09 October, 2018
05 May, 2019
Long Read
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Power Rankings: Move out of the way, Strasbourg are gunning towards the Top 5

MIES (Switzerland) - Five Gamedays are behind us in the Basketball Champions League, and you can find out how your favourite 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.


When the night is falling...you cannot find the light...you feel your dreams are dying...hold tight...you've got the music in you...don't let go...this world is gonna pull through...don't give up...you've got a reason to live...can't forget...we only get what we give...
(Five games into the season, Opava are still a one-hit wonder, just like the New Radicals and their hit-single You Get What You Give. Season record: 6-8)


Petrol Olimpija already played 19 games this season, including back-to-back games against Crvena Zvezda in the Adriatic League and Sentjur in less than 24 hours. Let that sink in. Season record: 6-13.


Stats are weird sometimes, and the fact that Fribourg Olympic are grabbing 37.9 percent of available offensive rebounds is out of this world. They are better in that department than UCAM Murcia, who have been topping the rebounding stats since they joined the competition - in fact, Fribourg are topping the entire league. But I guess they'd trade the league-leading stats for a couple of shots made next week. Season record: 10.5-6.5, because they played a draw in the Qualifying Rounds.


What? Malcolm Hill twisted his knee and it's a possible torn ACL? Well, *@$#!
Season record: 3-10, but 0-5 in the Basketball Champions League.


When you google "hot and cold," other than Katy Perry's song, you'll see Banvit's season popping up. Playing really good basketball in the Basketball Champions League, up at 3-2 in Group A, but falling to 0-5 in the Turkish Basketbol Super Ligi. Yes and no, in and out, up and down, wrong and right, black and white, BCL and BSL. Season record: 3-7.


Not feeling Filou Oostende this season. Sorry. Belgian champs are turning the ball over on 20.6 percent of their possessions, more than any other team in the Basketball Champions League. Nothing to add here...
Season record: 8-5, but 1-4 in this league.


CEZ Nymburk need rim protection, and they need it asap, or their season is going to end before it even started. They are blocking a league-low 3.4 percent of opponents' shots. Not able to create the kind of runs they had in their previous Basketball Champions League campaigns. Season record: 9-4, but 1-4 in this league.


Coach Raoul Korner is back to same-day Facebook updates after the games, meaning that medi Bayreuth are back to winning ways! A couple of amazing games for them, first a crowd-pleasing performance against Oostende in the Basketball Champions League, followed with a fine win away in Frankfurt in the easyCredit Basketball Bundesliga - just what was needed to spice up the season. Keep going. Season record: 5.5-8.5, check the Fribourg part for an explanation of the .5 part.


Ventspils survived against Ludwigsburg last week, but they need to improve their rebounding as they are averaging just 31.4 rebounds per game, good enough for 29th spot in that statistical department. Standing at 2-3, can't afford to lose the game against Nizhny Novgorod this week, because they will be on the road for the three of the next four games after that one. Season record: 10-4.


I hate seeing Besiktas Sompo Japan so low, but at 1-4 in Group D, not even a good domestic record can help them move up and back into Top 10 of the Power Rankings. They hit the road this week, but will play three straight games at home in Gamedays 7-9 - so, you grab a win in Oostende now, defend your house in those three, BAM! You're up at 5-4. Plausible. Season record: 5-6.


We've said it numerous times, this is the team that you'll enjoy watching. Anwil are better than the 2-3 record suggests, and their .610 true shooting percentage tells you that, with only Tenerife and Bamberg ahead of them in the shooting numbers. And good shooters provide viewing pleasure. Watch them now, thank me later.
Season record: 5-6.


If you weren't impressed with the easy win at home against Le Mans, let me just tell you that Nizhny Novgorod collected an 89-83 win away at Astana in the VTB United League. Two straight wins are just what the doctor prescribed, Nizhny will now play a bit more relaxed, and that's always a good thing. Season record: 9-8.


Still young, still really likeable, but lost at home to Brose Bamberg last week. That's a big club and too big of a test for the nobody-older-than-27 Telenet Giants Antwerp team, but they need to defeat the bigs to advance from the loaded group, next to AEK, Bamberg, Hapoel Jerusalem, Fuenlabrada, Lietkabelis, Dijon and CEZ Nymburk. Not getting points for looking good and promising and making us fall in love with Ismael Bako. Season record: 10-5.


Remember how we celebrated Montakit Fuenlabrada's first win over Barcelona after 16 straight defeats in the matchup? Well, turns out that was Fuenla's only win over the last five games. Struggling at the moment, but they should still be a lock to make the Play-Offs. They should. Right? Right???
Season record: 6-7


Win over Chalon/Saone ended a three-game losing streak for JDA Dijon, but they are still digging a hole in the Basketball Champions League, stuck at 1-4. The schedule is about to get really tiring for them, with games against Hapoel, Bamberg and Fuenla just around the corner. Season record: 7-7.


Let's all just agree that the rough part of the season is behind Telekom Baskets Bonn. They had lost five in six, but a triumphant finish to the game against Crailsheim means that they are back over .500 in the easyCredit Basketball Bundesliga. More good news for them - at 2-3 they are just a win behind third placed Holon in their group. Heads up high, a winning run could send them to the top. Of the Power Rankings, of course. That's the most important ranking system in the world. Season record: 7-6.


What's the best way out of a potential crisis moment? Just do your job on the court and trust your teammate. Lietkabelis have been doing that, and their 79.0 assists percentage is leading the league, meaning they create for each other even more than, let's say, Tenerife! On the rise, won three in a row in all competitions, keep an eye out for them. Season record: 8-6.


Now, I love stats (obviously). But here's one I can't figure out. With five Gamedays behind us, French champs Le Mans are on a 94.0 offensive rating*, by far the worst in the Basketball Champions League! The same team that own a 114.6 offensive rating in the French Jeep Elite League!!! What's going on here!? Season record: 8-6.
*points per 100 possessions, meaning they score 20.6 points more with the same amount of possessions in France


UNET Holon get the "week" part of the "when it hasn't been your day, your week, your month" of the Friends theme song. They went -32 against Tenerife, -33 against Maccabi Tel Aviv, horrid way of ending the five-game winning run. But don't worry. I'll be there for you, like I've been there before. Because you're there for me, too. 
Season record: 7-5.


Told you that Greek teams usually start slow, and then turn it on in November. Four straight for the basketball section of PAOK, plus nine in ten by the football club, taking them top of the Greek Super League in soccer, it's good to be a PAOK fan these days. Season record: 7-5.


Get this, Nanterre 92 were just one point away from a six game winning streak. But even with a single point defeat to PAOK, they are still in a good mood, winning five of the last six, putting up 90+ points in four of those, including three straight. That's the Nanterre we wanted and knew we would get, sooner or later, in Pascal Donnadieu's 32nd year at the coaching helm - yes, that's right, he's been the head coach of Nanterre since 1987. Season record: 9-6.


UCAM Murcia's Charlon Kloof spoke to our Coast To Coast Podcast crew, and it's a fun one, so give it a listen. They've got the mustache thing going on in the club, and they would've been a Top 5 team with their 5-0 record if these Power Rankings didn't take the domestic results into account. This way, we know about their 32-point defeat over the weekend, and we cried a bit, but don't tell anyone. Season record: 8-6.


Still the best defensive team of the entire Basketball Champions League, still stealing the ball on 15.9 percent of opponents' possessions, but the last one was stolen from Promitheas Patras. They allowed SIG Strasbourg a way back into the game in the last four minutes, and that's the international school they need to feel to become a great team. And they will become one, believe me. Season record: 8-4.


Sidigas Avellino played a couple of games without Matt Costello, who has low-key been outstanding for them, but they came up victorious in both of those games. The one against Banvit proved once again that it is not the best idea in the world to run with the wolves or the "Lupi", and the one against Varese proved once again that Norris Cole is a huge asset for this team - 25 points, 5 assists in a hostile environment like such as Masnago. Season record: 8-3.


Here's the deal. SIG Strasbourg have been hot so far, with a 9-2 record over the last 11 games in all competitions. But they just got a whole lot hotter, with Jarell Eddie needing 20 minutes to impress the fans, putting up 15 points on 4-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc...AGAINST THE LEAGUE LEADING ASVEL TEAM IN FRANCE! We are in for a treat with this guy, here are his highlights from that game. Season record: 10-4.


Brose Bamberg are the new official drama kings of this pack, inheriting the title from their compatriots over in Oldenburg. It feels like all of their games are down to the wire, doesn't it? In fact, nine of their 12 games finished in single digits, and I get nervous just writing about it. Amazingly, Bamberg have come out on top in seven of those nine games, so they can do the "ice in their veins" and the "tapping the wrist" celebration any time they want. Season record: 9-3.


You like the advanced stats? Or are you more of an old-school kind of guy? Well, in either case, Segafredo Virtus Bologna will impress you. They are Top 5 in almost all the advanced stats, and at 5-0 in this league, you can show the standings to your friend and say: "See, THOSE are the important numbers!" Can't wait for their matchup with Strasbourg!!! Season record: 8-3.


AEK are in trouble, they haven't scored a goal in three of their last four outings in Europe. Wait, that's the other Champions League... No troubles for this AEK squad, the defending champions are on a mission, and not letting the foot off the gas pedal. They connected four in the Basketball Champions League, after they had suffered a home defeat to Hapoel Jerusalem to get things going, but that's just another proof that Greek teams run on diesel, need time to accelerate. Season record: 8-4.


I was a bit concerned about Neptunas because the schedule sent them out on the road in four of their last five games. And guess what, that was foolish of me, Neptunas are on a five-game winning streak in all competitions, which is a perfect intro into the mythical fight of Neptune and Prometheus this week. Will the first one rise from the water, or will the latter steal fire again? Man, that's another huge game this week. Season record: 12-3!


Umana Reyer Venezia are 10-1 this season and I have nothing to add to that fact. Just tune in and enjoy the show.


Speaking of huge games, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem are in Bamberg this week!!! They will be well rested, because their Israeli League game was cancelled, due to a broken rim during the warm up. James Feldeine will be out there chasing records, they are all here, in our Help-Side Column, so check them out. Season record: 9-3.


Yeah, want some numbers: Iberostar Tenerife are leading the league in true shooting percentage, effective field goals percentage, offensive rating at 122.9 points per 100 possessions, and defensive rating, allowing just 93.5 points per 100 possessions. Huge win for them in the Canary Islands Derby against Gran Canaria over the weekend, they will be running and gunning against Opava this week, so don't be surprised if they are 6-0 and top of the standings the next time you read the Power Rankings. Season record: 10-3.

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