Article written on the website Asia Basket
The CBA season is in its homestretch, as there are about 8 games to go, plus or minus for each team. Clearly Guangdong is the top team, as they have amassed a 4 game lead on surprise 2nd place Dongguan, who started the season 0-4, Beijing who was red hot at 14-0, have now lost 8 of their last 9, and are feeling the effects of injuries, especially at the guard position. Marbury is putting the team on his back, but can not do it himself clearly, as the loss Hsueh-Lin Lee, has really had a negative impact on the team.
Xinjiang who made a huge offseason splash when they signed former #1 pick, Kenyon Martin, has stumbled to a 11-10 record and in danger of missing the playoffs. Their biggest nemesis, was a preseason injury to star shooting guard Quincy Douby, and it is now showing in the standings. A team that started out with Martin and Douby is now closing the season with Tim Pickett and Gani Lawal, as Martin was jettisoned back to the states, and Douby suffered a season ending injury before playing a regular season game. This team however, still boasts a deep and talented roster of Chinese players, and could make a surprise run if they are to able to sneak into the playoffs, and avoid a 1st round matchup with Guangdong, who have NBA big man James Singleton who last season along with Douby led Xinjiang to a 32-1 record, before falling to Gaungdong in the CBA finals. Singleton now shares the floor with NBA guard Aaron Brooks, and the familiar cast of Chinese stars, on Guangdong. Singleton is having a better all around season statistically and it is showing on the floor.
Dongguan, who has been the hottest team in the league, has put together a very impressive run, as they have won 15 of their last 19, and been as impressive as any team in the league. The team is led by scoring guard Josh Akognon, and versatile big man, Shavlik Randolph.
The seasons biggest surprise has been Shanghai who before loss to Liaoning, strung together 7 straight wins. The leagues top defensive team, also is one of the teams in the league that spent the least amount of money as far as imports salaries are concerned, are led by 1st year Coach Dan Pannagio, who almost certainly will be a candidate for Coach of the year.
Qingdao has also been impressive in their turnaround, led by star combo guard Lester Hudson, who teamed with Marcus Haislip and won Guangdongs 7th CBA Championship last season. Hudson, who had a triple double in a romp over SBS Fuijian has quietly put together an MVP type season, and has his team winning and contending for a playoff position.
Shanxi Zhongyu is perhaps the most night and day team, as they tend to struggle against the leagues worse teams. They are led by arguably the top 1-2 import combo is Marcus Williams and Charles Gaines, they have the team contending for a playoff spot as well. They have the pieces in place, so a entry into the top 8 is still in the cards.
Jilin has become a dangerous team as well, since they have 3 imports, much like Qingdao, Tianjin and Fujian, but they boast the top one, in Osama Daghlas, who consistently puts up ‘import’ like numbers. Jilin is flanked by scoring machine Cartier Martin as the wing, and perennial CBA big man Jameel Watkins, who seems to have found his stride. SBS Fuijan was playing very well early but now it seems like they are sliding, as they are led by all world big man, Will McDonald, who some consider the top big man in the league and rebounding machine Zaid Abbas and shooter Anthony Roberson.
Jiangsu has been a disappointment, as they have gone from a semi finalist to in danger of not making the playoffs and joining the 3rd import lottery. They have strung up 3 wins in a row including wins vs Xinjiang, and Shanxi, and a romp over Bayi.
The best round 25 performances :
American guard Lester Hudson put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Qingdao DS, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 25.
The 27-year old player had a double-double of 41 points and 10 rebounds, while his team crushed Xinjiang F.T. (#10) with 18-point margin 115-97. The game rather meaningless between the teams, which do not have any influence on the top of the standings. Qingdao DS maintains the 11th position in Chinese CBA. Qingdao DS is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 11-13 record. In the team’s last game Hudson had a remarkable 75.0% from 2-point range and got nine three-pointers out of 15 attempts. He turned to be Qingdao DS’s top player in his first season with the team. Former University of Tennessee at Martin star has very solid stats this year. Hudson is in league’s top in points (2nd best: 32.8ppg), assists (2nd best: 6.8apg) and averages impressive 3.1spg and 55.1% FGP.
The second best player in last round’s games was 29-year old American David Harrison of TianJin R.. Harrison had a very good evening with a double-double of 31 points and 15 rebounds. Bad luck as TianJin R. lost that game 102-119 to the higher-ranked Shanxi Zh. (#8). TianJin R. is still in a red zone at 16th spot in the standings. 17 lost games are too many comparing to just seven victories TianJin R. managed to get this year. Harrison is a newcomer at TianJin R., but is already one of team’s top players.
Third on the list of top players last round was American forward Marcus Haislip of Foshan (#17). Haislip got into 30-points club by scoring 31 points in the last round. He went also for fourteen rebounds . Despite Haislip’s great performance Foshan lost 109-111 to the higher-ranked DongGuan L. (#2). But his team cannot count on just a single shooter as he also needs help of the other teammates. Foshan can only dream about fighting for top spots in the league. They have extremely bad season and 6-17 record places them at the very bottom of the standings. Too bad for Haislip he does not play for a better team. But maybe if he did, his season stats would not be that high. Haislip has a very solid season. In 19 games in China he scored 18.5ppg. He also has 6.7rpg and FGP: 57.0%.
Other top performing players last week:
4. Josh Boone (208-F/C-84) of Zhejiang C. – 26 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists
5. Stephon Marbury (187-G-77) of Beijing Ducks – 24 points, 4 rebounds and 10 assists
6. Charles Gaines (201-F-81) of Shanxi Zh. – 26 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists
7. Marcus Douthit (210-C/F-80) of Foshan – 25 points and 11 rebounds
8. Marcus Williams (201-F/G-86) of Shanxi Zh. – 31 points and 5 rebounds
9. Will McDonald (211-C-79) of Fujian XX – 30 points and 8 rebounds
10. Peter John Ramos (222-C-85) of Guangsha L. – 18 points, 22 rebounds and 2 assists