19 September, 2017
06 May, 2018
Power Rankings: Champs breaking traditions; Germany and France also looking good
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Power Rankings: Champs breaking traditions; Germany and France also looking good

MIES (Basketball Champions League) - Second Leg of the Round of 16 is around the corner, we will be saying goodbye to eight teams this week. That also means these are the last 16-team Power Rankings.

The First Leg offered some close games, some traditions broken, and some blowout wins. Five of the eight seeded teams won away from home, but only two of the eight games featured a 10+ margin.

We should be in for more drama on Tuesday and Wednesday, don't be surprised if some of the 10-16 teams from these standings end up with a place among the best eight teams of the competition!


EWE Baskets Oldenburg's 25-point defeat at home got me listening to Vera Lynn all week long...


A 5-point defeat to the hands of the defending champions, that doesn't look that bad, right? Well, wrong. UCAM Murcia never won away at Tenerife, losing all seven ACB League games, six over the last six seasons, and one back in 1990. Tough ask to do it now, and chase a win by 6 or more while doing it.


Nobody ever doubted AEK's offensive firepower. With 88 points scored, they had the second best points total of the entire First Leg of the Round of 16. The problem is that the only team that scored more points than AEK was - the team they played against, CEZ Nymburk. Well, at least you outscored 13* other teams...
*MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg also had 88.


When you usually put up 81.0 points per game, and come out with a 66-point outing in front of your fans in the Play-Offs, you've got some explaining to do...but Nanterre 92 are still not out. You should never count out the best three-point shooting team of a competition, a 12-of-25 display in a win against ASVEL over the weekend must have warmed them up before the trip to Turkey. Stay woke, Banvit. That 8-point advantage could be gone in three possessions...


Pinar Karsiyaka are among the leaders in multiple offensive stats, with a .622 true shooting percentage, and 116 points per 100 possessions. But if they repeat a 2-of-11 shooting performance from beyond the arc, we could be parting ways with Jarrod Jones and D.J. Kennedy, who were and still are MVP candidates. Still struggling in Turkey, just one win above danger zone, maybe international success sparks something domestically.


Switch all, match AS Monaco's energy, stop them from getting a 16-3 edge in fast break points again, get the ball to Martynas Gecevicius and Vladimir Dragicevic, don't turn the ball over more than 10 times, make your open shots, protect the paint. Yep. That simple. A recipe for Stelmet Enea Zielona Gora to get a 3+ point win in Monaco and get to the Quarter-Finals.


What!? Besiktas Sompo Japan are 10th?! I'm out.
(Just 2-5 over the last 7 games... They had been 23-7 all season long before the slump started.)


Seemed that SIG Strasbourg figured things out with 10 wins in a row, but what goes up, must come down. Or, in this case, with the ascending Power Rankings, what goes down, must come up...
Strasbourg lost three of their last four games. No need to panic, a 6-point win over Neptunas gets them back on track. Just bring it back to basics, making free throws (8-of-15) and protecting the ball (20 turnovers), and you'll be in the Quarter-Finals.


Good news for Neptunas Klaipeda? They defeated SIG Strasbourg, one of the strongest teams out there...
Bad news for Neptunas Klaipeda? Their 5-game home stand is over, they are about to experience a difficult life on the road, with trips to Strasbourg, followed by away games at Lietuvos Rytas and Juventus Utena in Lithuania. A win or two or three could make the jet-lag go away in a hurry.


PAOK are a better team than their record shows! Pinar Karsiyaka learned that the hard way... Terran Petteway fits in, Top 5 scoring bench just got even better, and their 40 points against Karsiyaka were good enough to seal the deal. Next chapter of the Greek-Turkish rivalry should be even more intense, can't wait to see if PAOK can survive!


If you are a medi Bayreuth fan, are you happy that your team defeated Istanbul juggernauts Besiktas, or are you worried because the final margin was only 5 points? Also, if you are a medi Bayreuth fan, how fun is it to watch Gabe York week in, week out? That man recorded his 8th 20+ point game of the Basketball Champions League last week. In 15 tries! He's also the leading three-point shooter now, with 45 bombs this season, one above Jamal Shuler.


Got to admit, had my doubts about this Banvit team as they fell to a 4-game losing skid. But Banvit bounced back perfectly, winning by 8 in a tough environment as Nanterre's home court! The feeling of a win is bitter-sweet for a lot of Banvit fans, that's what happens when your team shoots 14-of-28 from the line... Think about it, if they only made their season average of 67 percent, we'd be talking about a double-digit margin now.


Two words for you: Kendrick Ray.
Kung-Fu Kenny led CEZ Nymburk to a 10-point win away from home, in front of a Basketball Champions League-record AEK crowd... Get this, CEZ Nymburk are on an 18-game winning streak, they had already had a 17-game winning streak, and are 35-1 over the last 36 games in all competitions. 35-1!!!


They won away from home, they are still strong favorites to go through, but they find themselves dropping a place in the Power Rankings. How come? That's because AS Monaco led by 23 in Poland, they could've already been thinking about the Quarter-Finals, but blew it all away and allowed Zielona Gora to get back in it. Another win in France, 94-90 over Dijon on a 23-point, 11-rebound double-double by Chris Evans, should give them confidence to finish the job in the Basketball Champions league.


MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg are in it to win it. Holding the top scoring team of the competition to just 63 points in their own backyard, grabbing 15 offensive boards in the process, with Thomas Walkup just a point shy of a triple-double - that's called sending out a message. Plus, Jacob Wiley impressed our columnist Diccon Llyod-Smeath!


You know what Rudy T said about champions and their hearts! Iberostar Tenerife defeated UCAM Murcia away from home for just the second time ever, and they picked the perfect timing for it, in the Play-Offs. And apart from Rudy T's quote, we have another one for you - the one about offense winning games and defense winning championships. Tenerife know it. Their 94.6 defensive rating is the best of the Basketball Champions League!

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