When the semifinals of the Chinese Basketball Association open on Tuesday, one series will feature a backcourt matchup with a definite NBA feel.
The third-seeded Beijing Ducks, featuring former All-Star Stephon Marbury, will take on the top-seeded Guangdong Tigers, who have heavily featured former Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum.
Bynum arrived at midseason and, according to Sheridan Hoops, is averaging 23.5 points and 8.9 assists per game in the playoffs, combining on the pick-and-pop with another former NBA player, forward Yi Jianlian.
Marbury hasn’t been the Starbury of old lately, averaging only 15.6 points per game this postseason. The 38-year-old was at the center of a heated rivalry that has emerged between the Tigers and Ducks after Guangdong tried to injure Marbury in the 2012 finals.
Another key battle in the series is up front, where another pair of expats from the U.S., Guangdong’s Jeff Adrien and Beijing’s Randolph Morris will clash. Adrien has averaged a double-double since arriving midseason — 14.1 points and 11.1 boards — while Morris scores more than 25 points a game to go with 10.4 rebounds.
Beijing is the defending champion of the CBA and has taken Guangdong out of the playoffs in two of the last three seasons.
The other semifinal matchup is the Liaoning Leopards and Qingdao Eagles, with the Eagles featuring the only Iranian to play in the NBA, big man Hamed Haddadi.