I really hope you noticed the allegory of having happy and winning players/teams being photographed for all the part 1s and frustrated players/coaches beating each other or yelling at refs for part 2s (even though this time I have picked an image coming from a Beijing game, but it was too good to pass up).
Ok, I’m sorry, let’s pick up where we left off and go for the bottom half: part 2, mid-january edition, let’s get started!
We’re almost there: 31 games gone, 7 to go as this regular season gradually comes to a close. It’s basically a 9-team affair to reach the postseason. Of these, Liaoning and Guangdong are already in, Qingdao should be ok and Beijing are just a handful of yards away from touchdown. Shanxi and Guangsha need to make sure they keep their fast pace, but they’re in a pretty satisfying place to be. Xinjiang, Jilin and Guangdong are, conversely, in a hot seat.
Just for part 1, today, I will add key players for every of these 9 teams who are still contending for something (be it the title or a postseason berth). It’s not strictly going to be the best player, but the player who really could influence his team’s destinies.
Good to be back after a holiday break (differently from the league, ironically), sad to say goodbye to Jamaal Franklin, big guard who was dominating in Guangsha and is being replaced by Kevin Murphy. Too soon, however, to understand where and how the Lions will differ (or not) with the former Jazz guard, thus my decision to avoid discussing it in this edition of our weekly “se son rose…”.