I was away last weekend, so I confess that I haven't had a chance to catch up on my FIBA World Championships viewing. That means I still have to catch up watching Yi Jianlian and Team China.
But because it's worth pointing out, I wanted to mention that Yi is tearing it up out in Turkey. Yesterday, he dropped 26 and 9 in a China win over the Ivory Coast, and two days ago, he confounded powerhouse Greece with 26 points and 14 rebounds in a close loss.
From what I have been able to watch, Yi's dominated by being too quick for opposing bigs. He's attacking the glass with a vigor I haven't seen during his NBA career, especially against Greece's surplus of solid big men. During his NBA career, he's mostly stuck to the perimeter, but thus far, China has stuck him inside, and he's performed well. Maybe the lesson here is that Yi is the kind of player who isn't helpful when he's asked to stand and watch. Maybe he needs to be challenged, and maybe he needs plays called for him to get him into a rhythm.
Of course, that brings up a whole different set of issues, because it's unlikely Yi will get those kind of touches and shots on the Wizards, but that's a good question to have in August. Certainly, it's a lot better than asking whether Yi can actually perform in a high-pressure situation like FIBA.
For more on Yi, check out Truth About It's breakdown here.