10 quick thoughts and observations after two weeks of games have been contested in the 11th and final bj-league (Basketball Japan League).
1. The perennnial basement-dwelling (or chasing) Saitama Broncos are in midseason form with four loses in as many games.
2. The Tokyo Cinq Reves are in the same sorry state of affairs, dropping their first four games by 43, 33, 56 and 19 points.
3. Le’Bryan Nash is a player to keep an eye on. The Fukushima Firebonds forward, formerly of Oklahoma State, has scored 30 or more points in four games throug Sunday.
4. Sendai 89ers forward Wendell White (UNLV alum), even with an MVP on his resume and a past title with the Hamamatsu Higashimika Phoenix, remains an unheralded superstar in Japan. Through four games, his 21.3 points and 10.25 rebounds per game serve as a reminder of his steady consistency and quality all-around game.
5. Shuhei Kitagawa of the Ryukyu Golden Kings had five steals in 24 minutes on Sunday against the Shiga Lakestars. That type of defensive productivity could lead to an increase in playing time.
6. Strong start: Aomori Wat’s guard Daichi Shimoyama is averaging 22.5 points after a pair of games, shooting both 56.3 percent from 2-point range and outside the arc.
7. Sendai point guard Takehiko Shimura has 29 assists and zero turnovers — plus 10 steals for good measure — so far.
8. Ex-NBA big man Marcus Cousin (University of Houston) of the Shinshu Brave Warriors is averaging 17.0 points and 13.5 rebounds through two games.
9. High-energy scorer Thomas Kennedy (Detroit Mercy) of the Gunma Crane Thunders has made an insant impact for his new team, averaging 20.0 points through four games, including a 34-point outburst in Game 2 this season.
10. Shimane Susanoo Magic big man Josh Davis (San Diego State), an NBA Development League veteran, pulled down 70 rebounds in the first four games.