After the first round of the 2020-21 CBA League regular season, Liaoning defeated Tianjin 121-108 and won a good start. This game is the first official appearance of the brand-new Liaoning men's basketball team. New coach Yang Ming offered a rotation of 11 people. They may bid farewell to the dilemma of tight employment and insufficient bench depth.
The starting lineup of this game is eye-catching. Han Dejun and Guo Ailun are the two core inside and outside liners, the backcourt "mighty oil" Liu Zhixuan, and the three main players with this season's newly registered players Zhang Zhenlin and Wu Changze as the starters. Putting the two newcomers into the starting list together, the coaching staff headed by Yang Ming showed full courage.
The two teenagers did not disappoint in the slightest. It was Zhang Zhenlin who showed his ability first. Long before the start of the season, Zhang Zhenlin had already stoked people's appetite. This potential new star returning from the NCAA is even regarded as the future main force of the Chinese men's basketball team. Zhang Zhenlin quickly scored his first career scoring. In the first quarter of the game, he completed the set tasks on both sides of the offense and defense. Zhang Zhenlin also showed people the explosive bounce that he was famous for. In the second half of the second quarter, he received a breakthrough goal from Guo Ailun and completed a watchful fly buckle with both hands.
Another rookie Wu Changze is not as famous as Zhang Zhenlin, but his strength should not be underestimated. Having played for the Liaoning youth team for many years, Wu Changze has long become a key training target in the construction of the Liaoning echelon. This season is when he "blooms and bears fruit". Wu Changze, who started the game, initially focused almost all his energy on defense and basket protection, providing Liaoning with blue-collar protection inside. It wasn't until the second half of the game that Wu Changze showed his talents on the offensive end, especially when Tianjin was crazy chasing points. He hit three pointers many times to stabilize the situation for the team. In the game, Wu Changze made 4 of 6 three-pointers and became the team's most efficient offensive player.
The rise of the two young players is of vital importance to Liaoning. For a long time in the past, Liaoning has suffered from a shortage of personnel at positions three and four. He Tianju, who previously played the role of Liaoning's main force in the third position, has been repeatedly hit by injuries in recent years and has been unable to return to his peak state. In the 2018-19 playoffs, Han Dejun was unable to play due to injury, and Li Xiaoxu was a guest center. The height of Liaoning's interior and frontline dropped sharply. They were suspended by Xinjiang in the semifinals. In the rematch stage of last season, Li Xiaoxu was seriously injured and missed the fourth position in Liaoning. He could only use He Tianju as a cameo. In the finals, their third and fourth positions became a weak spot. They were severely seized by Guangdong and eventually missed the championship. Now that Zhang Zhenlin and Wu Changze have assumed the responsibility, the weaknesses of the Liaoning No. 3 and 4 positions have finally been fundamentally changed.
During the offseason, Liaoning also made a big fuss about the center substitution. They traded for the main defender Gao Shiyan to get Shandong young insider Zhu Rongzhen. This deal, in the eyes of most Liaoning fans, is not a good deal, but after all, fans are more subjective. In terms of the rationality of the team’s lineup configuration, they are looking for an inside substitute for Han Dejun. It is imperative. Today, Zhu Rongzhen only played 6 minutes and got 4 points and 2 rebounds. Although he didn't have much playing time, it was already a very precious opportunity to rest for Han Dejun.
Zhang Zhenlin, Wu Changze, and Zhu Rongzhen are all capable of their respective responsibilities, which allowed Liu Yanyu and Wang Huadong, who were in Liaoning's rotation in the rematch stage of last season, to return to the bench. From this aspect, it is not difficult to see that Liaoning has truly completed the lineup upgrade. So who will make up for Gao Shiyan's loss after leaving? Yang Ming activated Yan Shouqi, a defender trained for many years in Liaoning. Although Yan Shouqi's ability is quite different from that of Gao Shiyan, he defended hard after his debut and did some "dirty work", which can also play its due value.
"Multiplayer rotation is definitely the norm. It must be played by multiple players. Our team is relatively young, whether new or old, or young players grow up, all need playing time." Yang Ming said at the press conference after the game. , This also means that the situation of multiple rookies entering the rotation will continue to appear in subsequent games, and Liaoning may really not need to worry about the lack of bench depth.
Of course, Liaoning’s opponent Tianjin in the first round is too weak to test the quality of the new lineup. The next game will not be so easy. It will be the real test for these newcomers and Yang Ming, who has just taken up his duties.