Jimmer Fredette has started out the 2017-18 campaign in very similar fashion to last year as he has put up some huge numbers for the Sharks. The only difference is the team success isn’t going along with it.
The same thing happened on Thursday as Fredette had another big performance in a loss as the Sharks fell to the Guangdong Southern Tigers 102-87. In the defeat, Fredette totaled 33 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals in 40:18 of action.
After struggling to find the range in the first half, Fredette went off in the third quarter with 15 points, two rebounds and a pair of assists as he tried to keep the Sharks within striking distance. He started the third-quarter barrage by coming off a down screen and draining a three from the top of the key. The same play worked a couple of possessions later with the same result as he buried the deep three. After a pick-and-pop assist to Nick Minnerath who drained another three, Fredette showed off his handles as he used a sick crossover to free up a lane to get to the hole for a lay-up. He got to the lane twice more late in the quarter where he finished at the rim with another lay-up and a floater. He also drilled another 3-point shot on a perfectly delivered pass as the Sharks cut the deficit to six in the final minute of the third.
Fredette picked up where he left off in the fourth, but not before the Southern Tigers used a run to push the lead back to double figures. He nailed a corner three to push he total to 28 points before adding a lay-up. He connected on another 3-pointer moments later as he used a pump fake to clear some space before drilling the wing jumper. From then on, he went cold as the Sharks couldn’t keep pace with the balanced offensive attack presented by Guangdong.
Minnerath was the only other player for the Sharks to score in double figures finishing with 30 points on the strength of 4-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc. He added eight rebounds and a block in 30:42.
The Southern Tigers were led by Jianlian Yi who totaled 22 points and 17 rebounds and Rui Zhao who totaled 22 points and 12 boards.
Andrew Nicholson also finished with a double-double for the Southern Tigers with 21 points and 10 boards.
On the season, Fredette is averaging 32 points on 42.7 percent shooting from the floor, including 40.5 percent from 3-point land to go along with 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.3 steals in 40.6 minutes a night.
Up next for Fredette and the Sharks is a matchup on Sunday with the Shanxi Brave Dragons. The Brave Dragons are 2-1 on the season after a 129-117 win over Tiajin on Friday.
Two familiar faces for Shanxi are former NBA players Luis Scola and Brandon Jennings. Scola leads the way with 33.5 points, 14 rebounds and 4.5 assists a game while Jennings is putting up 27 points, 9.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds.