By: Jay Yeomans
Published: November 16, 2018
A unique defensive approach and a role coming off the bench wasn’t enough to slow down Jimmer Fredette who led the Shanghai Sharks to a 113-101 win over the Sichuan Blue Whales on Friday.
Despite going scoreless in the first quarter – he took one shot – Fredette carried the Sharks offense with a game-high 36 points on 14-for-24 shooting from the field, including 6-for-12 from beyond the arc and 2-for-2 at the foul line. He also handed out eight assists, gathered six rebounds and collected four steals in 42 minutes on the floor.
The Blue Whales appeared to have some answers for the high-powered offense of Fredette as they employed a match-up zone to key on one of the elite scorers in the CBA. In fact, it slowed down Fredette and the Sharks for the first quarter as they raced out to a 10-point lead.
But once Fredette and fellow import, Luis Scola took the floor together, the strategy fell apart as the pair took it to the Blue Whales in the middle two quarters as the Sharks snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 8-4 on the season.
Fredette really turned on the offense in the second quarter with 15 big points as Shanghai outscored Sichuan 34-21 to take a three-point lead into the halftime.
Fredette kept things going from inside and out in the second half with 21 points as the Sharks held off the high-scoring American duo of Jason Thompson and Jamaal Franklin to take home the win.
The Jimmer Watch YouTube channel shared highlights of the game.
Jimmer had plenty of help in the win as four other Sharks scored in double figures, including Scola who totaled 22 points to go along with 14 rebounds and three steals in 28 minutes.
Liu Wei added 14 points and five helpers while Zhang Zhaoxu chipped in with 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field with seven rebounds for the strong Sharks bench unit who outscored the Blue Whales 65-24 in the come-from-behind victory.
Thompson paced Sichuan in the setback with 35 points, 15 rebounds and five assists while Franklin managed 21 points, nine boards and six helpers in 39 minutes.
On the season, Fredette is averaging 37.7 points a night on 52.8 percent shooting from the field, 47 percent from 3-point land and 95.8 percent from the foul line. He also chips in with 5.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists and a league-leading 3.9 steals in 41.3 minutes a contest.
Up next for Fredette and the Sharks is a tough battle with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers who have also started out the season with an 8-4 record. Some players to watch for the Flying Tigers are Darius Adams and former Shark, Nick Minnerath.
Adams is off to a terrific start, averaging 38.8 points, 8.9 assists, 7.8 rebounds and 3.0 steals in 43.5 minutes while Minnerath put up 11 points and five boards in his first appearance of the season after replacing Al Jefferson in the lineup.