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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: 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.

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.

2012 Greek Basket League Season In Review

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.

RealGM's 2011-12 Euroleague Awards

Andrei Kirilenko, Dimitris Diamantidis, Bo McCalebb, Erazem Lorbek and Nenad Krstic were outstanding throughout the 2011-12 Euroleague season.

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: Wins For CSKA, Real Madrid

An easy win for CSKA over Panathinaikos, plus Real Madrid beats Partizan in Kyle Singler's Euroleague debut.

Season Preview: Greek HEBA A1

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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