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14-15 Euroleague Power Rankings: Small Forwards

As the 14-15 Euroleague season begins, RealGM presents the ultimate positional rankings of the league's best players. In the third edition, we rank the elite small forwards from one to ten.  

1. Emir Preldzic (Fenerbahce Ulker, Turkey)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Euroleague): 10.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists. 

The 2013-14 season was arguably the best of Emir Plredzic’s career. In his seventh Euroleague season with Fenerbahce Ulker, Preldzic averaged MVP-worthy numbers of 11.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists in the regular season and despite the ups and downs in Top 16, Preldzic was the most efficient small forward in the whole league. Preldzic was also dominant in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, where he once again demonstrated his versatility by averaging 12.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4 assists. The 27-year-old forward was also under the spotlight after hitting the shot of his career, a last second three pointer that carried Turkey over Australia. Preldzic could compete for MVP award in any of the upcoming seasons but he might have to sacrifice his statistics by involving his teammates to achieve better results as a team.

2. Alessandro Gentile (EA7 Emporio Armani, Italy)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Euroleague): 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Despite his young age and EA7 Emporio Armani being loaded with deep backcourt, the 22-year-old Alessandro Gentile was one of Luca Banchi's main options in crucial moments last season. Gentile, who started playing professional basketball at the age of 16, quickly learned how to use his strong body in Euroleague and that helped him to achieve success in 13-14. Gentile also demonstrated his leadership in Italian league, where he helped EA7 Emporio Armani win the championship while Gentile was named the Italian League Finals MVP. Considering that the rising Italian basketball star was also the top scorer for the Italian national team at EuroBasket 2013, within the next three years with EA7 Emporio Armani Gentile has a great chance to become one of the youngest Euroleague MVP award winners ever.

3. Sonny Weems (CSKA, Russia)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Euroleague): 12.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists. 

For the second season in a row, Sonny Weems averaged more than 12 points, two rebounds and two assists per game, which helped him to make RealGM's All-Euroleague First Team of 2013-14. Weems established himself as one of the best wings in the league back in his debut season with Zalgiris Kaunas in 11-12 and it seemed that joining a winning team and will provide him an opportunity to fully reach his potential in Europe. However, in two years Weems played twice in Euroleague semifinals and both times failed to carry CSKA to the final. In last season’s final four, Weems was one of the most disappointing players as in two games he collected 14 points, making six shots out of 23 attempts, and dished out four assists.

4. Andres Nocioni (FC Barcelona, Spain)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Euroleague): 13.6 points and 6.6 rebounds.

The 35-year-old veteran Andres Nocioni proved last season that he is still capable of playing 26 minutes a game and being a leader in a Euroleague Top 16 caliber team. Nocioni collected 20 or more performance index rating (PIR) points in seven Euroleagues games, including two 35 PIR performances against FC Barcelona and Panathinaikos Athens. Nocioni decided to improve his chances on winning Euroleague title this offseason by leaving Vitoria and joining Real Madrid. Gustavo Ayon, Marcus Slaughter, Felipe Reyes, Ionnis Bourousis, Salah Mehri - Real has one of the best frontscourts in Euroleague, and as lately Nocioni spent more time playing at power forward, therefore no surprise that his role will decrease and playing time will be limited to around 15 minutes per game. 

5. Nemanja Bjelica (Fenerbahce Ulker, Turkey)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Euroleague): 10.4 points (42% 3FG), 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

For Nemanja Bjelica, the 13-14 season was also the best of his career as he averaged solid numbers in both Euroleague and 2014 FIBA World Cup competitions. In 24 Euroleague games, Bjelica averaged career-high 10.4 points and 6.1 boards, including three double-doubles twice against FC Barcelona and once versus EA7 Emporio Armani. However, the Euroleague season for Fenerbahce Ulker ended soon while with Serbian national team Bjelica traveled all the way to the 2014 FIBA World Cup final. Bjelica led the silver-medal winning team in rebounds (6.9) as he was also one of the Top 3 scorers (11.9 PPG). As it is the case with Preldzic, Bjelica will not be the main and only Zeljko Obradovic’s option on offence this season. As Fenerbahce Ulke is once again full of talent, it is going to be difficult for Bjelica to improve his numbers, which would possibly happen if he plays for other Euroleague team. 

6. Matthew Lojeski (Olympiacos, Greece)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Euroleague): 11.1 points (43% 3FG), 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

Matthew Lojeski had a difficult task in replacing Kostas Papanikolaou in his debut Euroleague season for the back-to-back champions. By using his versatility, Lojeski did that surprisingly well - he helped Vassilis Spanoulis to lead Olympiacos all season long and was surprisingly persistent throughout regular season, Top 16 and the playoffs as he averaged more than 10 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in each stage. Despite being his first Euroleague season, Lojeski was also a big threat behind the three-point line as he scored three or more long-range shots in eight Euroleague games last season. Lojeski revealed his intentions to have a bigger role this season, which means that if Olympaicos stays on winning track, Lojeski might become a serious contender for the MVP award.

7. Jonas Maciulis (Real, Spain)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Euroleague): 8.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals.

Jonas Maciulis’ performance in 13-14 could be divided in two parts - Euroleague regular season and the rest of the year. Maciulis was one of the Panathinaikos’ leaders in regular season where he averaged 12.3 points and 5 rebounds and played his career game (19 points and eight boards) against Laboral Kutxa. Then Maciulis disappeared in Top 16 as his scoring averages dropped from 12.3 to 5.6 points per game as all his shooting percentages went down as well. The absence of few key Lithuanian national team players gave Maciulis opportunity to become a leader but the 29-year-old forward failed to use the chance. Despite Maciulis being one of the key defensive stoppers in 2014 FIBA World Cup, his contribution to team’s results (6.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game) was far behind the expectations. 

8. Tremell Darden (Olympiacos, Greece)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Euroleague): 5.7 points (46% 3FG) and 2.6 rebounds.

Tremell Darden played an important role in last year’s Real Madrid team and was an important figure during Real’s 31-game winning streak. Darden started in 30 out of 31 Euroleague games last season and despite his statistics does not reflect that, he was one of the best defensive stoppers in the whole league. His direct opponents averaged only 6.3 points in 19.4 minutes while facing Darden, which helped Real become one of the best defensive teams in the Euroleague. Due to his specific role, Darden will never be considered as a contender to win Euroleague MVP prize, but he still holds a chance to win the Euroleague Best Defender award within the next two years with Olympiacos.

9. James White (Unics, Russia)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Italian league): 17.1 points and 5 rebounds.

While playing for three different Italian teams since 2010 (with a break in 12-13), James White was undoubtedly the best scorer in Legabasket Serie A. White, who averaged no less than 17 points per game in each of those three seasons, comes to Euroleague after winning EuroChallenge trophy with Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia, where he was also the most efficient player on the team. The 32-year-old forward averaged 15.8 points, 4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, including his 17 points on 5-of-8 from the floor, four rebounds and two assists performance in the final game. After White registered a double-double in his Euroleague opening game, it seems that the new leader of Unics has ambitions to be make it into the Euroleague MVP conversation too.

10. Stratos Perperoglou (Anadolu Efes, Turkey)

Statistics in 2013-14 (Euroleague): 9.9 points (46% 3FG) and 2.8 rebounds. 

Stratos Perperoglou had a career year last season after successfully taking advantage of playing some minutes at power forward due to the injury Georgios Printezis. When Printezis was out, Perperoglou played his career game against FC Bayern, scoring 25 points, grabbing four boards and finishing the game with 28 PIR points. Perperoglou collected 20 or more PIR points in four Euroleague games last season and solid performance helped him to secure a new two-year deal in Turkey with Anadolu Efes. Perpreroglou is reunited with Dusan Ivkovic again and as Anadolu Efes frontcourt is loaded with talent, Perperoglou should be again Ivkovic’s main option at small forward position.

Euroleague Power Rankings For Mid-November

Euroleague has nearly approached Week 5 of its regular season, which is when RealGM traditionally presents the Euroleague Power Rankings. We evaluated and ranked the performance of all 24 Euroleague teams over their first four games and their perspective in future battles.

The number in brackets shows position in previous ranking.

1. (2) Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 4-0

Zeljko Obradovic’s Fenerbahce Ulker has been the most impressive team throughout first four games as their offense is pretty much unstoppable. Fenerbahce Ulker has the best ORtg (offensive rating) in the league and average 124.5 points per 100 possessions. The Turkish team’s offense wouldn’t be as efficient as it is now if Fenerbahce Ulker hadn’t cut its number of turnovers. Fenerbahce Ulker commits only 9.8 turnovers per game, which is the lowest in the competition. In fact, Linas Kleiza hasn’t turned the ball over in his last 90 minutes of action and this is currently the longest active streak.

2. (1) Real Madrid 4-0

Real Madrid hasn’t faced the best Euroleague teams yet, but still has been dominant while playing against lower-caliber clubs. Pablo Laso’s Real has won all four of its games by a total of 98 points and that is more than any 4-0 team since 2000 (previous record was 94). That wouldn’t be possible if not for Nikola Mirotic, whose draft rights are held by the Bulls, and his amazing shooting percentages. Mirotic averages 13.5 points (66% FG, 64% 3FG, 92% FT), 6.3 boards, 1.5 steals and is currently the main candidate to win MVP.

3. (4) Olympiacos Piraeus 4-0

Olympiacos Piraeus is on their way to a threepeat as the Reds are one of only three teams that remained unbeaten through the first four games. Newcomers successfully replaced players that left the team in offseason as Bryatn Dunston, Matt Lojeski and Brent Petway, together average 32.6 points, 15.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Olympiacos should get another win next week as they face Stelmet Zielona Gora and got one step closer on wining group C. 

4. (9) Maccabi Tel Aviv 3-1

Maccabi Tel Aviv didn’t have many problems against Lokomotiv Kuban in Week 3 game and had built up an 18-point lead versus Lietuvos Rytas in Week 4. However, the game with Lietuvos Rytas went down to a Tyrese Rice game-winning shot, but Maccabi still managed to add two important away wins before heading home and hosting Panathinaikos and Laboral Kutxa. Their next two games should define where Maccabi is right now and whether they are worth being ranked in the Top 4.

5. (5) FC Barcelona 2-2

FC Barcelona lost to JSF Nanterre by a final score of 67-71, which was the biggest surprise so far this Euroleague season and just another proof that the Spanish team is far from being in top shape. Also despite having great shooters such as Kostas Papanikolaou, Juan Carlos Navarro and Bostjan Nachbar, FC Barcelona has been struggling with long-range shots and is currently ranked 23rd among 24 Euroleague teams in terms of three-point shooting percentage (28.7%).

6. (7) Anadolu Efes Istanbul 3-1

Even though Anadolu Efes slipped in Bamberg by losing to Brose Baskets, 86-88, Oktay Mahmuti’s team seems to be a Top 8 contender with plenty of offensive and defensive weapons to fight the best. Offensively, Euroleague rookie Scotty Hopson is currently third scoring at 17.8 points per game, while defensively, Anadolu Efes leads the Euroleague in number of opponents turnovers per game - 18.8.

7. (3) CSKA Moscow 2-2

CSKA Moscow continues to struggle to find its identity as they first had a slow start, then failed to compete with FC Barcelona and Fenerbahce Ulker. A team, which likely has the most talent on offense on paper - Nenad Krstic, Sonny Weems, Jeremy Pargo and others - is shockingly ranked 23rd in points per game and managed to score only 66 points on average in its first four Euroleague games.

8. (10) Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar 3-1

In their first serious Euroleague test versus Maccabi, Lokomotiv-Kuban seemed to have their hands tied as Maccabi was already up by 20 (52-32) in the beginning of third quarter. However, Lokomotiv-Kuban rebounded in Athens where they beat Panathinaikos with a last-second shot. The Russian club definitely belongs in the elite eight with their fast and talented team, but it looks like Lokomotiv-Kuban hasn’t used its all offensive potential and still has space to grow.

9. (6) Panathinaikos Athens 2-2

Dimitris Diamantidis, who will turn 34 years old later this season, has been averaging a career-high 8.3 assists per game and shows no signs of slowing down. Equally important, Diamantidis dished out 33 assists in total and committed only three turnovers in 131 minutes spent on the court this season.

10. (8) Laboral-Kutxa Vitoria 2-2 

Sergio Scariolo is once again on the hot seat. Scariolo, who won only 37 percent of his Euroleague games over the past three seasons with Olimpia Milano and Khimki Moscow region, has been struggling to implement his strategies and make Laboral Kutxa a winning team. Vitoria’s team won four games and faced face losses in Spanish championship and Euroleague so far and these results certainly don’t meet the expectations.

11. (11) Bayern Munich 3-1

Seeing Bayern beating Olympiakos and being one of three unbeaten Euroleague had been a huge surprise, but despite losing to the champs, the German team is still on a great pace to make it to the Top 16. Moreover, Bayern did make a surprise as even without healthy Deon Thompson, who should be a leading rebounder in Bayern in a long run, Munich team leads the Euroleague in rebounds with 40.8 per game.

12. (12) Galatasaray Istanbul 2-2

Galatasaray can be a Top 8 contender on two conditions (assuming their healthy). First, Carlos Arroyo needs to be back in shape and start knocking down shots as he did in Week 1. Second, Galatasay needs to fix its defense - they’re ranked 23rd in DRtg (defensive rating) as they have allowed their opponents to score 117.3 (!) points per 100 possessions.

13. (14) Unicaja Malaga 2-2

The absence of injured Nik Caner-Medley is definitely felt in Malaga as Unicaja destroyed Galatasaray with him and was destroyed by Bayern while Caner-Medley was not available. The players of Unicaja still need more time to adjust to Joan Plaza and each other and once this happens, Unicaja should move up in our Euroleague Power Rankings.

14. (16) EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 2-2

EA7 Emporio Armani is on a pace to grab all must-wins against lower-caliber teams, lose all games versus the best and that should be enough to secure them a third place in group B. On a positive note, Alessandro Gentile is currently the top contender to win Euroleague Rising Star award as he’s been averaging 12 points (46% 3FG), 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 23 minutes in first four games.

15. (23) JSF Nanterre 2-2

JSF Nanterre has made the biggest rise in RealGM’s Euroleague Power Rankings by capturing two sensational wins against FC Barcelona (on the road) and giving Budivelnik no chance at home. In order to become a real threat in group A, JSF Nanterre needs to improve its free-throw shooting as they make only 59.3 percent of the shots from the line.

16. (18) Crvena Zvezda Belgrade 1-3

Crvena Zvezda’s fast-paced basketball has finally produced results. Dejan Radonjic’s team beat Laboral Kutxa in last week’s games and kept their Top 16 hopes alive. So far Crvena Zvezda has been doing great work under its own basket, limiting opponents to only 6.5 offensive rebounds per game and this has been the best result in the Euroleague.  

17. (20) Brose Baskets Bamberg 2-2

Amazing performance by Casey Jacobsen, who nailed seven three-pointers, helped Brose Baskets to record a surprise win over Anadolu Efes and become a number one candidate to finish 4th in group B. However, next week’s game against Zalgiris could be decisive as stealing an away win would make Brose Baskets very hard to catch for both Zalgiris and Strasbourg IG. 

18. (13) Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 1-3

After grabbing a sensational win in Week 1, Lietuvos Rytas has been slowing down, mainly due to poor effort and lack of size inside the paint. Lietuvos Rytas allowed its opponents to grab 37.8 rebounds in its first four games and this has been the worst result in the Euroleague. The Lithuanian team also needs a better performance in away games from Milenko Tepic, who has been averaging 1.9 points (16% 3FG) so far this season.

19. (15) Budivelnik Kyiv 1-3

Last week’s loss to JSF Nanterre might be crucial for Budivelnik and their Top 16 hopes as they face FC Barcelona, Fenerbahce Ulker and CSKA in the upcoming three weeks. After promising performances in first two games, now Budivelnik has to start stealing wins from the giants and needs to win at least one of its next three games.    

20. (17) Partizan Belgrade 1-3

The 2012-13 season had to be a year for Leo Westermann to develop his game and adjust to the Euroleague level, but the adjustment period lasts longer than it was expected. While Bogdan Bogdanovic and Joffrey Lauvergne already play as candidates to win Euroleague Rising Star trophy, Westermann is still far behind, averaging 7.8 points (31% FG), 2.8 assists and 2.5 turnovers in 32 minutes. 

21. (19) Zalgiris Kaunas 1-3

Zalgiris Kaunas is the best three-point and free throw shooting team in the league, but the Lithuanian team has used its great range only once this season. Next week’s game against Brose Baskets is a must-win for Zalgiris, and it could also be a special match for team's captain Paulius Jankunas, who is 34 points away from becoming Zalgiris’ all-time leading scorer in European tournaments.

22. (24) Stelmet Zielona Gora 1-3

Euroleague tourists Stelmet won’t be the only Euroleague winless team as they beat Montepaschi in Week 3 and was close to put a surprise in last week’s game against Galatasaray. However, in order tq1o get another victory, Stelmet needs to fix their defense as they are ranked 24th in both opponents points per game (84.5) and steals per game (2.3) categories.

23. (22) Montepaschi Siena 0-4

It was expected that Montepaschi without Bobby Brown might struggle this season, but 0-4 is probably worse than most of Siena’s fans saw in a worst-case scenario. Montepaschi hasn’t lost a single game by more than 10 points, but that's not a big consolation for the supporters as Montepaschi doesn’t seem to be a team that would be able to rebound after a horrible start.

24. (21) Strasbourg IG 0-4

Alexis Ajinca has been playing like an MVP this season, but a one-man team doesn’t usually work in Europe. Ajinca cannot carry Strasbourg IG on his back - the French team is the least efficient Euroleague team in offense (ORtg 93) and third worse defensive team, which allow its opponents to score 115.6 points per 100 possessions. Strasbourg IG is slowly backing out from Top 16 race and now the question is if they can get a single win this season.

Euroleague Power Rankings (End Of October Edition)

As Euroleague hits Week 3 of its regular season, RealGM presents the Euroleague Power Rankings. We evaluated and ranked the performance of all 24 Euroleague teams over their first two games and their perspective in future battles.

The number in brackets shows position in preseason ranking.

1. (3) Real Madrid 2-0

The champions of Spain, Real Madrid has started the season with two easy wins and demonstrated strong discipline on defense. Real has the best defensive rating (DRtg) in the league so far, allowing their opponents to score only 81.8 points per 100 possessions.

2. (5) Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul 2-0

Fenerbahce Ulker was behind Budivelnik in the third quarter of Week 1’s game,  but scored 31 points in last ten minutes and showed their capabilities to blow any mediocre team out in just one quarter. Now they have defeated FC Barcelona and proved that their horrible last season is already forgotten.

3. (1) CSKA Moscow 2-0

Despite awful shooting from beyond the arc (25 percent), CSKA managed to steal wins in both weeks in France and Ukraine. It seems that CSKA is still in experimental mode and trying to find ways to win games by using nine star players. The real strength of CSKA will be seen in next two weeks when the Russians face two Top 5 teams in Fenerbahce Ulker and FC Barcelona.

4. (2) Olympiacos Piraeus 2-0

Even without Kostas Papanikolaou, now with FC Barcelona, Olympiacos remains the best three-point shooting team in the league (44 percent). Once again, Olympiacos demonstrates the same style as in both games with Unicaja and Galatasaray, the reds were down in the third quarter but found ways to bounce back and grab those wins.

5. (4) FC Barcelona 1-1

The newcomers Papanikolou and Maciej Lampe are two out of three players who get most playing time in FC Barcelona this season (the third is Marcelinho Huertas). No surprise, FC Barcelona will need more time to glue the core as they struggled for 30 minutes to beat Partizan and couldn’t impose their style of play to Fenerbahce Ulker in the previous game.

6. (6) Panathinaikos Athens 1-1

After a surprising loss in Vilnius, Panathinaikos successfully bounced back and beat Laboral Luxa at home as they also matched the Euroleague assists record (31). Panathinaikos was the only Euroleague team this offseason that maintained their whole starting five, therefore the core of the team that stayed together for a few years should be among the leaders in assists all season long.

7. (9) Anadolu Efes Istanbul 2-0

Anadolu Efes had to put more effort to beat Strasbourg IG in last week’s game than it was expected, but the Turkish club still started the season with two wins under their belt. Moreover, Anadolu Efes found a new leader, Scotty Hopson, who has been playing like an MVP candidate, averaging 21 points and 5 rebounds per game.

8. (8) Laboral-Kutxa Vitoria 1-1

Fernando San Emeterio’s injury revealed how important he is to Laboral Kutxa. While the Spaniard was still on the squad, Laboral Kutxa grabbed a win against same-level Maccabi, but without San Emeterio, Vitoria was simply destroyed in Athens versus Panathinaikos.

9. (7) Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-1

Maccabi, which doesn’t have as much talent as it use to in 2004-2010 seasons, has been facing problems in the least expected place - inside the paint. Tibor Pleiss and Lamont Hamilton of Laboral Kutxa combined for 38 Euroleague rating points in the first week’s game against Maccabi, while Ivan Radenovic and Boban Marjanovic of Crvena Zvezda, both collected 49 (!) rating points in the last match versus Maccabi.

10. (12) Lokomotiv-Kuban Krasnodar 2-0

No doubt, Lokomotiv-Kuban will be one of the fastest teams in Euroleague that will be hard to stop in transition. Once Lokomotiv-Kuban play small ball, opponents find it very difficult to catch up with Krasnodar’s pace as their fast frontcourt, Derrick Brown and Richard Hendrix, was dominant in the first two weeks.

11. (14) Bayern Munich 2-0

Bayern was lucky enough to get lower-caliber opponents in the opening weeks and they used this chance by beating them both. Led by Nihad Djedovic, Munich looked very solid as they allowed their opponents to only record 2.5 steals per game (best result in the Euroleague).

12. (11) Stambulo “Galatasaray” 1-1

Last week, Galatasay was ahead at the 29th minute of the game against Olympiacos, but Carlos Arroyo failed to deliver the win to Galatasaray fans. It seems that the Istanbul team’s results will depend on Arroyo’s performance throughout the season as the guard set the tone scoring 21 points in the opening game and led the team in most important moments against Montepaschi.

13. (15) Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius 1-1

Despite Lietuvos Rytas taking a lot of long range shots, it fails to fight for offensive rebounds and they are the worst Euroleague team in that area. Lietuvos Rytas lost the battle of rebounds in both weeks and in order to go throughout the next round, they definitely need to improve this aspect.

14. (13) Unicaja Malaga 1-1

Unicaja was the most mysterious Euroleague team at preseason stage and most of the questions remain unanswered. Malaga’s club seems to be a mid-level team, which is still a step behind the elite, but the upcoming games with Galatasaray and Bayern should reveal the real strength of Juan Plaza’s team.

15. (18) Budivelnik Kyiv 0-2

Even without a win after the first two rounds, Budivelnik is still a team with potential to play in Top 16. The Ukrainian team had to face two elite Euroleague clubs, Fenerbahce Ulker and CSKA, and they didn’t fail despite the two losses. Budivelnik was ahead at the 34th minute versus Fenerbahce Ulker and the 27th minute against CSKA, proving they can compete with the best.

16. (10) EA7 Emporio Armani Milan 1-1

Milan changes its name every season, but the results remain the disappointing same. EA7 Emporio Armani seems to have one of the best backcourts in Euroleague on paper, but the Italians were destroyed by Anadolu Efes and wasted an 18-point advantage against Zalgiris (still won the game).

17. (19) Partizan Belgrade 1-1

If a most improved player had to be selected today, Dragan Milosavljevic of Partizan would be among contenders to win this award. As Vladimir Lucic left Partizan this offseason, the 24-year-old Milosavljevic stepped up and became a true leader of the team, averaging 20.5 points (55 percent on three-pointers) and five boards per game.

18. (21) Crvena Zvezda Belgrade 0-2

Crvena Zvezda creates more problems for its opponents than was expected and the main man behind that is Boban Marjanovic. Despite playing against top big men in the league - Shawn James, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Derrick Brown and others - the 7-foot-3 center averaged 15 points and 11.5 rebounds. Marjanovic is on his way to becoming a new star of Euroleague.

19. (16) Zalgiris Kaunas 0-2

Zalgiris is about to face their main competitors in the fight for Top 16, Strasbourg IG and Brose Baskets, but before that their new head coach has to find a way to fill the defensive gaps of Sarunas Jasikevicius. The opponents of Zalgiris score 34.2 points more per 100 possessions when the oldest Euroleague player is on the court.

20. (20) Brose Baskets Bamberg 1-1

In the first week game, Strasbourg IG’s Alexis Ajinca got into foul trouble, Brose Baskets had a 19-1 run and made a small step towards the Top 16. However, Bamberg’s defense hasn’t been reliable and that might be the main reason preventing Germans from having a long run in Euroleague.

21. (23) Strasbourg IG 0-2

Despite Strasbourg IG’s poor results, Alexis Ajinca has been one of the most valuable players in the Euroleague. Ajinca averaged 18.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in two games and now it’s clear that the French big man is worth a spot on the roster of a top Euroleague team, or maybe even a second chance in the NBA.

22. (17) Montepaschi Siena 0-2

Montepaschi’s effort to find a new Bobby Brown or Bo McCalebb hasn’t produced any results as the Italians lost both games and none of newcomers from America seem to have enough talent to take the lead. If the situation won’t change for Siena, Galatasaray and Bayern will leave Montepaschi behind in the race for the Top 16.

23. (22) JSF Nanterre 0-2

JSF Naterre made their name heard in its first game against CSKA but totally collapsed in week two versus Partizan. The French team scored only 43 points and two free throws. JSF Nanterre’s Sergiy Gladyr, who had a successful EuroBasket 2013, made only two field goals out of 14 and committed more turnovers (6) than scored points (5) in those two games.

24. (24) Stelmet Zielona Gora 0-2

As expected, Stelmet is this year’s Euroleague’s tourist, enjoying a chance to play against teams like Unicaja or Olympiacos. Stelmet’s defense has been terrible over its last two games, as they allowed their opponents to score 97.5 per game and forced opponents to commit just 7.5 turnovers. These are the worst results in the Euroleague and most likely Stelmet won’t feel the taste of victory this season.

Euroleague Power Rankings: Centers

Nikola Mirotic, Nenad Krstic, Erazem Lorbek, Ioannis Bourousis, Darjus Lavrinovic, Sofoklis Schorstanitis and David Andersen are amongst the best centers in Euroleague.

Euroleague Power Rankings: Power Forwards

Viktor Khryapa, Georgios Printezis, Felipe Reyes, Paulius Jankunas, Marcus Slaughter and Mike Batiste are amongst the best power forwards in Euroleague this season.

Euroleague Player Rankings: Point Guards

With Bo McCalebb, Dimitris Diamantidis, Milos Teodosic, Jordan Farmar, Marcelinho Huertas and Sergio Rodriguez, the point guard position has a lot of high quality talent in Europe.

Preseason Euroleague Power Rankings

The 2012-13 Euroleague regular season will begin on October 19th and here are RealGM's preseason power rankings with CSKA, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Fenerbahce Ulker and Olympiacos comprising the top-five.

Top-5 Storylines Of Euroleague's Top-16 Stage

With 16 teams left, RealGM presents the Top Five storylines of Euroleague to keep an eye with teams like CSKA, Zalgiris, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Panathinaikos look to advance.

Euroleague Power Rankings Ahead Of Top-16 Stage

Barcelona, CSKA, Real Madrid, Panathinaikos and Montepaschi Siena headline our objective Euroleague Power Rankings.

Euroleague Round 9, Day 2

A big win for Montepaschi Siena over Barcelona, Sonny Weems and Zalgiris defeat Brose Baskets, Maccabi blows out Anadolu Efes and more from Euroleague RS Week 9.

Season Preview: Turkish TBL

Even though Besikitas signed Deron Williams, the favorite remains the perennially excellent Fenerbache Ulker.
 

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        MLB Wiretap Headlines

          NFL Wiretap Headlines

            NHL Wiretap Headlines

              Soccer Wiretap Headlines