Euroleague Power Rankings: Power Forwards
As the Euroleague 2012-13 regular season slowly comes to an end, RealGM presents the ultimate positional rankings of the league's best players. In this fourth edition, RealGM ranked the elite power forwards from one to ten.
1. Viktor Khryapa (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 8.2 points, 4 rebounds, 3.3 assists.
In eight season with CSKA Moscow, Viktor Khryapa has established himself as a true symbol of the club on and off the court. Being 6-foot-8, Khryapa is a very versatile big men who can play the wing and do a bit of everything. The 30-year-old Russian is also a great facilitator; making his teammates better on offense, while at the same time, can create his own offense as well. However, the defensive end of the floor is what makes Khryapa a special player and the Euroleague best defender prize he won in 2009-2010 only proves how productive Khryapa can be on both ends.
2. Georgios Printezis (Olympiakos Piraeus, Greece)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 10.6 points (60.2% 2FG), 4.1 rebounds.
Georgios Printezis' game-wining shot in the Euroelague title game sparked talks about his chances to join the NBA, but most forgot how great Pritezis had been all season long. His aggressiveness, energy and hustle were the strengths of Olympiakos, which ended up winning a championship in May. Printezis also had his career-best Euroleague game (31 performance index ranking) last season, as he scored 21 points (7/7 FG), grabbed seven rebounds and helped his team beat Fenerbahce Ulker.
3. Felipe Reyes (Real Madrid, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 8.4 points, 6.3 rebounds.
Euroleague veteran Felipe Reyes, who is currently playing his eight Euroleague season with Real, is still an important piece of the team and is among the elite power forwards in the league. Reyes ranked second in the Euroleague in rebounds per 100 possessions (18.4) last season and averaged 6.3 rebounds per game in only 18 minutes. Reyes' role changed dramatically in 11-12, from a starter to bench player, but he remained a face of Real.
4. Paulius Jankunas (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 7.8 points, 5.6 rebounds.
At the age of 28, Paulius Jankunas could be already called a true Euroleague veteran as he's currently playing in his 10th season in the strongest European competition. He had many ups and downs last season - from having career-best game to two consecutive scoreless games - but this year Jankunas reminds himself. Once again, Jankunas is a captain his teammates can trust and one of the reasons of Zalgiris success this season.
5. Marcus Slaughter (Real Madrid, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 11.8 points, 7.2 rebounds.
It didn't take much time for RealGM's 11-12 Euroleague All-Rookie 1st Team selection Marcus Slaughter to get signed by a European powerhouse such as Real Madrid. You cannot expect anything less after a superb debut season Slaughter had with Brose Baskets, where he averaged 11.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.7 steals in 26 minutes. One of the most athletically gifted Euroleague players, Slaughter has quickly adapted to Real's style of play and became a big threat coming off the bench to any opponent.
6. Mike Batiste (Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Turkey)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 9.7 points, 4.6 rebounds.
Mike Batiste, three-time Euroleague champion, has been a huge part of the success of Panathinaikos Athens. In eight seasons with Panathinaikos, Batiste established himself as a dominant power in the paint, who created a strong connection with head coach Zeljko Obradovic. Things are different for Batiste in Turkey, where he represents Fenerbahce Ulker and is no more than a role player so far this season.
7. Stephane Lasme (Panathinaikos Athens, Greece)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Liga Endesa): 10.9 points, 6.3 rebounds.
Stephen Lasme is one of those players who have been migrating between Europe and the United State, but since he played for Partizan Belgrade in 08-09, it was obvious his place was in the Euroleague. Lasme joined Panathinaikos this season, where once again demonstrates how efficient he can be. Despite Lasme comes off the bench, he leads the league in block shots per 100 possessions (6.4) and is fifth in rebounds per 100 possessions (17.3). Lasme is clearly back where he belongs.
8. Kyle Hines (Olympiakos Piraeus, Greece)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 9.9 points, 4.5 rebounds.
The European version of Charles Barkley, Kyle Hines has been proving Mark Twain's quote "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog" throughout his career as he established himself as a 6-foot-5 Euroleague level big men. Same as Slaughter, Hines had an amazing debut season in Brose Baskets, and then got signed by future Euroleague champions Olympiakos straightaway. In only his third Euroleague season, Hines is looking forward to repeat as a champion with still-looking-strong Olympiacos.
9. Milko Bjelica (Caja Laboral Vitoria, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds.
Caja Laboral's Milko Bjelica is one of very few players, who averaged more than 10 points and 3.5 rebounds in last three Euroleague seasons. Bjelica, who had a breakout season with Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, is also a great at the free throws as he made 84.2% shots from the line. However, same as his team Caja Laboral, the 28-year-old forward is having a rough season and all his statistical numbers went down dramatically.
10. Lior Eliyahu (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 8.5 points, 3 rebounds.
Over the past few years, Lior Eliyahu's career has slowed down. At the age of 27, Eliyahu didn't become a dominant Euroleague as expected, but he still should be named among the best power forwards in the league. Inconsistency has been a problem for Eliyahu as he can be terrific in a game or two, and then simply disappears in the next one. Nevertheless, he's still an important part of Maccabi and the hope of Israel basketball.