09 October, 2018
05 May, 2019
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Power Rankings: New Greek power emerges, French team jumps 15 places in a week

MIES (Switzerland) - Three 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.


MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg lost seven straight games for the first time since October - December 2002, their first season back in the Bundesliga, when they had lost to Leverkusen, Braunschweig, Hagen, Bonn, Koln, Bamberg and Mitteldeutscher - and this time defeat #7 came in the most Ludwigsburg way possible, letting a 16-point lead slip out of their hands in a single quarter, against Alba in Berlin. Season record: 2-7, you can start crying now, MHP.


A win over Tajfun Sentjur was much needed for Petrol Olimpija, who suffered yet another heartbreak in the classic of the ABA League, at home against Cibona. They still need to learn how to keep things under control, they aren't going to win any games in the Basketball Champions League with a turnover percentage of 20.1. Season record: 4-9, you need to refuel the petrol, Petrol.


Said, if you...want to call me baby...just go ahead, now...and if you...like to tell me maybe...just go ahead, now...and if you...wanna buy me flowers...just go ahead, now...and if you...like to talk for hours...just go ahead, now...
(Opava still a one-hit wonder in the Basketball Champions League, just like Spin Doctors in real life, and their aforementioned song Two Princes. Season record: 5-4.)


Something needed to be done after an abysmal 0-4 start to the Turkish League, so Banvit went back to the market. Marcus Thornton and Stefan Bircevic are no longer a part of the team, who will now search for a new point guard and a new power forward. Until that happens, the domestic kids will have to take care of business against Nizhny Novgorod. Season record: 2-5.


Babacar Toure missed the last two games for the Swiss champs, and without their triple-double threat, Fribourg Olympic will have a hard time against Telekom Baskets Bonn. They got back to winning ways in their championship, defeating Vevey Riviera 88-82 away from home, meaning they are the team with most wins in official games this season. Season record: 9-3, with one draw in the QR's.


What's wrong with German clubs this season? We were so used to seeing Ludwigsburg and medi Bayreuth closer to the top last time around, so maybe they are just victims of their over-achievements of last season. Bayreuth had a 20-point lead away at Wurzburg over the weekend, so they are on to something. But they lost the game, so the struggle continues... Season record: 3-6, with one draw in the QRs.


Playing without Kendrick Perry and Vladimir Dragicevic makes Nizhny Novgorod a team that poses no threat to the opponent - just ask UCAM Murcia. A 96.6 offensive rating puts them in the lower part of the Basketball Champions League, but a win over Banvit in Turkey could be just what the doctor ordered for the Russians. Season record: 7-6, after going 5-1 in the Qualifying Rounds of this event.


PAOK committed 50 turnovers over the first three weeks of competition. Not much to add there... They lost five of last six games in all competitions, with their sole win being a blowout against the in-form Promitheas, meaning there is no way of knowing what PAOK will do when they take the floor. Season record: 3-5.


Lietkabelis were outstanding in the second half against CEZ Nymburk, pulling a Nymburk on Nymburk, speeding for 97 points in a pace so high that one would think it's exactly what the Czech champs wanted. But now they need something special, playing away at Brose Bamberg this week. Pulling an upset in Germany would take them to Top 15 at least. Season record: 5-5, just 4-3 in the Lithuanian League.


Anwil actually means "Unlucky" in Polish*. Polish champs put up a fight against Sidigas Avellino, lost only in OT, then came back home...and lost in OT against Torun! But, at least we have an early favorite in the battle for the coach of the year - dive into Igor Milicic's playbook briefly, right over here. Season record: 3-5.
*No, it doesn't.


Having the same kind of record as Hapoel Jerusalem can't be bad, right? Wrong. CEZ Nymburk haven't exactly balanced their season right so far, with a perfect record in the Czech League, and a horrid record in the Basketball Champions League. Season record: 6-3, but it would be much easier for you at 4-2 in Czech Republic and 2-1 in the Basketball Champions League.


Told you. UCAM Murcia will be at .500 every time you look at our Power Rankings. Just read the CEZ Nymburk part again, and switch the leagues, because UCAM are perfect in the Basketball Champions League, and in relegation places in the Spanish Liga Endesa, falling to 1-4. Season record: 5-5.


Telekom Baskets Bonn week of 21/10 to 27/10 summarized: 
Season record: 5-4. It was 5-1 before the Halloween Bonn showed up a week early.


At 96.5, French champs own a top five defensive rating in the Basketball Champions League. But, at 83.2 points per 100 possessions, Le Mans should consider shooting with their feet in the future... Good thing for them is that they managed to get a win over the first three Gamedays, and have a game at home v Ventspils this week to possibly end up at 2-2, even with so much room for improvement offensively! Season record: 6-4, good looking 5-2 in the French Jeep Elite League.


Besiktas Sompo Japan are below .500 for the first time since Gameday 1 of last season, when they lost to Avellino, before embarking on a six-game winning streak in the Basketball Champions League. A win away at Promitheas this week would shake up the Power Rankings, and help them start another run, especially with a three-game home stand coming soon. Season record: 3-4, after climbing to 2-2 in the Turkish League.


If Bonn had a Halloween week, Filou Oostende got a Bizarro Week straight out of Seinfeld lined up for them. For the first time this season, they won in the Basketball Champions League. But, also for the first time this season, they were defeated in the Belgian League! It's not supposed to be that way, Oostende! Season record: 6-3, but a better looking 6-3 than the one of Nymburk.


The official streakers of the lot - JDA Dijon. Started with five straight wins, then lost the next four. An 84-55 dismantling of Antibes domestically will erase the bitter feeling of two straight single-digit defeats in the Basketball Champions League, to the hands of Bamberg and Fuenlabrada. Season record: 6-4.


Now, THAT'S the Nanterre 92 we are used to. Not only have they connected on back-to-back wins, but they have done it in impressive fashion, blowing out Bonn in Germany, and then doing the same against Le Mans - yes, the champs - in France. The two guard lineup of Dominic Waters and Jeremy Senglin is lethal, that's the main reason why they made a 15-place jump from 30th to 15th in a week. Season record: 6-5.


How powerful are you on a scale of 1 to Ventspils domestically? Latvian squad powered through for back-to-back games of 100+ points against Liepaja and Rapla, squeezed in a win over Banvit too, a perfect 3-0 week for the champs of Latvia. I'm at least a Nymburk on that scale. Season record: 7-3, including 6-1 in their league.


UNET Holon are one of the best offensive squads out there, with a .595 true shooting percentage* and offensive rating of 114.9* in the Basketball Champions League. Winners of five of their last six, the LA Lakers of Israel are looking better than the original Lakers, who were the inspiration behind their purple and yellow colors. Because usually Hapoels are red and white in Israel. This one is special. Yes. Season record: 5-3, one defeat was in the Cup, so looking good in leagues.
*Fancy way of saying they know how to shoot.


SIG Strasbourg have won six of their last seven games, and they are the best proof that basketball is meant to be played by tall people. No player impacted the game more than Youssoupha Fall last week, altering so many shots of Besiktas, and chasing the Turkish players away from the painted are. At 7ft3in (2.21m), Fall had 17 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and Strasbourg were a +22 team in his 27 minutes of work. Just like in real life, sometimes, to move on up, you need to take a Fall first. Season record: 7-3.


Another Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the Basketball Champions League, Montakit Fuenlabrada are capable of beating Bamberg away from home, and losing by 50 to Baskonia, or by 19 to Valencia. Their domestic run is keeping them out of Top 10 of the Power Rankings, even while they own a 3-0 record in the Basketball Champions League. Season record: 5-4, you do the math to see what's the record in Spain...


Neptunas were a couple of possessions away from being a 3-0 team, so don't let their 1-2 record fool you. They lost in OT in Bologna, and on a last possession bucket by Jean-Marc Mwema in Oostende, but can't say it's because of the lack of experience, given the fact that they got 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc by the 36-year-old Tomas Delininkaitis. As long as their best players don't leave the team mid-season, they could be a Top 10 member for a long time. Season record: 8-3.


Fun Lovin' Criminals said it best. We are all very worried about you. Because 202 points allowed in two games in three days... Come on, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem. Snap out of it! Season record: 6-3, it was 6-1 not so long ago, and the sole defeat was in the League Cup...


Nobody on Telenet Giants Antwerp is older than 27. NOBODY. Nobody knows about Jugoplastika's three-peat because they were all born after it. Nobody knows about Lethal Weapon 2 or Die Hard 2 because they were all born after it.
(Actually, both Lethal weapon 3 and Die Hard 3 were better, so can't say Giants missed that much.)
Season record: 8-3, they were the ones who scored 101 against Jerusalem to end their five-game winning run.


AEK are just the best clutch team on the face of the earth, because of the way they won the Basketball Champions League with clutch shots against Bayreuth and Nymburk and Murcia and Monaco last season, and because they are 2-1 now with a 1.6 efficiency differential. That means that their offensive and defensive ratings are so close you'll most probably see their games being decided in the last minute. Season record: 5-3.


Going to skip writing about Societa Sportiva Felice Scandone Sidigas Avellino because I already made it known that I love Italian basketball. Season record: 5-2, be warned.


Have we stumbled upon another great Greek story in the making? Promitheas Patras have stolen the show in their first three Basketball Champions League games, with 16.7 percent of opponent possessions ending up with Promitheas steals! If a 3-0 record in the BCL leaves you unimpressed, then feed yourself with info of a 79-69 win over AEK in the Greek League over the weekend. Season record: 6-2!!!


Unbeaten in the easyCredit Basketball Bundesliga, behind Tyrese Rice's 10-point, 12-assist outing against Mitteldeutscher in an 88-73 win, Brose Bamberg are having a hard time adjusting to the Basketball Champions League, standing at just 1-2. But, same as with Neptunas - two possessions could've easily made them a 3-0 team. Back to Freak City this week, for another high-paced game against Lietkabelis. Season record: 6-2.


Colton Iverson made his first career three-pointer, they say! Iberostar Tenerife's offensive arsenal just got another weapon, but it's not like they needed it - league leading offensive rating 126.8, league leading assist percentage of 85.6, league leading true shooting percentage of .668, and a bunch of other league leading stats saying that you should appreciate the way they move the ball and win games. Season record: 7-2.


It's an Italian one-two this week, as Segafredo Virtus Bologna continue to impress on their return to European basketball. In the Basketball Champions League, they block almost 11 percent of all the shots that the opponents take, and nobody else is even close in that department. Dejan Kravic blocks 4.1 shots per 40 minutes, so probably best to avoid the paint when he's in. Season record: 5-2.


Umana Reyer Venezia are just warming up. They are still unbeaten this season, and a 23-point win away from home against Trento speaks volumes of their current state of mind. The biggest test of the season comes on Wednesday evening - IBEROSTAR TENERIFE ARE IN TOWN!!! Season record: 7-0, not a typo, for real, Venezia are the best team ever...okay, maybe just the team of the week for now.

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