Feb 07, 2013 12:15 PM EST
- All records and stats through Game 6 of Top-16.
1. Bobby Brown - Montepaschi Siena (5-1)
20.4 points and 5.4 assists in 32 minutes.
Montepaschi Siena has been the biggest success story of this season as the Italian champions remained one of two undefeated teams in first five games in Euroleague Top 16. Obviously, this wouldn't have happened without a dominating offensive power, Bobby Brown, who became an excellent replacement for Bo McCalebb.
The stats speak for themself as Brown leads the league in scoring (20.4 ppg.) and is third in assists (5.4) and fouls drawn (5.7). Moreover, Brown, who has already been drawing attention from NBA teams, finished in double figures in his last eight Euroleague games and even managed to break the Top 16 single-game scoring record with 41 points scored against Fenerbahce Ulker.
2. Viktor Khryapa - CSKA Moscow (4-2)
10.6 points (45% 3FG), 7.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 28 minutes.
Viktor Khryapa became a player for CSKA, stepping up to make sure the Russian team remained among Euroleague title contenders after the departure of Andrei Kirilenko. When CSKA needed it the most, Khryapa has improved all of his main statistical numbers this season. Compared to last season, his points average went from 8.2 to 10.6, rebounds from 4.0 to 7.1 and assists from 3.3 to 3.8.
This season Khryapa is no longer just a defensive contributor, as his versatility allows him to make a difference at both ends of the floor. Moreover, his game continues to grow as the 6-foot-8 big man averages 12.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists in the Top 16 stage. At this point, Khryapa, together with Vassilis Spanoulis, appears to be the one of very few players capable of outlasting Bobby Brown for the top spot.
3. Vassilis Spanoulis - Olympiacos (3-3)
16.1 points, 5.3 assists and 3.6 turnovers in 29 minutes.
Olympiacos, led by Vassilis Spanoulis, has been proving that their impressive run last season wasn't a fluke. The reigning champions finished the regular season with seven wins in a row and coming in second in group C. However, the sluggish start of Olympiacos in the Top 16 hurts Spanoulis' chances to win MVP award as the reds are just 3-3 after six games.
Similar to the last two seasons, Spanoulis has been very consistent and finished in single figures only once this year. Spanoulis is fourth in scoring in the Euroleague, averaging 16.1 points per game and also ranks fourth in assists with 5.3 per game as well. Spanoulis is also an undisputed leader in turnovers and soon should become an All-Time leader in this category.
4. Rudy Fernandez - Real Madrid (6-0)
13.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 26 minutes.
After failing to make it out of the Top 16 stage in 2011-12, Real needed a game changer, a player, who could bring Madrid team back to the top. As current results show, Rudy Fernandez fit that role perfectly.
Due to his athleticism, Fernandez is able to carry Real on his back when Madrid needs that and having a leader such Fernandez has helped his team remain undefeated in the Top 16 stage of the strongest European competition. Moreover, the well-balanced Real team is currently standing on the top of both Euroleague group A and Spanish championship league tables. Not without the help of Fernandez.
5. Nenad Krstic - CSKA Moscow (4-2)
14.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 24 minutes.
Nenad Krstic is arguably the most productive center on offense in the Euroleague as he ranks seventh in points per possession (1.3), eighth in scoring (14.6) and sixth in effective field goal percentage (0.665). Krstic is a big threat on offence for any Euroleague team and that is what helps him to be this high on Euroleague MVP ranking.
However, rebounding has been a well-known problem of Krstic for a long time. The 6-foot-10 center has been averaging only 4.2 rebounds per game this season and hasn't registered a single double-double in the Euroleague yet. In terms of all leagues, Krstic finish a game with a double-double only twice this season in 37 games he played so far. Krstic also hasn't grabbed more than seven rebounds in a single game in the 2012-13 Euroleague season.
6. Jordan Farmar - Anadolu Efes Istanbul (5-1)
13.6 points (45% 3FG), 3.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 29 minutes.
If our Euroleague MVP ranking would be based on the performance of first five games, Jordan Farmar undoubtedly would be on the top spot. Farmar averaged 22.6 Euroleague PIR (performance index ranking) points in over first five games, but in the next five, Anadolu Efes lost three out of five matches, while Farmar averaged only 4.4 PIR points during that stretch.
Eventually, while the other team from Istanbul, Fenerbahce Ulker, once again fails to meet the expectations, Farmar has helped Anadolu Efes to get back on winning track and win five games in a row in the Top 16 stage. The 26-year-old guard is again playing like an MVP, averaging 14.5 points, 3.5 rebound and 4.2 assists in six Top 16 games thus far.
7. Sonny Weems - CSKA Moscow (4-2)
14.8 points (44% 3FG) and 3.2 rebounds in 29 minutes.
Same as Jordan Farmar, at the very beginning of the season it seemed that Sonny Weems will be ranked no lower than Top 3 in our Euroleague MVP Ranking. However, Weems started to struggle in the Top 16 as the former member of the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets has been averaging only 10.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2 assists per game during that stretch - not MVP worthy numbers.
While Weems was out of the rhythm, CSKA faced two losses and went down to the third place of the group A. No matter how much talent CSKA has, as we seen thus far, the Moscow team needs Weems putting big numbers on an every-night basis.
8. Zoran Planinic - Khimki Moscow region (4-2)
13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 31 minutes.
Zoran Planinic, the 2012 Eurocup Final MVP, was one of the main reasons why Khimki got back to the Euroleague this season and the Croatian playmaker continues to lead Khimki all the way to the Top 8. The 30-year-old Planinic is currently having a career-year, averaging 13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
Even Khimki's financial problems didn't prevent Planinic from putting big numbers in the Euroleague as just a week ago he was close on breaking his individual performance result against Fenerbahce Ulker, posting 25 points, six rebounds and six assists. Simultaneously, Planinic's 16.2% shooting percentage from beyond the arc hurts his chances on climbing up our Euroleague MVP rankings.
9. Ante Tomic - FC Barcelona (5-1)
10.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 22 minutes.
Throughout the regular season, Ante Tomic reminded himself as an inconsistent big man, who has enough potential to steal the spotlight at any game. However, everything changed in the Top 16, where Tomic, for the very first time in his career, constantly plays as an MVP on every game.
While FC Barcelona Regal stands on the top of group F, Tomic has been averaging 14.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists throughout six Top 16 stage games, comparing to 8.6 points, 5.2 boards and 1.5 assist in the regular season. Tomic finished in double scoring figures in all six games as well and if the 25-year-old center maintains this pace, he has all the potential to move up higher in Euroleague MVP ranking in the near future.
10. Maciej Lampe - Caja Laboral Vitoria (4-2)
12.6 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes.
From hate to love, there is only one step. After a tough 37 points Euroleague loss against Zalgiris right after the departure of head coach Dusko Ivanovic, it seems that Maciej Lampe was the next person to be blamed for horrible Caja Laboral results in the Euroleague. Then, under new coach Zan Tabak, Caja Laboral managed to win 17 (!) games in a row, including Spanish championship games, and that had not be possible without Lampe.
The 6-foot-11 big man was a top scorer in six of those 17 games and either lead the team in scoring, rebounding or assists in 10 of them. Lampe is also a key contributor to Caja Laboral's success in the Top 16 stage as he averages 14.8 points and Top-16-second-best 7.5 rebounds in six games.
Honorable Mentions: Shawn James, Maccabi; Kyle Hines, Olympiakos; Dimitris Diamantidis, Stephane Lasme, Panathinaikos; Milos Teodosic, CSKA.
Jan 31, 2013 1:36 PM EST
Josh Powell has been fortunate throughout his career to be in a winning situation wherever he goes and has been a part of two NBA title teams. The same happened this season as Powell joined the reigning Euroleague champion Olympiacos Piraeus and is back playing in Europe for the first time since 2005.
In 16 games with Olympiacos, Powell is averaging 7.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16 minutes of action, while the reds are fighting through their way to the Euroleague Top 8 stage.
RealGM caught up with Josh Powell in Greece for a one-on-one interview to discuss his new team Olympiacos, Euroleague, his career in the NBA, Lakers and much more.
RealGM: You have already spent almost three months with your newest team, Olympiacos, do you feel that you are the member of the current Euroleague champion team?
Powell: Honestly, since I have been here, everything has been a learning process for me. I'm the only new guy coming to the team as most have been established since last year. Guys know each other very well. I'm just trying to come in and fit in, do the best I can do and find my role. Whatever my needs are going to be that is going to help us be as successful as it is possible.
RealGM: You have played in Europe before, but it’s your first season playing in the Euroleague. Is there anything specific about playing in likely the second best league in the world?
Powell: It’s fun. It is a great experience as you can go to all those different countries and places in Europe. See different cultures and whatever is going on in these individual cities. Of course, the level of competition is very good. I have been having fun and enjoying it since I’ve got here.
RealGM: How did it feel to be playing against your former teammates Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic, with whom you won back-to-back NBA championships as members of the Lakers?
Powell: It was fun and it was great to see those guys. It feels like I haven't seen them for such long time, even as we were playing for different teams in the NBA. It was great to see those guys and be able to catch up and see how everybody is doing.
RealGM: You have played against a couple of Final Four contenders such as FC Barcelona Regal, Zalgiris or Caja Laboral. Who made the best impression for you?
Powell: I would say Caja Laboral. We played them in the first round and second too. I think their chemistry and togetherness is showing right now. I think that makes the biggest difference on the style they play.
RealGM: Do you see Olympiacos repeating its success this year?
Powell: I believe in our team. For us, I just think we need to stay healthy and get over this hump. I know we've been having a couple tough games. If we get that chemistry back on when I first got here, I think that the sky is the limit for us. Talent wise, I definitely believe that we're one of the best teams and it is just a matter of putting everything together.
RealGM: You have played in world's largest countries such China, Russia and the United States, and had a chance to taste different cultures as well. What would you distinguish from all this experience? What did surprise you the most?
Powell: Everything is really different in all aspects. How the fans are about the game, how they are with eating, different holidays. Basically everything is very different in its own sense. Here in Greece, they have name days and they celebrate people's names. Chinese New Year was a big two-week thing. They shut down everything and they blow fireworks every night. It's been an exciting experience all-around. Most important is that it helped me to grow and mature as a man first, and as a basketball player second.
RealGM: During your NBA career, you have never been known as a big man that can shoot from long range, and you also haven't taken a single three-point shot in the Euroleague yet. But last season in Puerto Rico you made four three pointers out of four attempts and finished the game with 34 points and 14 rebounds. So can actually Powell shoot threes or not?
Powell: There is so much in my game that I can do. Whenever I go to a team, I have to find a role and fit in to something that would fit the best for the team. When I played in Puerto Rico, there was a different situation because I was getting a lot of touches and the ball was coming to me. I was in pick-and-roll situation. I just had a chance to show my all-around game. And here is different. Game is different and my role on the team is totally different. I can shoot threes, I even shot threes in the NBA. There is a lot I can do because there's so much that I worked on. But it is important to be able to find where I am going to help this team. Coming here, they already had established with the players and who are going to get touches. I understand that and I just want to try to do whatever it is that I can do to help us be successful.
RealGM: Moving on to the NBA, do you still catch yourself thinking about those two years you spent with the Lakers?
Powell: That is a part of my life. It's probably one of the best memories I have ever had. It's great being a part of the city and a tradition. Just the whole history behind that team, along with the players and the coaches. It was just a fun time. I was able to experience a lot of things out there. Of course, I started my first year in the L.A. when I was with the Clippers. L.A. was just a great and fun time and a good situation. I enjoyed it and I appreciate everything I went through over there.
RealGM: I believe you still follow your former team. Do you see Lakers getting back on winning track this season?
Powell: It's crazy because even if you don't follow or don't want to follow it, you can do nothing but hear about it. Everything that has been going on out there is unfortunate. With all the injuries, hiring and firing coaches. So many different things that they've been dealing with. I think they have way too much talent. You still have another half of the season to play and they still have a chance to make some noise and get it together. I wouldn't count them out just yet, but they have to sort it out pretty soon.
RealGM: You were playing alongside one of the best European playmakers of the past decade, Sarunas Jasikevicius, for some time. How did it feel to be playing together with Saras and why do you think his career in the NBA wasn't as spectacular as in Europe?
Powell: The thing about him, like anywhere else, you have to be in a position where you are able to play and show what you can do. The year when I was there, I don't think he got too much playing time to be able to show what he can do. He's still a very good player and we actually played against him three weeks ago and he had a really great game. He's a good player, but it's just different. When you go the NBA, hopefully you get to the good team and good situation, where you are going to be able to showcase your talent. There are so many guys that have been on one team for one great year, they go somewhere else and they don't do any good. Or vice versa. There are a lot of factors that play into. It's just a tough thing.
RealGM: Throughout your NBA career, you played together with many stars. Dirk Nowitzki, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Stephen Jackson, Joe Johnson and many others. Who had the most influence on your personal development and your development as a basketball player? With whom did you have the strongest connection?
Powell: Honestly, I was able to take something from everybody. I would probably say Kobe just from a standpoint that the Lakers were the team that I played the longest with. When I was in Dallas, I had just a year to get an eye on Dirk and I kept going from team to team. You just going to pick up and learn as you can as you're going. I had been fortune to be able to start great relationships with a lot of those guys. And a lot of them may not be superstars, guys like Marquis Daniels, Josh Howard. I'm blessed to know them.
RealGM: Except the 2007-08 season with the Clippers, you never received much playing time, but you still managed to remain in the NBA for such long time. What was your key of success on staying in the league?
Powell: Honestly, throughout all these years, the Clippers were the best as far as being able to showcase my talent. We deal with so many injuries and when guys went down, I was a starter for around the last two and a half months. I was able to show my game, put up numbers like double doubles. I had couple of games when I had 20-10. Like I said, it just depends on your situation. When I was with the Lakers, I had to find a role. When I was with Dallas and Indiana, I had to find my role and find my niche. But I think the main reason I was able to stick around for so long is just hard work, my mentality and dedication to the game. I loved this game, though blood and tears. I worked my ass off everyday. I probably worked too much, but I loved the game and I just wanted to make sure give it a proper respect. This is the gift that God gave it to me and I want to make sure I do everything while I'm playing it.
RealGM: You just turned 30, but you have already played for 14 different teams and seen many different players. Would be able to distinguish one guy, who in your opinion, was the hardest working guy you have ever seen?
Powell: Honestly, on my list I would put myself first. Honestly, I think nobody put in what I put in. Outside of that, I was able to watch Dirk [Nowitzki]. His worth ethic is crazy. It's amazing to see him putting the work he puts in. I was able to workout with Dwight [Howard]. His worth ethic is crazy as well, same as Kobe [Bryant's]. Joe Johnson, for his size being able to be two-guard... He's extremely skilled, very good played and he has a great work ethic as we'll. Those are guys I was able to see and participate in a workouts with them.
RealGM: As you played for so many different teams, I believe you will have plenty of stories to tell to your children.
Powell: There are many stories, but some of them wouldn't be appropriate to share (laughing). On a good note, seriously, one of the stories that I will not be able to forget is my first NBA game. Just coming to the locker room, getting past the pre-season. I had a chance to get four or five minutes. I think I had like four points and two rebounds or something like that. It just takes your breath away because you're sitting in the arena, watching the game at the moment and thinking “wow, finally, I made it”. Coming from where I came from, everybody was telling what I couldn’t do and I'm not going to make it. I dealt with so many things and so much adversity. It was just a blessing moment that I will never forget. I think we were playing against the Nuggets. It was truly blessing, I had a stats sheet and everything.
Of course, another moment is winning a championship. Nothing is going to be able to top that. Being a part of the championship team. I remember like yesterday, my son was couple months old and we won the second championship when we were in LA. I was able to have him on stage with me. One of the most priceless moments in my life is to be able to show that moment to him. It’s such a great accomplishment to have him and win a championship at the same time. I was fortunate because I was able to go to the finals three times. The winning bug has followed me throughout my career and at least that is the one good thing that I can say when I look back on my career. I have never been a part in anything loosing. Maybe one time. Most of the time, everything was positive.
Dec 06, 2012 7:17 PM EST
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.
Oct 26, 2012
The shooting guard position in Euroleague is headlined by Vassilis Spanoulis, Rudy Fernandez, Juan Carlos Navarro, Fernando San Emeterio, Jaycee Carroll and Keith Langford.
Sep 17, 2012
Former UNC Greensboro standout Kyle Hines had an incredible two-year journey from the second Italian league to Euroleague champion throne.
Sep 06, 2012
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.
Jul 09, 2012
There were 107 American-born players who were on teams that won their league in Europe during the 11-12 season, most notably Montepasch Siena.
Jun 15, 2012
After beating all Euroleague Final Four teams - FC Barcelona in the Euroleague semifinal, CSKA in the final and Panathinaikos in domestic league final, Olympiakos can call itself the king of European basketball.
Apr 10, 2012
Andrei Kirilenko, Dimitris Diamantidis, Bo McCalebb, Erazem Lorbek and Nenad Krstic were outstanding throughout the 2011-12 Euroleague season.
Jan 18, 2012
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.
Dec 28, 2011
Barcelona, CSKA, Real Madrid, Panathinaikos and Montepaschi Siena headline our objective Euroleague Power Rankings.
Dec 16, 2011
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.
Nov 07, 2011
Panathinaikos has won ten consecutive Greek titles and the economic crisis of the county has ruled out Olympiakos from signing big name NBA stars during the lockout.
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