Many Wizards fans are paying special attention to the performance of Yi Jianlian leading up to the FIBA World Championship. The goal is to get a sense of how his game has improved and how that might translate into helping the Washington Wizards this season. In the vein, a few in the press and blogosphere, have already begun to analyze his early performances in the tune-up games.
When analyzing Yi’s performance it is important to balance his on-court performance with a couple of key facts that impact each game:
New role: Alpha male versus role player
The 2010 Chinese National team is without its most famous player, Yao Ming, who retired from international play. As a result, Yi is being asked to step up from a role player and take on the leadership role with his team. Much to his credit, Yi has taken on the burden and responsibility for leading his team. However, it is important to point out that this is a role that he has never held at this level of play.