‘Front-running’ DB “only as it is” … SK-KT-KCC “as it is”

The 2023-2024 season of professional basketball did not unfold as expected. The unheralded Wonju DBs, under the leadership of new head coach Kim Joo-sung, built a dominant system with solid organization. On the other hand, the teams that were tipped to win the championship failed to make an impact. Suwon KT and Busan KCC, who acquired Song Kyo-chang and Choi Joon-yong in free agency, struggled, dropping to ninth and eighth place, respectively, and Seoul SK, which attracted attention with the reunion of Oh Se-geun and Kim Sun-hyung, dropped to sixth place and had to worry about spring basketball. However, they were unperturbed, saying, “There’s nothing left to do but go up,” and expressing their belief that “our team will get stronger as time goes on.”

The “favorites” who had fallen to the bottom of the standings began to take aim at DB 텍사스홀덤 in earnest in the second half of the season.

DB has been so dominant this season that they’ve become public enemy number one. DB is sitting atop the standings with a 25-6 record, and they’ve built a steady stream of wins and losses. DB went on a five-game winning streak before suffering a blowout loss to Goyang’s Sono on Day 2, but reeled off two straight wins to enter the All-Star break on a high note. With Kim Jong-kyu looking like his old self, DB has been solidly supported by Lee Sun-albano, who joined the team as the Asian quarterback, and veteran guard Doo Kyung-min. Dedrick Lawson, who played for Goyang until last season, is also a scorer from inside and out, averaging 22.3 points per game. Lawson is fourth in the league in scoring. DB opens the second half of the season on the 17th against KCC. With no weaknesses exposed, at least for now, DB’s run is expected to continue for a while.

However, it’s too early to rest on our laurels. SK, KT, and KCC, who have slipped to the bottom of the standings, are chasing hard. SK, in particular, is trying to sneak up on DB. Oh Se-geun, who has shown some overlap with Jamil Warney, has finally settled into the role perfectly, leading the way. Ahn Young-joon has also shown improvement, joining the team after his discharge from the army and providing a boost. After a lackluster start to the season, SK has turned things around, going on a 12-game winning streak starting with their first game of the third round. The only downside is the injury to Kim Sun-hyung. He injured his right ankle and will need to take a month off.

KT managed to climb to third place. Heo Hoon, who joined the team after being discharged from the military last November, led the team’s rise. The problem is that Heo is injured. After suffering a broken nose on March 12, Heo showed his enthusiasm by playing with a face shield, but on March 8, he injured his left calf and will be out for three weeks. KT will need Heo Hoon to step up in his absence if they want to make a run at the top of the standings.

KCC is looking forward to the second half. With Choi Jun-yong and Heo Woong healthy, even Lee Seung-hyun is coming alive. This KCC has been cruising with a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. It’s also encouraging that Lee won the three-point shooting contest at the All-Star Game, giving him a confidence boost. KCC head coach Jeon Chang-jin has pointed out that Lee’s outside shooting ability is outstanding, but he lacks in-game confidence.

Meanwhile, the best-of-five playoffs (PO) will begin on April 4. The fourth-place PO (best-of-five) will begin on April 15 and end on April 24, while the championship (best-of-seven) will begin on April 27 and end on May 9 if it goes to the final.

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