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Shandong Heroes vs Beijing Royal Fighters | China CBA – Oct. 28, 2021
Shandong and Beijing met for the second time this season after Shandong managed to win the first h2h game 105:93 in the season opener. Both teams were exchanging baskets at the start of the game, but in the middle of the first half, Shandong opened up a big lead and never looked back. Today, Beijing has an excellent chance of getting revenge and upsetting their opponents who haven´t been playing at their old level.
So far, Shandong has been playing without any imports. As mentioned, they beat Beijing and two other lowly opponents Nanjing and Jilin but lost against powerhouses Guangsha and Liaoning. What is concerning is that in both of those games, they looked hopeless and outmatched from the start losing with big margins in the end. Their fans are very sceptical about this season as they have been performing well below their level from last season.
Their former star player and MVP Ding Yanyuhang returned after recovering from a knee injury for three full years. After signing a contract with the Dallas Mavericks, his degenerative knee issues became a problem because of the higher intensity of play in the NBA. He suffered a career-ending injury, but after three long years, he came back this season to help out his old CBA team. His minutes have been limited so far, but he is still helpful because of his 3-point shooting. However, he can´t attack the rim like before, so if his shots are not falling, his team will have a very tough time beating any opponent.
In their last game against Jilin, Shandong suffered two injuries which could be very costly until their star American import Lester Hudson arrives. Starting center Jiao Hailong and important role player Liu Guancen had to leave the court in the game against Jilin after picking up injuries. It is still unknown how long they will be out, but most recent reports suggest they certainly won´t be able to play against Beijing today.
In the first game against Shandong, Beijing was without the help of their import center Isaac Haas and role player Wang Shaojie. Both of them are now available as Beijing has been playing well lately and looked like serious playoff contenders. Coached by their former star player Stephon Marbury they can upset any team in the league on a good day.
Their chances in today´s game unexpectedly increased with Shandong´s recent injuries. Relying on only domestic players, in the first h2h game they did not look all that bad until aforementioned Ding started hitting threes, which got the game out of hand quickly. Today the situation is much different. Beijing has a longer and stronger roster in comparison to that game, while Shandong will be without two players who average 10-15 ppg game and have an efficiency rating of +15.
A very interesting game in which Beijing has to try to take advantage of their opposition´s absences. Shandong´s recent performances have been subpar, while Beijing looked well-organized and efficient with their new American reinforcement in the frontcourt.
This game should be completely different compared to the first one. We feel that the bookmakers are underestimating Beijing. With their overall quality and current form, they should be able to stay competitive until the end and cover the spread.
Pick: Beijing Royal Fighters (+4.5)
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