09 October, 2018
05 May, 2019
Long Read
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Power Rankings: AEK and Bayreuth flying on cloud nine

MIES (Switzerland) - Eight gamedays are behind us in the Basketball Champions League, and you can find out how your favorite team is doing by clicking the Standings tab. However, it's not all about W's and L's, as we take you through the Power Rankings, with domestic championships also taken into consideration.


I'm just trying to hold on to something...trying to hold on to something good...oh, give us a chance to make it...to make it no no no... 
(Opava are still a one-hit wonder, like Jon Secada and his Just Another Day song. To make matters worse, they are flirting with missing the Play-Offs in Czech League. Nobody said playing two competitions would be easy... Season record: 8-14.)


Petrol Olimpija's 11-19 season record would put them ahead of the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference, and ahead of Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference, so that's one way of being optimistic about the tiring season. On a positive note, Olimpija were lovable last week, with Sanon, Badzim, Mesicek and Samanic getting a lot of minutes late against SIG Strasbourg. Keep it going, wins will come. 


Banvit are having the same kind of troubles they had since day one of this season. Can't connect a couple of good games, they win some, lose more, find themselves at the bottom of the Turkish League, which means they cannot be high (or low, in the descending order) in the Power Rankings, even with a 5-3 record in the Basketball Champions League. Season record: 7-11.


Fribourg Olympic looked good after the break, playing the high tempo game against UNET Holon, with both teams going for 50+ points in the first half. But Holon were able to hold on to that kind of high-speed rhythm, whilst Fribourg were not. Not pulling an Opava, they are doing really good domestically, winning eight of their first ten games in the Swiss League. Season record: 14-1-9. 


Still the worst offense of the Basketball Champions League, French champs Le Mans only score 94.9 points per 100 possessions. Really hard to find something positive for them after you see that number, only two other teams under 100 in 100 possessions are Ludwigsburg (ORtg 99.6) and Opava (ORtg 97.3). Season record: 9-12.


See above. That early season slump was ended successfully, but MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg know they will have to finish the Regular Season at least at 4-2 or even at 5-1 to see Play-Offs again. Season record: 7-12.


CEZ Nymburk only lost six games this season. But, all six of those were in the Basketball Champions League... Still, good to see them maintaining the dominance level inside the borders of Czech Republic, winning all 14 of their games in the League and the Cup. Season record: 16-6. 


Got to say, I expected more out of Montakit Fuenlabrada, especially after their 3-0 start to the Regular Season. But, would you look at that - they are down at 3-5 as we speak. The only good news for them is actually that they are still just a game behind fourth place in their group, they can still bounce back and reach Play-Offs. Season record: 8-12, lost four of their last five in all competitions.


Bizzare stat of the season: Besiktas Sompo Japan grab only 17.4 percent of all available offensive rebounds, by far the worst percentage of all the Basketball Champions League teams. And one and done offensive sets cannot get you a record higher than .500, at least not a record that should worry anybody around the black-and-white club. Season record: 9-10.


JDA Dijon's record against CEZ Nymburk this season: 2-0. 
JDA Dijon's record against everybody else in the Basketball Champions League this season: 0-6.
JDA Dijon's record against all the teams this season: 10-11, actually doing really good in the French Jeep Elite League. 


Do we need to have a talk, Telekom Baskets Bonn? Care to explain how you became the team in the worst form heading into this week, the only team riding a 4-game losing streak? Huh, young lady? Go to your room, now! Season record: 9-11. 


Wanna know how Sidigas Avellino lost 12 spots in the Power Rankings? Ask Alma Trieste. The newcomers in Italian League blew out the green-and-white Avellino squad by 46 points, 110-64, handing them another horrible defeat domestically. Avellino also lost four of their last five games in all competitions... Season record: 11-7.


Lietkabelis have one of the better offenses of the League, their assist percentage being as high as Anwil's and Tenerife's. But they are down in 20th spot this week because they allowed Telenet Giants Antwerp to complete the sweep, which could be crucial in the battle of 4-4 and 3-5 teams. Season record: 13-9.


Ventspils won five of last six games, but have a similar case of Lietkabelis flu going around. They only lost one in that run, but that one was to the hands of Anwil, who now own ("who now own" is tough to write without a typo) the season tiebreaker over them and are in an Antwerp kind of position. Season record: 15-6.


HOLD THE PRESS! Nizhny Novgorod flew over Khimki in the VTB League, their back-to-back wins might look like just two, but feel like five. Nizhny had a lot of trouble with injuries, but when they are back together and healthy, they are Play-Offs-bound in both competitions. Season record: 12-11. 


Nanterre 92 destroyed Opava last week, collecting the second biggest win of all time in the Basketball Champions League. But defeat to Cholet in the French Jeep Elite means they missed a really good chance to get a hold of the second spot in the League. Still, we are talking about a .611 true shooting, 118.9 offensive rating team, meaning they play effective and high-scoring basketball. Season record: 14-9.


One of the more troubling moments of my life came this morning, when I was trying to sort out the 32 teams for the Power Rankings and realized that SIG Strasbourg are not even Top 15. Sorry, SIG-men. Season record: 13-7 (They do play Monday night, keep that in mind.) 


Modern basketball 101: Telenet Giants Antwerp are 30th in the two-point field goal percentage. Telenet Giants Antwerp are 4th in the three-point field goal percentage, storming through the toughest of all groups and holding a spot that would take them to the Play-Offs. These youngsters following trends. Season record: 15-8.


Are we having a Belgian basketball renaissance here? Filou Oostende are looking like their best since they've joined the Basketball Champions League crew, but I still have to remind them that they are turning the ball over on league-worst 19.9 percent of possessions. Just imagine where would they be if they kept it under control. Season record: 14-7.


*Along with AEK's nine-game winning streak, of course.


Anwil are rolling, six wins in a row for the Polish champs who have polished their record a bit now. Speaking of coaching monsters, Igor Milicic is about to enter the eternalness of the job, if he can prove that this was indeed done on purpose, that he actually drew up an assist like this. Season record: 11-8.


Promitheas Patras are still leading the defensive advanced stats in the Basketball Champions League, even with Filou Oostende putting up 88 points in their backyard last week. In fact, back-to-back home defeats in the Basketball Champions League pushed them out of the Top 10, they can't afford another slip-up away at Olimpija this time around. Season record: 12-7.


Damjan, why you gotta be so Rude(z)? Croatian forward shot 6-of-7 from beyond the arc in two games last week, so it seems like he's relaxed and ready to add another weapon to UCAM Murcia's arsenal. And we're talking about the best rebounding team around, grabbing 35.3 percent of all the offensive rebounds available and 79.4 percent of defensive ones. Oh, and winning five of last six also helps. Season record: 13-8.


When they were at 2-2, I remember writing that Neptunas Klaipeda are a better team than their record suggests. Well, another batch of four games later, I gotta say that Neptunas Klaipeda are a much better team than their 4-4 record suggests. Winners of four straight, they could deliver the knockout blow to Besiktas Sompo Japan this week. Season record: 16-6.


Umana Reyer Venezia should get an automatic bye to the Top 10 of the Power Rankings, just because of the stress levels of their games and the damage it does to their fans. We don't need to agitate them any more than that, right? Back to winning ways, 70-59 triumph against Brindisi keeps them close to the top in Serie A, they already were close to top in the Basketball Champions League... Season record: 13-5.


*tried to write something meaningful about PAOK. Couldn't approach the box because PAOK are so hot right now, it's not safe to approach them. Winners of five straight in the Basketball Champions League. Season record: 12-7.


Bad news for UNET Holon is that they lost a game, their six game winning streak snapped. But they are still number 2 in Israel and number 2 in Group B over here. True shooting at .618, just .003 behind league-leading Tenerife, that goes to show how effective this lineup located in the middle of Israel's coast really is. Season record: 13-6.


See what a single defeat does to you in such a crowded bunch? Segafredo Virtus Bologna lost three of their last four games, but got a much needed win away at Pistoia in the Italian Serie A. That should bring some of the confidence back to the squad, which is still the second best in the Basketball Champions League when it comes to offensive rating. Hot favorites to be the first team to clinch Play-Offs berth. Season record: 12-6.


Brose Bamberg won five games in a row. With that kind of form, they are more focused on gunning down AEK and Jerusalem in front of them, than on clearing the rear view mirror of all the Antwerp, Fuenlabrada and Lietkabelis threats. Season record: 14-5.


Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem, let's just pretend last week did not happen, okay? I won't tell anyone that you lost to AEK and Maccabi Tel Aviv, and we'll just keep you in third spot in the Power Rankings, okay? Season record: 12-4 (okay, it's 12-6, but we agreed that last week did not happen so shhh...)


Get this: Iberostar Tenerife are still number one in the true shooting at .621, still number one in effective field goal percentage at .596, still number one in offensive rating at 120.9, and still number one in difference per 100 possessions, building up 22.9 points more than opposition in that department. Oh, and number three in defensive rating at 98.0. Oh, and they defeated Baskonia over the weekend. So why aren't they number one here? Season record: 14-6.


AEK are the answer to the last question! We were all very worried about the defending champs when they lost the season opener at home against Hapoel Jerusalem and then went to OT against CEZ Nymburk the very next week, but AEK are flaming now! Coach Luca Banchi found perfection, AEK won nine games in a row in all competitions, they were the Team of the Week last week, and it's hard to imagine they will ever lose a game again. It will happen, we know...but how!? The Queen just looks unbeatable right now... Season record: 14-4.

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