19 September, 2017
06 May, 2018
2 D.j. Cooper (FRA)
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Power Rankings: Big four breaking away, new nation represented in Top 10

MIES (Basketball Champions League) - Another week of international and domestic basketball is behind us, time to update our Power Rankings ahead of Gameday 9!





Rosa Radom put up a fight away at medi Bayreuth, losing 90-85 in Germany. Unfortunately for them, fights don't count - wins do. They are still the only Basketball Champions League team with just one triumph to their names.


Hard to find any positives after a dismal 26-point loss to Orlandina last week. Gaziantep are in a downward spiral for a long time now, they've collected four wins in 19 games this season.


Three straight defeats in the Basketball Champions League have kept Juventus Utena standing at two wins for a long time now. Domestic picture not looking that bright, either, with just five wins in 15 outings. They conclude their three-game home stand in Group A against Karsiyaka this week.


Home court advantage isn't that advantageous after all... Even with teams having to travel 6,000-ish kilometers to get to Krasnoyarsk, Enisey failed to take advantage of the jet-lags, losing three of their four games in Russia this season. Hard to see anybody advancing with a losing record at home, honestly...


Won't see a jumper as smooth as Arnoldas Kulboka's... Lithuanian teenager led them to a blowout win over Gaziantep, which they followed up with a one-point win over Brindisi in Italy. SikeliArchivi Capo d'Orlando are growing, the only question is - Is there enough time left? Just 2-6 in Group B, two wins away from Play-Off positions.


Stelmet Zielona Gora lost another home game in the Basketball Champions League, making it four defeats in a row in Group D for the Polish champs. One point defeat away at TBV Start Lublin won't help either, they are down to 8-4 in the Polish League and need something fun to wake them up asap. Something like an away win over Bonn? Yep, something like that.


It looked so perfect for UNET Holon, winning seven of their eight games since the start of November. But UCAM Murcia and Hapoel Jerusalem handed them back-to-back Ls, taking the wind out of their sails. Love seeing the growth of Tamir Blatt, Diccon Llyod-Smeath with the breakdown of young PG's game right here.


For 20 minutes, it looked like PAOK might actually surprise MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg. Then, for the other 20 minutes, it looked like PAOK forgot how to put that round thing through that orange thing up there... Just 15 second half points for the Greek side last week, that's why they are down at 2-6 in Group B.


Ugh... That was a heartbreaker loss at Oostende last week. Fourth placed Avellino are now two wins ahead of Telekom Baskets Bonn, and in such a wild group as Group D, it's hard to see somebody advancing with a record below .500. Standing at 2-6, that means Bonn have to go 5-1 over the last six games of the Regular Season. The best part? They really do have the tools to do it!


Petrol Olimpija were responsible for one of the upsets of the season, taking down SIG Strasbourg in Ljubljana last week. However, they failed to keep the streak going - lost to Igokea in the ABA League, which sees them fall to 5-7 over there. That was a chance wasted to get them all the way up to fourth. Gasper Vidmar is coming to Ljubljana this week, chance to spoil the homecoming for Banvit's big guy...


Just when you thought, "Finally, French champions are off to good things," as they beat Neptunas, Elan Chalon hit you with some reality. Just 3 wins in 13 games in France, they could go from being champs to being last in one season...


11-0 in their domestic league, 4-4 in the Basketball Champions League... Ventspils are for real, guys. They've collected the season sweep over the defending champs Tenerife, but are just 2-4 against the rest of the group. Tiebreakers could be important in the battle for the top four positions, that's why they'll be chasing an 8-point win over Neptunas this week.


11-0 in their domestic league, 4-4 in the Basketball Champions League... Oostende are for real, guys. They just need an away triumph to make them a true contender, not just for the Play-Offs, but perhaps for a Final Four spot! Nicely balanced, well coached by Dario Gjergja, perfectly led by Dusan Djordjevic, and the overtime win over Telekom Baskets Bonn was all about Jean Salumu's explosiveness. Never a dull moment with Oostende! 


Top 10 last week, almost out of Top 20 this week - that's how crowded the middle of the pack is in the Basketball Champions League... Movistar Estudiantes lost at home to AEK, then went on the road and suffered another blow away at Bilbao in the Spanish League. That's why a win over Rosa Radom is a must on Wednesday, to get them back on track.


Our own Jeff Taylor has written up a beautiful column about Aris and their recent struggles playing twice a week. Read all about it right here, it's worth your time.


AEK Athens are your break-even team of the season. In Greek League, they are 5-0 at home and 0-4 on the road. In the Basketball Champions League they are 2-2 at home and 2-2 away, including 17-0 runs and wins over Umana Reyer Venezia and Movistar Estudiantes. If they had protected their home court in our Group C, they would've been standing at the top of the group with a 6-2 record. But 4-4 is also good, with Venezia in town on Wednesday.


UCAM Murcia stopped UNET Holon, one of the hottest streaking teams in Europe. So, why haven't they changed positions in our Power Rankings? Because they lost to last-placed Real Betis in the Spanish League. In their own backyard. Can't emphasize enough how big that may be in the battle for Play-Offs in the Spanish League...


Anyone who watched a single game of Dinamo Sassari over the past seven years will tell you: They are that team that always overperform at home, fueled by their packed arena and loud fans. But after winning three straight away from home (Enisey, Brescia, Karsiyaka), they proved they are much more than just a home court team. Plus, the Teddy Bear Toss was awesome, guys!


Sidigas Avellino swept Besiktas this season. Enough said. See you in the Top 10 next week, guys!


Pinar Karsiyaka dropped two straight Basketball Champions League games, that's why they are out of our Top 10. But, there are some good news for the KSK faithful:
1) Bryon Allen is the new kid on the block. Step by step, oh baby*, gonna get back to winning ways.
2) D.J. Kennedy is back to his old habits, 26 points to lead Karsiyaka to a 92-86 win away from home, against Muratbey Usak. Just their 3rd win in 11 tries in Turkey, but now they are two games ahead of bottom-placed Usak.
*If you get that reference, you lived a fine life in the 1990s.


Is there life after Butkevicius and Girdziunas? Of course there is. Neptunas Klaipeda just need 26 points from Renaldas Seibutis to get their 12th win in 15 LKL games. Even at the age of 32, Seibutis is still able to put up mad stats on the scoreboard, but he played 37:22 against Nevezis on Saturday. They lost to Chalon last week, they'll be on the road again this week, but it's a walking distance - away at Ventspils.


Let's all just pretend that this didn't happen, okay? It was just a bad day, okay? It happens to everyone, okay? Still, medi Bayreuth are at 5-3 in the Basketball Champions League and 9-4 in easyCredit BBL, they can afford a loss or two along their way. Big game coming up for them in France, it's going to be a win for them, just to keep the 3W-3L-3W streak going. Not sure you can call it a streak. More like a wave.


Ahoj! CEZ Nymburk looking ready for some European success! They are certainly used to lifting silverware, they won 14 titles in a row in Czech Republic and are enjoying a 12-0 start to the Narodni Basketbalova Liga this season. That win away at Nanterre could be crucial in a tight Group D, especially if they complete the season sweep over Aris on Tuesday.


Coach Saso Filipovski clearly knows what to say at halftime. Banvit held Venezia to 26 points after the break last week, and got even better over the weekend, holding Darussafaka to 22 points in the second half! Good enough for back-to-back wins, and a place in the Top 10. Still can't believe Andy Rautins was just a single assist away from our second triple-double of the season...


Anybody that can travel 6,000 kilometers to Russia (plus 6,000 more back home) and grab a win, then follow it up with a domestic win over a mighty Bamberg team - that somebody deserves a medal, really. Well, no medals yet, but hey! EWE Baskets Oldenburg, you get your spot in the Top 10 back! Herzlichen Glückwunsch!


Three straight defeats for Umana Reyer Venezia in Serie A, back-to-back Ls in Basketball Champions League. Cue Tom Petty, ragazzi...
Chance to stop the free fall on Wednesday - they will have some added motivation against AEK. After all, the Greeks broke their hearts on a last-second dunk by Delroy James the first time they met, back home in Venice. Payback time?


Bad news? Nanterre 92 lost at home against CEZ Nymburk.
Good news? They still own the tiebreaker in that one.
More good news? A 93-82 win over the title holders Elan Chalon in the French League, keeping them in third, right behind AS Monaco and Limoges. 
They will head to Italy, Derby Biancoverde* coming up next in Avellino.
*That's "the battle of white-and-greens" in Italian, of course


Okay, okay, so they've had a slip-up in Ljubljana... But, SIG Strasbourg have looked fine since the start of November, and they survived a tough away game at Le Portel in the French League. And they've done it without Dee Bost, their latest signee! Big home game coming up against medi Bayreuth, a win there would keep them in Top 5. 


Defending champs Iberostar Tenerife have dropped only two games in Group B so far - both against Ventspils! Given the fact that they don't have to play Ventspils anymore, they will probably finish the Regular Season at 12-2... Bad math aside, Tenerife have beaten Barcelona and Unicaja in their last two Spanish League games. Best part about the win over Unicaja? Nobody scored more than 11 points! Smells like team spirit... 


Got swept by Avellino in Group D. So they had to have something inspiring back home over the weekend, right? And they got it - Besiktas Sompo Japan held on for a win over neighborhood rivals Galatasaray, largely thanks to Jon Diebler's 6 three-pointers. With games like these, Diebler is slowly but surely approaching Ryan-Babel-kind-of status among the Besiktas fans.


Seeing that 78-47 scoreline against medi Bayreuth in the easyCredit BBL got us like O_o
MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg have won 22 of their 25 official games this season and that's an even better record than the one of Houston Rockets right now... TUESDAY! 20:00 CET! Ludwigsburg host Tenerife! Man, I'm drooling thinking about that one!
(Don't tell anybody.)


How good is coach Zvezdan Mitrovic's minutes management? AS Monaco took down Antibes over the weekend to stay atop the standings in France, and Mitrovic used nine players in that one - nobody playing less than 18 minutes, nobody playing more than 27. Oh yeah, they are on a Basketball Champions League all-time high 9-game win streak, too...

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.