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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

RealGM presents the ultimate positional rankings of the Euroleague's best players. In this fifth edition, RealGM ranked the elite centers from one to ten.

Centers

1. Nenad Krstic (CSKA Moscow, Russia)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 14.2 points, 5.5 rebounds.

Nenad Krstic's return to Russia made CSKA Moscow a dominant power in the Euroleague last season. Krstic was barely stoppable on the offensive end, averaging an impressive 14.2 points per game. As the centerpiece of CSKA, Andrei Kirilenko gone, Krstic role is even more important as he's been very consistent so far this season. Two very successful seasons with CSKA will make Krstic the number one center in Europe on the open market in the summer.

2. Erazem Lorbek (FC Barcelona Regal, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 13 points, 4.6 rebounds.

Erazem Lorbek's past couple of career years serves a reminder of his inconsistencies. After a rusty 2010-11 season, Lorbek demonstrated an MVP worth game during his contract year and played his way into a new three-year deal with FC Barcelona Regal. However, as Lorbek secured his future until 2015, his numbers went down along with his impact on team results.

3. Ioannis Bourousis (EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, Italy)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 9 points, 6.4 rebounds.

You can call it bad karma or simply being unlucky, but there is something special with Ioannis Bourousis. After spending five seasons in Piraeus, Bourousis left Olympiakos right before the reds won the title. Olympiakos remains among the elite, while Bourousis continues to struggle with EA7 Emporio Armani, which stayed out of Top 16 stage. The 29-year-old center had his best season in his career and averaged 14 points and 8.3 rebounds. Still, impressive play by Bourousis wasn't enough to extend EA7 Emporio Armani's season in the Euroleague.

4. Nikola Mirotic (Real Madrid, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds.

Despite his young age, Nikola Mirotic has been starting as Real Madrid's center for a second consecutive year. Mirotic is already able to take big shots and makes a huge contribution to Real's offense, which is the second best in the Euroleague. However, the fact that Mirotic will likely stay in Spain until 2016-17 should leave the Bulls wishing he would come to the NBA. On the other hand, the NBA fans will miss Mirotic development process, but might see him playing at his peak, at the age of 26.

5. Darjus Lavrinovic (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 4.7 points, 2.7 rebounds.

Coming back to a place where you were unstoppable is always a good idea. A dominant performance with Zalgiris Kaunas in the 2005-06 season led Darjus Lavrinovic to massive paydays in Spain, Turkey and Russia, but now Lavrinovic is back in Kaunas, where he is as productive as before. Rejoining forces with his twin brother Ksystof helped to transform Zalgiris into a winning team, capable of going all the way to the Final Four.

6. Sofoklis Schorstanitis (Panathinaikos Athens, Greece)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 8.7 points, 3 rebounds.

Due to his size, Panathinaikos newcomer Sofoklis Schorstanitis has always been a very productive player, who was able to play limited minutes. No surprise, Schorstanitis leads the Euroleague in points per 28 minutes with 21 and usually gets double teamed every time he has the ball in the paint. However, fatigue and quick fouls limit Schorstanitis' playing time as he has never played more than 20 minutes per game in his seven-year Euroleague career. His playing time in the 2012-13 season is even more limited as he never started a single game and plays only 13 minutes per game.

7. David Andersen (Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Turkey)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds. 

After a first successful season in Italy since coming back from the NBA, together with Simone Pianigiani, David Andersen decided to go to Istanbul. As things didn't go as well as expected, Andersen had to face bench player role in first few games, in which he finished with negative player index rating. Later, things got back to normal as Andersen received more playing time and again became a productive starting center. Nevertheless, a big rotation will prevent Andersen from posting MVP worthy numbers in every Euroleague game, but he will surely remain among the elite centers in the Euroleague.

8. Ante Tomic (FC Barcelona Regal, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 6.7 points, 3.7 rebounds.

Moving from Real Madrid to its biggest rival definitely helped Ante Tomic get out of Nikola Mirotic's shadow and also receive more playing time. Tomic is the starting center for arguably the best Euroleague team right now, but still struggles to become a player who could put big numbers every night. Inconsistency is what keeps Tomic from being higher in this ranking.

9. Aron Baynes (Union Olimpija Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Greek league): 13.6 points, 9 rebounds.

Aron Baynes is easily the biggest success story in this Euroleague season. Seven double doubles and helping a team with one million euro budget get three wins is more than impressive and more than enough to attract attention of European biggest teams. Baynes, who led the league in rebounding (9.8 per game) this season, established himself in the Euroleague and might stay here for a long time.

10. Shelden Williams (Elan Chalon, France)

Statistics in 2011-12 (NBA): 4.6 points, 6 rebounds.

Signing Shelden Williams was a risky move for Elan Chalon, but it paid off in a big way. In his debut season, Williams averaged 11.3 points and 7.6 rebounds in 23 minutes of action and was more reminiscent of a Euroleague veteran than a former NBA player, who needed time to adjust to European game. It didn't take long for Williams to get noticed by elite Euroleague teams as the latest reports link him to Fenerbahce Ulker. The former Duke star's French adventure might end soon and we'll see what Williams is capable to do on a winning team.

Euroleague Power Rankings: Shooting Guards

As the Euroleague 2012-13 season action is already underway, RealGM presents the ultimate positional rankings of the league's best players. In this edition, RealGM ranked the elite shooting guards from one to ten. 

1. Vassilis Spanoulis (Olympiakos Piraeus, Greece)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 16.7 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 4.7 turnovers.

Last season, Vassilis Spanoulis was definitely the number one figure in Olympiakos' triumphant Euroleague title, from the very beginning untill the last possession of the final game. Without surprise, Spanoulis is one of the highest paid players in Europe, and is currently in the last season of his contract, which will make him the most wanted player in the Euroleague next summer.

2. Rudy Fernandez (Real Madrid, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (NBA): 8.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists.

During the NBA lockout, European basketball fans had a chance to see how dominant Rudy Fernandez can be in the Euroleague as he averaged 11.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in eight games he played. Now, Fernandez is back to Europe for at least three years, but his influence on Real Madrid results should be instant. The most talented players in Europe will surround the 27-year-old guard, therefore the championship hopes will be alive in Madrid as never before.

3. Juan Carlos Navarro (FC Barcelona Regal, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 13.6 points, 3.2 assists.

Juan Carlos Navarro has been a symbol of FC Barcelona Regal for years. It's his 15th season with the Catalonian club and last season was the seventh in a row where he averaged 13 or more points in the Euroleague. The 32-year-old two-time Euroleague champion is not as consistent in the early stage of tournament as he once was, but Navarro is always clutch and ready when his team needs him in the most important moments.

4. Fernando San Emeterio (Caja Laboral Vitoria, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 12 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists.

Fernando San Emeterio has made a huge leap in a short period of time, going from a bench player in 2009 to become one of the central figures for Caja Laboral. Just a year later, San Emeterio proved himself a star on this level, making RealGM All-Euroleague 1st Team. Back then, the 26-year-old San Emeterio averaged 13.7 points (50% 3FG), 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, demonstrating how versatile he can be. Two years later, San Emeterio is more experienced and the 2011 Spanish championship MVP award only verifies that.

5. Jaycee Carroll (Real Madrid, Spain)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 14.2 points, 2.6 rebounds.

This is only Jaycee Carroll's second season in the Euroleague, but even in such a short period of time, the 29-year-old guard established himself as one of the biggest offensive threats coming off the bench in the league. Carroll is a pure shooter and has a great chance to win RealGM's Sixth Man Award for the second straight season.

6. Keith Langford (EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, Italy)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 10.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2 assists.

Keith Langford, who led the Euroleague in scoring during the 2010-11 season, is once again playing in a place where he can maximize his abilities. After a short stint with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Langford has joined the forces with EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, where he has the biggest role on the team. Now, Langford has a chance to use his scoring abilities to help Italian team make a long run and end title drought.

7. Rimantas Kaukenas (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 14.5 points (64% 3FG), 2.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists.

The 35-year-old veteran, who is still trying to improve his game. Rimantas Kaukenas is a phenomenal athlete with an amazing attitude and a ton of experience under his belt. Despite his age, Kaukenas is still one of the leaders of Zalgiris and might be among the key players in the next few years as well. 

8. Marko Popovic (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 12.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists. 

Kaukenas' teammate Marko Popovic is a completely different type of player. He is a natural scorer with a winning mentality, but sometimes is too unpredictable and might sink his team. However, after the departure of Sonny Weems, Popovic may have one of the best seasons with Zalgiris in his career. 

9. Sasha Vujacic (Anadolu Efes Istanbul, Turkey)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 13.9 points, 3.3 rebounds.

Despite being in his debut season in Euroleague, Sasha Vujacic had complete offensive freedom last year as he was averaging 11 shot attempts per game. Confidence and offensive game are things that keep Vujacic among Euroleague's elite shooting guards but defensive problems prevent him from being the best. After Jordan Farmar joined Anadolu Efes, Vujacic may not have a statistically great season, but will definitely have a huge influence on Turkish team's results.

10. Renaldas Seibutis (Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, Lithuania)

Statistics in 2011-12 (Eurocup): 14.8 points (52% 3FG), 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists.

Renaldas Seibutis made his Euroleague debut at the age of 20 and on his second game scored 13 points, grabbed four rebounds and helped Olympiakos beat Euroleague champion Maccabi Tel Aviv. However, due to injuries, his career was slowed down, but Seibutis has finally found his way back to the Euroleague tournament. In the first two games against CSKA and FC Barcelona Regal, the 27-year-old guard averaged 13.5 points, 4 rebounds, 4.5 assists and proved he's good enough to make this season's top ten shooting guards list.

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.

Season Preview: Italian Basketball (Lega Basket Serie A)

Italian basketball has struggled over since the turn of the century, both in terms of club teams and their national squad. But Montepaschi Siena continues to thrive behind the likes of Bo McCalebb.
 

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