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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.

Preseason Euroleague Power Rankings

The 2012-13 Euroleague regular season will begin on October 19th and here are RealGM's preseason power rankings.

1. CSKA Moscow (Russia)

The absence of Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved will definitely be felt, but the return of head coach Ettore Messina and the acquisition of one of the best Euroleague rookies of 2011-12 season, Sonny Weems, maintains CSKA as the most talented team in Euroleague. Also, it's going to be the second season in Russia for Serbians Milos Teodosic and Nenad Krstic, who together with Weems should lead CSKA to the Final Four.

2. FC Barcelona Regal (Spain)

FC Barcelona Regal clearly suffered some serious losses this offseason as one of the most versatile Euroleague players, Chuck Eidson, left for Unics and two big men moved south to Unicaja Malaga. Barcelona didn’t shock the market by making huge signings, but that’s what their front office usually does. The Catalonians managed to re-sign RealGM’s last season’s All-Euroleague 1st Team member Erazem Lorbek, who together with elite point guard Marcelinho Huertas, healthy Juan Carlos Navarro and Olympic surprise Joe Ingles might help FC Barcelona Regal make another Final Four appearance.

3. Real Madrid (Spain)

Real’s time has finally come. It has been 18 years since Real won its last Euroleague title and this year Pablo Laso’s team has the best chance they have had in years. This season’s Real is very versatile, having the pieces to go all the way to the top. They are both young and experienced, explosive and dangerous, which by adding Rudy Fernandez this offseason might become unstoppable in every league they’ll compete in the 12-13 season.

4. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul (Turkey)

It seems that Montepaschi Siena was relocated to Turkey and that’s good news for Fenerbahce Ulker fans. Fenerbahce Ulker managers opened their pockets to bring former Montepaschi players David Andersen, Romain Sato, Bo McCalebb and coach Simone Pianigiani. These pieces have experience together, therefore Fenerbahce Ulker should find a winning path straight away. Everybody in Europe knows that McCalebb, who signed a three-year deal with the Turkish team, is a game changer and a Euroleague Final Four is probably not so far away for Fenerbahce Ulker.

5. Olympiacos Piraeus (Greece)

After a stunning performance in last season’s Final Four, current Euroleague champion Olympiacos is no longer an underdog. Every team will treat Olympiacos as a champion and the expectations for the Greeks will be sky high. Despite the departure of head coach Dusan Ivkovic, Olympiacos managed to maintain the core of the team and especially the key Greek players from the last season  - Vassilis Spanoulis, Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou, and American Kyle Hines.

6. Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)

Maccabi is clearly not the same dominant team as it was in 2004 or 2005, but they are one of only few who remained elite for years and are always among top candidates to claim the title. Before the start of the season, Maccabi doesn’t seem to be at the same line with Europe’s best (CSKA and FC Barcelona Regal), but David Blatt and his players are capable of beating the odds and making a long run in this year’s Euroleague.

7. Unicaja Malaga (Spain)

Unicaja has been struggling for years in the Euroleague tournament but there are signs that the dark days for Malaga basketball might be over. Unicaja, which won only five out of 24 games in the Top 16 in last four years, had to say goodbye to its team face Joel Freeland and 11 other players and build a new team from the ground up. Luka Zoric, Fran Vazquez and Kosta Perovic will form one of the best frontcourts in the league, which will be the key strength of Unicaja.

8. Montepaschi Siena (Italy)

Life after Bo McCalebb won’t be easy and Montepaschi is about to experience that. Montepaschi completely changed its team by almost completely turning over its roster and starting a new page. Montepaschi managers had to say goodbye to Siena’s biggest stars and its leader McCalebb, who had been Montepaschi’s key player since 2010. As other teams’ experience shows, it takes years to build a winning Euroleague team, therefore patience might be an essential thing for this year’s Montepaschi.

9. EA7 Emporio Armani Milano (Italy)

After years of disappointments, EA7 Emporio Armani was finally very close to making the Top 8 last season and this year’s team looks even more impressive. It seems the managers of Olimpia Milano did their best on bringing an elite player, such as Keith Langford, and missing pieces like Gianluca Basile and Richard Hendrix. EA7 Emporio Armani hasn’t looked this strong for many years and this might be the best chance for Sergio Scariolo and his guys to break their team's curse of Euroleague.

10. Panathinaikos Athens (Greece)

The post-Obradovic era begins. Nine new players and more to come as Panathinaikos was completely rebuilt this offseason. The wind of changes came when eight-time Euroleague champion Zeljko Obradovic, who coached Panathinaikos since 1999, stepped down and 11 players left the team as well. One of two players who stayed in Athens, Dimitris Diamantidis and new coach Argyris Pedoulakis is in a very difficult position as it might take more than a season to build a strong relationship between players and bring Panathinaikos back on the winning path.

11. Caja Laboral Vitoria (Spain)

The biggest upset of the last season, Caja Laboral do not have any reasons to be very optimistic about this year as well. Two key players, Euroleague leading points per game scorer Mirza Teletovic and team assist leadser Pablo Prigioni left the Spanish organization for the NBA and Caja Laboral struggles to find a proper replacement. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see group C’s Caja Laboral missing Top 16 for the second straight season.

12. Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania)

Similar to last season, Zalgiris formed a solid roster for the Euroleague tournament and seems to be a Top 8 team on paper. But Zalgiris fans know the best that it's way too early to celebrate and there's nothing to be excited about before the Top 16 starts. Statistics don't lie: over the last nine years, Zalgiris won only seven and lost 35 games in the Top 16 stage. Despite how good Zalgiris' roster seemed to be, Kaunas won just four matches in Top 16 since 2004 and holds an awful 4-32 record.

13. Khimki Moscow region

Eurocup winner Khimki formed its team the earliest among all Euroleague clubs and signed all players even before the beginning of the summer. Khimki didn’t spend as much money as they did in the past, but Rimas Kurtinaitis’ team should repeat their success in 2009-10 and make it out of the group with the talent they have.

14. Anadolu Efes Istanbul

‘Born to lose’ are the first three words, which came to my mind when I hear the name Anadolu Efes Istanbul. It didn’t matter how many top European players Istanbul had on its roster, they have always failed to meet expectations. The main reason is that chemistry is something money can’t buy. However, Anadolu Efes will have another shot to make a long run this season, as they’ll have future MVP candidate Jordan Farmar on their side and many other individually great players. As always.

15. Besiktas Istanbul (Turkey)

No doubt, last season was amazing for Besiktas and their fans as Istanbul club won three titles - Turkish league, Turkish Cup and EuroChallenge (the third best European competition). It was simply the gold age for the Turkish team, but this year’s Besiktas will be different as day and night. The whole starting five left the club and that doesn’t mean anything good for Besiktas.

16. Cedevita Zagreb (Croatia)

It’s not a secret that the last two seasons weren’t the best for Croatian basketball, but it seems Cedevita is here to change the things. Definitely, Cedevita wasn’t the luckiest club on the Euroleague draw day as they would probably like to be anywhere but in group C. However, the Croatian team’s managers did nice work this offseason by building a versatile team with few well-known names, who are good enough to shake things up make a mess in group C.

17. Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany)

Brose Baskets proved that German basketball can compete with the Europe’s best clubs and last season was just one step away from making to the Top 16. During the offseason, Brose Baskets lost some very important pieces and is going to be quite a challenge for Chris Fleming to build a winning team with the guys he has now.

18. Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)

As usual, Partizan will be a team to watch this season. The Serbian club will have many well-known talents on its roster. Davis Bertans, Dejan Musli, Leo Westermann, Bogdan Bogdanovic have proved themselves in youth tournaments and now it’s time to demonstrate their capabilities on the big scene. Moreover, coach Dusko Vujosevic, who led Partizan to the Final four in 09-10, is back in Belgrade. The 24-year-old Marko Cakarevic is currently the oldest player on the team, but it is surely going to be fun to watch how talented and hungry Partizan will try to find its way out of the group D.

19. Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania)

One of the two best Lithuanian teams, Lietuvos Rytas is known for signing less-known players and making the most out of them. This season is going to be a no exception as Lietuvos Rytas lost its biggest star, Jonas Valanciunas, and didn't add any elite players to its squad. Even with the roster as it is now, Lietuvos Rytas, is capable of making it out of the group but might lack talent to shake things up in the Top 16.

20. Alba Berlin (Germany)

It’s been a while since Alba won its last title and it seems the hype from making to the Euroleague Top 16 in 08-09 disappeared. Even after being  awful last season, Alba got a chance to play in the Euroleague, where their chances are really limited. Nevertheless, everything is possible in group B for Alba, especially with the support they’ll have at home games.

21. Elan Chalon (France)

French teams has always been like tourists in the Euroleague and Elan Chalon will probably be no exception. On the other hand, Elan Chalon made one of the most interesting signings this offseason in six-year NBA veteran Shelden Williams. Of course, it would be a no-braner to believe Williams could carry Elan Chalon on his back to the Top 16 stage, but he could make some serious problems for group D underdogs, Asseco Prokom and Alba.

22. Asseco Prokom Gdynia (Poland)

The previous two seasons were horrible for Asseco Prokom and it seems that the Polish team is heading for a third one. New head coach Kestutis Kemzuras will have a very difficult task to build a winning team from very average players. Also, Asseco Prokom will be missing its biggest star, Donatas Motiejunas, who moved to Houston Rockets, and for now, there’s no such player, who could replace Motiejunas and become a leader of the team.

23. Union Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Last season’s worst team, Union Olimpija, didn’t do much this offseason to avoid the same situation this year. Ljubljana’s team lost all its best players and the new additions look more like a lottery than a promising future. It seems that Union Olimpija don’t have financial problems anymore and that might be club’s biggest victory of the offseason.

Americans Winning Titles In Europe

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.

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, Day 2

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

Season Preview: 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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