the way for Mike Harris to once again steal the show going forward but it doesn’t matter how the game was won but rather that the Sharks improbable run of form continues.

Shanghai were ahead by a distance as early as the first quarter when the misfiring Lions offence failed to make an impact against the away side, who rebounded and chased Guangsha down at every chance they got.

With Liu Wei dictating the play every time the Sharks advanced, the away side took their chances and snuck into the second quarter up by a 25-11 margin.

Yet if Chandler was one problem for the Sharks to address, the towering center PJ Ramos was another and the Puerto Rican giant helped stretch the Shanghai defence to the extend that the dangerous Jin Lipeng had the freedom to start launching threes at the Shanghai basket.

When the sides left the court at the interval, the score line was 49-40 to the Sharks as tough defending and crisp shooting from Harris allowed to keep ahead of an increasing menacing Guangsha offense.

Though the Sharks still had the lead by a sizeable distance, the game never felt  secure and it always felt like the home side could break down the Shanghai defence if the latter lost their focus for just a second.

Yet not only did the Sharks hold their nerve, they continued to keep the scoreboard moving thanks to the constantly clutch shooting of Harris.

Somehow the Sharks were still leading the game after going ahead in the first couple of minutes and as the game slipped into the closing stages, Shanghai were content to run the clock down infront of the increasing panicked home crowd.

A win, sealed in emphatic fashion by Marcus Landry huge heave from distance, keeps the Sharks winning streak alive and also means a play off spot remains a real possibility.

Harris made a game high 29 points but the win against the Lions was pure teamwork and the Sharks will now move into their next away game against Jilin with sky high confidence.

Scouting Report: Guangsha Lions

After an epic stretch of home games, the Sharks are back on the road and this time are heading out to Hangzhou to face the Guangsha Lions, who are currently in possession of a 14-6 record. The Lions will demand respect from visiting teams, not only because of their star player, Wilson Chandler, but also because of their imposing 8-1 record when playing at the Hangzhou gymnasium. Continue reading “Scouting Report: Guangsha Lions”

Bothfeld; Guangsha Escapes With A Victory Against Shandong

The Guangsha Lions, currently sitting in 3rd place in the CBA, have cooly demonstrated they are more than just Wilson Chandler plus four guys. In a special piece, Niubball writer Edward Bothfeld reports on the side that will be waiting for them in Hangzhou, and who last night took on Shandong.

Riding an eight-game win streak into Sunday’s match up against Qingdao, the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions were third in the CBA standings and the talk of the Chinese basketball world. However, after a lethargic and disappointing loss, Guangsha needed to redeem themselves Wednesday versus Shandong.  Continue reading “Bothfeld; Guangsha Escapes With A Victory Against Shandong”