08 October, 2019
04 October, 2020
Basketball Champions League Power Rankings: Volume 3
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Basketball Champions League Power Rankings: Volume 3

MIES (Switzerland) - Basketball Champions League is back, which also means that our Power Rankings are here to stay, too. The format remains the same as last season, domestic results are taken into account, because you can't view this as an isolated competition, but as part of what a basketball team is going through all season long, in all competitions, all the time.


Since EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez are in the middle of a six game losing streak, Pau Gasol remains the best Pau in basketball.


Seven game losing streak is over for Gaziantep, thanks to their win in Turkey over the weekend. Now, to keep climbing here, they need to get in the win column in the Basketball Champions League.


PAOK are just happy that October is over, because they went 1-6 during that month. November is already looking better, because they are 1-0 now that they collected a win in Greek League.


Lietkabelis are down here just because we expected more out of their first home game of the Basketball Champions League season. Instead, Turk Telekom stormed to a 14-point win, sending Lietkabelis down to 29th here.


Mornar defeated Cedevita Olimpija over the weekend, handing the Ljubljana based Zagreb club (if that makes sense) their first defeat in the Adriatic League, which was big...but still, Mornar need more of the same in the Basketball Champions League to get out of the 20s and into the 10s.


Back to back games in which Polski Cukier Torun allowed 100+ points in the BCL and the Polish League. Nothing to add to that fact.


VEF Riga have three straight games at home in the Basketball Champions League. Sounds like a chance to get to 4-2 and back to the upper half of the Power Rankings, which is more important, really. Okay. Maybe not.


Filou Oostende had a whole week to figure out what went wrong against Sassari. Also, they have a game at home now, up against winless Lietkabelis, which means they have a chance to get back to .500 this early on in the season. They haven't been doing that so far in their Basketball Champions League history, Oostende would usually go on late Regular Season runs, but having a game at home against an 0-3 Lietkabelis sounds like a chance they cannot blow.


Lowest scoring quarters of the season for Telenet Giants Antwerp:
Q3 v AEK - 3 points.
Q3 v Sodertalje - 10 points.
Q4 v Burgos - 10 points.
Q1 v AEK - 12 points.
Q4 v AEK - 12 points.
Just a horrible offensive game for the Belgian squad last week, with three of their five worst quarters coming in the same game. Hard to see that happening again.


What's wrong with Polish teams that they keep allowing 100+ points in their domestic championship? Anwil Wloclawek go up here because of their win over Pau last week, but should we be worried about Zielona Gora putting up 101 against them?


How on earth am I supposed to explain that UNET Holon lost five of their last six games and that the one they won was by scoring a new BCL record of 122 points!? I'll try with "the only thing more contagious than confidence is lack of confidence." That works.


Besiktas Sompo Sigorta should really be somewhere at 6-0 in the Turkish League and 3-0 in the Basketball Champions League. That's a fair assessment, I guess. Because when a team loses four straight games with no more than 5 points (-1, -5, -4, -3), maybe we should just label them as unlucky.


This is a dangerous team. Falco Szombathely are still perfect in Hungary, and they lost to Casademont Zaragoza on a clutch tip-in, which are all just signs for you to keep an eye on them. Oh, and Zoltan Perl is a pearl, for sure. 


We got used to BAXI Manresa's win one, lose the other rhythm, which usually meant that they were winning in BCL and losing in Liga Endesa. But they had it the other way around last week, defeating Bilbao and losing to Strasbourg. Still feels like they are the UCAM Murcia of this season. 


Good to see SIG Strasbourg out of their early season slump. It was a good week for them with wins over BAXI Manresa and EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez, connect two more against Holon and Roanne and you'll be headed to Top 10 for sure.


Three straight wins for Brose Bamberg in all competitions, seems like Roel Moors has found a way with this squad. Time to climb to .500 with a game against Mornar at home, then follow it up with some fireworks for the duel with Bonn in the German League over the weekend. No easy games, not at all.


These kids are for real! Teksut Bandirma's youth is taking care of business, grabbing three straight wins in all competitions, which means they are way ahead of their schedule when 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds are getting solid minutes week in, week out. One of the games of the week coming up, AEK will be in town on Wednesday!


Should we talk about rebounding? Because Happy Casa Brindisi are only bringing in 49.0 percent of all available rebounds in the Italian League, and 47.5 percent in the Basketball Champions League. And rebounding is important. It really is.


That 2-4 start to the season in Lithuania was a bit scary. But Neptunas Klaipeda are back to their business as usual, doing it in the most not-Neptunas way possible - winning three straight away from home. Zaragoza are in Lithuania on Wednesday, should be a fun one.


W-L-W-L and it goes round and round. Win over Frankfurt, defeat to Ludwigsburg. Defeat to Crailsheim, win over Bayern. Win over Zaragoza, defeat to Brindisi. Win over Besiktas, defeat to Vechta. I guess that means win over Falco and defeat to Bamberg this week for Telekom Baskets Bonn.


AEK finally won in the Greek League, getting just their second W over the first six games of the Regular Season there. And the defensive clinic against Antwerp Giants was all it took to get them on the brink of Top 10. Two extremely tough games in the Basketball Champions League are coming up, away at Bandirma and at home to Burgos, which could easily get them all the way to Top 5 here.


So, after winning the first seven games of their season, Peristeri winmasters went on to become completely cold and lost back-to-back games. Nizhny Novgorod will be a huge test for Peristeri, because...


...Nizhny Novgorod are easily a Top 10 team here. Defense is once again what gets coach Zoran Lukic excited, Nizhny allow only 98.8 points per 100 possessions, meaning they are the fourth best defense of the League so far. And anything lower than 100 in that department is a fancy way of saying that a team is really solid defensively.


And just as good as Nizhny are under their own rim, San Pablo Burgos are doing the same kind of stuff offensively. A 129.6 offensive rating is league leading by some distance. I know, I know, small sample. But still, it's easy to see why 10k people are in the stands every time this team steps on the floor.


I wrote about Moustapha Fall being a candidate for the MVP of the Season award. Diccon Lloyd-Smeath wrote about Moustapha Fall being the gravitational pull. And he's not even the best player on the team, with R.J. Hunter ready to score 30+ when needed. And against Manresa, it will be needed for Turk Telekom to protect their perfect record.


No shame in losing to Hapoel in Jerusalem. And if that was your only defeat over the last six games, then you deserve to be here at number 7. Because that 0-3 start to the German League is now behind Rasta Vechta, who are 3-3 in Germany and 2-1 in the Basketball Champions League.


Miro Bilan was selected to the All-Star team of the month in Italy, and he was selected to the Team of the Week in the Basketball Champions League, too. So, if Dinamo Sassari keep feeding their big Croat down low, if they keep getting contribution from Dyshawn Pierre all the time, if they keep on defeating opponents by 36 like they did against Roma two days ago, then Sassari are on the path to becoming a legit contender to win the Italian League, the Italian Cup and the Basketball Champions League. Remember, they already won the Super Cup, so it's looking like a good season.


So, Marcelinho Huertas had this big shot to defeat Peristeri last week. Then he followed it up with another game-winner over the weekend. Safe to say, signing Marcelinho was a good idea, Iberostar Tenerife.


Casademont Zaragoza are the thing that you should point at when your analytics friend starts saying that everything can be explained through numbers. Because Zaragoza are at the bottom of the League in steals percentage (4.5 percent), they score less than 100 points per 100 possessions (99.5) and allow 105.0 points per 100 possessions, so yeah, they shouldn't be this high...but they are. Because they keep on winning. That's what they do.


ERA Nymburk's winning streak now stands at 37 games in all competitions. They simply forgot what it's like to lose. Last happened in February; yes, February; yes, nine months ago; yes, they won 37 games since.


Offensive rating 115.6, defensive rating 94.7, meaning JDA Dijon own a league leading 20.9 efficiency differential. That's all. Six game winning streak in all competitions, including an 88-86 overtime triumph away at Chalons-Reims, in which they survived a wide open layup to force double overtime. Find the clip, check it out. Dijon won because Chalons-Reims missed a wide open layup at the buzzer.


Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem played 11 games this season. They won 10 of those. Their only defeat of the season was away at Maccabi Tel Aviv, when Scottie Wilbekin went mad and knocked down what felt like 10 thousand three-pointers in the third quarter. Other than that one quarter (third one), Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem have been picture-perfect all season long!

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

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic

Igor Curkovic is Basketball Champions League's writer and editor since day one of the competition, specializing in Live Blog coverage of the games and sorting out the teams on Mondays, in the Power Rankings. When he's not watching basketball, he's commentating Croatian Second Division soccer games for TV.