09 October, 2018
05 May, 2019
Long Read
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Power Rankings: The Black V and the Queen are getting closer to the top

MIES (Switzerland) - Six 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.


Mmmbop...ba duba dop...ba du bop, ba duba dop...ba du dop, ba duba dop...ba du, yeah-e-yeah...
(Six games into the season, Opava are still a one-hit wonder, just like the Hanson brothers and their hit-single MMMBop. Season record: 6-10, including a 100-55 defeat away at Pardubice.)


The Weirdest Stat of the Competition award* goes to... Fribourg Olympic! Swiss champs are - get this - grabbing 38.2 of all available offensive rebounds in their Basketball Champions League games! That's almost like having second chance offense on every other possession... They are leading the league in offensive rebounding percentage, but unfortunately for them, they are not so good in the most important W's and L's columns. Season record: 11.5-6.5, they had a draw in QR.
*not a real thing.


New coach is in Ljubljana. Aleksandar Sasa Nikitovic stands tall at the helm of Petrol Olimpija, and with a young group of guys that they have in Slovenia, it made sense to hire a coach known for his time with various youth selections in Serbia. Season record: 7-15, they played more games than any NBA team this season.


Filou Oostende turn the ball over in 20.9 percent of their possessions in this league. That's why they can't make their league leading 83.0 defensive rebounding percentage count. Season record: 9-6, but 1-5 in this league.


I love this team, I love coach Igor Milicic, but my love alone is not enough, not enough, not enough... Anwil dropped to 2-4 in the Basketball Champions League. Good to see them climb to 4-3 in their title defense in Poland, maybe that gets them going here, too, to convert all of their fine advanced stat rankings to wins. Season record: 6-8, get it to .500 and you're in Top 15 guys.


Still trying to figure out these guys. Thought Ventspils would be really bad when they lost to Anwil at home, but then they bounced back to defeat Banvit. Thought they would be really good then, but they dropped another home game, this time to Nizhny Novgorod, and seems that tiebreakers could hurt them at the end of Gameday 14. Season record: 11-5, impressive 9-1 in the Latvian-Estonian League.




Remember Besiktas Sompo Japan from two years ago? You couldn't get a rebound around Vladimir Stimac and Earl Clark. Last season, you couldn't get a rebound around Sertac Sanli and Juan Palacios or Augusto Lima or Cody Lalanne. This season? Besiktas are grabbing joint league-worst 18.0 percent of offensive rebounds available. Meaning, their shots are one-and-done, run back to defend again... Season record: 6-7, with time to climb.


Just not sure what to write about German clubs this season. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly from Telekom Baskets Bonn, and they are as close to Top 10 as to elimination after the Regular Season. Season record: 8-7, not bad, but have to do better than 2-4 internationally.


Just not sure what to write about German clubs this season. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly from MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg, and they are as close to Top 10 as to elimination after the Regular Season. Season record: 5-10, not bad, but have to do better than 1-5 internationally. 


Just not sure what to write about German clubs this season. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly from medi Bayreuth, and they are as close to Top 10 as to elimination after the Regular Season. Season record: 7.5-8.5, not bad, but have to do better than 2-4 internationally. 


Nizhny Novgorod were en route to Top 16 in the Power Rankings, but a 25-point defeat against UNICS Kazan will keep them in 21st for another week. Three-game winning streak in all competitions snapped, but seems that injury troubles are behind them and they are ready to go for a long and successful run. Season record: 10-9, deceptive because 5 wins came in the Qualifying Rounds.


When you're having trouble explaining the troubles with the troubling schedule of playing two tough competitions at the same time, just point the finger to JDA Dijon. They opened up the season with five wins in a row, but when the schedule got to two games per week, they followed it up with just 2 wins over the next 11 games. Season record: 7-9, including 1-5 in the Basketball Champions League.


Losing at home in such a close group is a big no-no. And Montakit Fuenlabrada have made it back to back no-no's, no-no-no-no, after losing to Hapoel Jerusalem and CEZ Nymburk. They need to make up for it on the road, with a game against Lietkabelis around the corner. Season record: 7-8, hardest team to predict in this bunch.


Still the team with the worst offensive rating in the Basketball Champions League, Le Mans travel to Poland this week, to face one of the best offensive teams in the league in Anwil. French champs up against Polish champs, chance to make this 1-4 in last five games a part of history. Season record: 8-8, still above .500 in France.


I think we could end up seeing CEZ Nymburk on a level close to what we are used to over the past two Basketball Champions League seasons. They won two of their last three games in this competition, now just imagine what kind of damage they would've done if the true shooting percentage wasn't the lowest in the league at .475... Season record: 11-4, BOOM! Unbeaten in nine in CZE.


Blink and you missed it. Telenet Antwerp Giants are on a three-game winning run thanks to their fast paced offense, 106 at Okapi Aalstar, 80 at Dijon, 95 against Limburg, that's how you do it! Yeah, another friendly reminder that none of their players were around when Toto Cutugno won the Eurovision Song Contest, or when Liverpool last won the league in England. Season record: 12-5, tied for most wins in this pack.


UCAM Murcia lost their first game of the Basketball Champions League on a last minute one-on-one turnover, something that just says they were out-hustled in Germany. So, how did they bounce back? Like this, with Ovie Soko diving, Emanuel Cate dunking, and we want more of the same moving forward! Season record: 9-7, hate seeing a 5-0 record ended against an 0-5 team.


Four wins in last five games, with the sole defeat coming to the hands of AEK. Not bad. Lietkabelis host Fuenlabrada and Neptunas in the Basketball Champions League and Lithuanian League, respectively, before googling what the best road trip games are - after the break, they will play FOUR straight games away from home. Make or break time. Season record: 9-7, 4-1 in last five.


It's funny how PAOK go from "oh man, this will hurt" to "oh man, they are hurting others!" every season. They lost a game in the Greek League over the weekend, putting an end to a five-game winning streak in all competitions, but their three-game run is still alive in the Basketball Champions League. Started 0-3, now we here. Season record: 8-6; 3-3 in Greek League, 3-3 in Basketball Champions League, 2-0 in Greek Cup.


It's so crowded at the top that back-to-back defeats - even to juggernauts like Promitheas and Rytas - take you out of Top 10, especially when both of those happened in front of Neptunas' colorful fans. Season record: 12-5, tied for most wins among these 32 teams.


Adas Juskevicius is the player to watch, he will be hunting for the MVP of the Week and Team of the Week honors, judging by his long distance performance against Limoges over the weekend. Nanterre 92 are 6-2 in their last 8 games, after a so-so start to the season, good to see the green lantern shining again. Season record: 10-7, Holon are in town next!


I hope they are getting paid by the minute, because UNET Holon have already played five overtimes this season! Another one saw them take down Gilboa Galil over the weekend, 112-106 the final score, meaning the game against Nanterre will be full of fire emojis on our Twitter, Instagram and MySpace*. Season record: 9-5, they are good.
*nope, not on MySpace.


Brose Bamberg are the leading cause of psychosomatic pain in northern Bavaria, with 11 of their 14 games this season finishing in single digits, including the last three, in which they had to go to OT against Giessen, lost to Hapoel Jerusalem on a three-pointer that went in-and-out-and-in-and-out again at the buzzer, lost to Alba by 4 in a game where they had 21 turnovers... I'm in pain just writing about their stress. Season record: 9-5, serving myself a cup of chamomile tea to calm down... 


Can't be mad at SIG Strasbourg because they lost in Bologna. Still a threat to others and a treat to their fans, 6-2 over the last eight games in all competitions, meaning they are still rising compared to a bit slower start to the season by their standards. Season record: 11-5, 7-3 in French Jeep Elite League, sharing the second spot over there.


Umana Reyer Venezia lost to Nanterre and Milano last week, back-to-back home games that could've gone their way, especially the one in Serie A, as they crawled back from -22 to have a couple of possessions to force OT or win it... Unlucky, facing back-to-back defeats for the first time this season. Trip to Fribourg could be what they need to snap out of it. Season record: 10-3, yep, they were 10-1...


Still the best defensive team of the competition, with 11.7 steals per game, Promitheas Patras are proving they belong here. Nikos Gkikas is low-key having a brilliant year, 8.5 points per game are his secondary or even tertiary threat, with 2.0 steals per game and 5.8 assist per outing. Season record: 10-4, they won in Neptunas, mythical battle it was with Prometheus rising over Neptune.


Would you be surprised if Sidigas Avellino won this whole thing? Or, if they won the Italian League? Or, the Italian Cup? I wouldn't. I always had a soft spot for them because Tomislav Ivic used to coach Avellino in soccer and you most probably have no idea what I just said. Back to basketball, they are 8-2 over the last 10 games in all competitions, and those two defeats were against Bologna and Murcia, no shame in that. Season record: 10-3; 5-1 here and 5-2 there.


Here, at the Basketball Champions League headquarters, we take great pride in understanding advanced stats. That's why we introduced the trash talk metrics, and long story short - Yakety yak, don't talk back! Segafredo Virtus Bologna and Kevin Punter are the masters in that department. Season record: 10-3, a perfect 6-0 in the Baskteball Champions League.


Vince Hunter said he's playing really good right now, per TalkBasket.net, earning a nomination for the Understatement of the Year award* in the Basketball Champions League.  AEK's big guy scored 25, 24 and 28 in last three games in this competition, shooting 31-of-39 from the field in that span. Give that man a lifetime contract with the Queen, that's a perfect fit right there! Season record: 10-4, also 8-2 in last 10.
*not a real thing.


I already wrote about Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem in the Help-Side Column, so head on there and see how it's connected to a beautiful Psalm. Season record: 10-4, lost a game in the Israeli League for the first time in a long time.


All you need to know about Iberostar Tenerife is the fact that they are 29.6 points better than their opponents per 100 possessions. Perfect in the Basketball Champions League, making noise in the Spanish Liga Endesa with a comfy 100-66 win over Valencia, and the feel good factor continues with Nico Richotti making another comeback and receiving a standing ovation from the crowd. Season record: 12-3, tied for most wins among these 32.

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