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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.

The Euroleague MVP Race

- 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.

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.

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.

Euroleague Power Rankings Ahead Of Top-16 Stage

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

Euroleague: Recapping CSKA Moscow Vs. Brose Baskets & Round 7's Top Performers

Round 7 of the Euroleague Regular Season featured a number of competitive games and some fantastic individual performances, but the game of the round featured a tightly contested battle between two powerhouse clubs from Russia and Germany.

Season Preview: Spanish ACB

The Spanish league is the strongest domestic league in the world not named the NBA, and also has had great parity with four teams winning its title over the past seven years.
 

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