All right, another Thursday means another look at BallinEurope’s Top 100 Teams in Europe chart, the last until the big pan-Continental leagues gear up again with sweet 16 action. (BiE was just waiting for the dust to settle in Athens after the PAO-Olympiacos match, but settling may yet be a few days in the making.)
Two notes vis-à-vis the scoring system this week: The weight for VTB United League games has been reduced a bit; while the field in this association is generally quite top-notch, there are three notable lemons in the peach basket of 12 who are clearly, shall we say, out of their league: Honka Espoo Playboys (ranked 73rd this week, 81st last week), Dnipro (58th and 61st) and TTU/Kalev (no. 78 this week).
Toward the top of the table, Olympiacos’ win over rivals Panathinaikos indeed broke last week’s tie between clubs, but both were leapfrogged by FC Barcelona; since falling to Caja Laboral Baskonia in November, Barça has lost just twice – and both times by a single point. Again ensconced atop the ACB table in time for the Copa del Rey, Barcelona’s back – and still not at full strength. Scary.
The biggest drop in the top 30 was that of Žalgiris, who fell from 14th to 9th. Some of this was due to the scaling down of VTB League wins, but no LKL games equals slippage on the BiE Top 100. The entire chart looks as follows.