Latest

BiE’s official Irish awards ballot +++ Joakim Noah wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year +++ Swee’ Pea makes the cut – Reaches Funding Target +++ The Dish – Too Rude for Masai Uijiri +++ The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++
Oct
2

Power Rankings: Rating the Euroleague by Beer

Rather than rank teams based on how good they are at basketball, the first three weeks of our Euroleague Power Rankings will be all about the good life. This week, we rank each Euroleague team by beer.

What have you done to have me and a bunch of other journalists insult your intelligence? We all know we don’t want to but power rankings are basically demanded from week 1. Fortunately I’m the boss around here so I’m instituting a policy for our Euroleague power rankings. For week 1, 2, and 3, I’m not going to rank the teams. Let’s give them three games to work out where they stand.

Instead we’re ranking on a different criteria that may help improve your game-day experience. First up, we’re ranking by beer.

1. Brose Baskets Bamberg – Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
Probably the only time a Bundesliga team will top these rankings for the foreseeable future but damn this beer is awesome. A mild aroma of bacon but the flavour is smoked awesomeness. This alone makes the trip to Bamberg worthwhile.

2. Montepaschi Siena – Bastarda Rossa
Plenty of creativity in this one, elements of smoked meat in the flavour and a somewhat pinkish hue. Yup, that’ll do nicely.

3. Saski Baskonia – Pagoa Orhi
Unsurprisingly one of the most innovative regions in the world for food is making strides on the beer front. Pagoa Orhi is a pilsner with hints of caramel to help punch up its flavour.
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Sep
1

EuroBasket Power Rankings: Spain rise to the top

Just in time for today’s semi finals to prove us completely wrong, here’s our updated Power Rankings for EuroBasket 2013 after the quarter final round.

1. Spain. It’s a what have you done for me lately business and nobody has done more than Spain. They leap Croatia on the back of an utter rout of Serbia.

2. Croatia. A second quarter spurt against Ukraine gave the Croats a decisive lead that they never gave up. This team has now won 8 straight.

3. Lithuania. Total coin toss between Lithuania and France following the quarter finals, the Lithuanians greater consistency in round two means they stay ahead for now.
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Sep
12

Eurobasket 2013 Power Rankings – Enter Stage 2

We started with 24 but now we’re down to 12. Who is styling and profiling their way into the quarter finals and who needs some help? We rank the 12 remaing sides in Eurobasket 2013 and the 12 who are now dearly departed, or not so dearly in the case of a few.
Before getting to the rankings, we need to say a big thanks to everyone who responded on Twitter yesterday to the news of me taking over as editor. It’s much appreciated guys. Now on to the rankings…
1. Italy (5-0). Entering the second phase with a 2-0 record to start, it’s been hard to find a fault with Simone Piangiani’s team in the early going. It only gets harder from here but so far the only question is Danilo Who?
2. Spain (4-1). I narrowly pushed the back-to-back defending champions in front of the hosts based on the manner of their four victories. When they are good, they are very, very, good. That defeat to Slovenia has, if anything, served as a wake-up call.
3. Slovenia (3-2). The advantage of hosting the tournament was at its most obvious in Slovenia’s 78-69 win over favourites Spain. The raucous crowd (is there any other kind?) in Celje played its part and the only blemish to date is that narros defeat at the hands of Croatia.
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Dec
18

Euroleague Power Rankings: Top 16 Tip-Off Edition

Mere hours remain before the next level of Euroleague basketball – the expanded Top 16 round – tips off. Thus, BallinEurope has just enough to get in a round of Power Rankings for the big league. This time around, the utter subjective rankings of how the surviving sixteen teams *are currently trending* take into account performance in recent EL and other league games plus some speculation about acquisitions in gearing up for the next phase.

Enjoy the games and let the arguments begin!

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Dec
8

Euroleague Power Rankings: Week 10 Win-or-Die Edition

Two more nights of play and the Euroleague closes down play for calendar year 2012. With the majority of games on the slate still relevant, even the advancing squads will be playing for positioning in the next draw. And how are the 24 teams trending? BallinEurope takes a pretty much completely subjective look at who’s hot and who’s not going into edge-of-seat time…

1 (↔). FC Barcelona (9-0 in Euroleague play; 7-4 in Liga Endesa). Chalk the squeaker win over the energized Partizan side up to the absence of Erazem Lorbek (and perhaps a bit of backfired strategy by coach Dusko); in four games prior, the Blaugrana outscored opponents by an average of over 23 points. Including CSKA. And Lorbek’s back tonight.

2 (↔). CSKA Moscow (8-1 EL; 7-1 VTB United League). CSKA has righted the ship and rounded into shape well since the week 5 loss to Barça. Forget winning every game in EL and VTB play since then; Lietuvos Rytas is the only side to get within double figures of the geared-up Red Army since then.

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Dec
80

Euroleague Power Rankings: Penultimate Regular-Season Game Edition

BallinEurope hasn’t done this lately, so on the eve of the 2012-13 Euroleague season’s penultimate round of regular-season play, the BiE EL Power Rankings run below. Quick recap of the rules: The rankings are based on the way current teams are *trending* and not necessarily overall quality. Recent play in Euroleague games is the most important consideration in these ultimately subjective rankings, but play in other leagues was also factored in.

Who’s riding waves of prosperity and who’s going under for the third time? Read on and enjoy this week’s slate of games!

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Oct
69

BallinEurope’s 2012-13 NBA Preseason Preview and Power Rankings

Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t we? With the NBA season tipping off next week, BallinEurope’s man in Britain, Sam Chadwick, gets into the spirit of things as he analyzes offseason moves and roster makeups in the big league – and ranks all 30 teams. While Sammy’s top three is pretty standard stuff, things get interesting quickly, and BiE just loves how he’s positioned the Eurowolves and Euronuggets for the upcoming season … Get your arguments ready and read on!

1. Miami Heat
Last season’s champions not only benefit from the continued development of Lebron James, who was one of the best if not the best player at the London Olympic Games in becoming the first Team USA player to record a triple double: The Heat also add one of the association’s best shooters of all-time in Ray Allen plus another dependable shooter/scorer in Rashard Lewis, the same guy who, yes is a little past his prime, but one who can give you career averages of 16 points, 5.6 rebounds and can hit 39% from deep.

2. Los Angeles Lakers
For a team that was ravaged in 2011-12 by a preseason mishap revolving around Chris Paul and his vetoed trade, followed by a conference semifinals 4-1 spanking from the Oklahoma City Thunder, who took game one by 29 and finished with an average victory margin of over nearly 10 points. Thanks to that little wakeup call, the Lakers front office decided to work its magic – literally – in taking the Magic’s best player for a song while also adding one of the NBA’s best veteran point guards still very capable of averaging a double-double. With Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant on his team, Steve Nash will hope that this is his chance to compete, yet again, for a championship.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder
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Oct
61

Euroleague Power Rankings: 2012-13 Opening Day Edition

All right, it’s that time again! With hours to go before the 2012-13 Euroleague season tips off, BallinEurope breaks out its first power ratings for the big league.

Whereas normally a disclaimer to the effect of “the following ratings are based on current trending only and are not necessarily based on the overall quality of the teams” runs here, this year BiE’s switching things up a bit. To wit: For this edition of Euroleague power rankings, the teams *will* be run based on BallinEurope’s totally subjective viewpoint. (Mainly because BiE couldn’t figure out what to do with Barcelona…)

Get your arguments ready and read on for this season’s first power rankings, with Official BallinEurope Fearless Predictions™ for the upcoming season peppered throughout. Enjoy the games!

The favorites
1. Olympiacos Piraeus. The usual reserved spot for the defending champion comes with some justification this year, as Vassilis Spanoulis & Co. show no signs of letting up on their 2011-12 season-ending 22-4 run. In the off-/preseason, Olympiacos’ foursome of Spanoulis, local hero Georgios Printezis, Kostas Papanikolaou and Evengelos Mantazaris suited up for a disappointed Team Greece – all but Mantazaris acquitted themselves nicely, with 50-of-89 (56.2%) overall shooting and Spanoulis dishing out just under six assists per game in three Olympic qualifiers.

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Jan
8

Euroleague Power Rankings: Top 16 Tip-off Edition

It seems like forever, but Euroleague 2011-12 resurrects itself for Top 16 opening night tonight. What better way to celebrate, reckons BallinEurope, than with some good ol’ power rankings?

Once again, the caveat emptor-ish bit: These ratings are formulated from once source (namely yours truly) and are based on the way teams are trending at present. While play in other leagues was considered, emphasis was put on performance in the latter bits of the EL season.

To the rankings!

Top dogs
1. CSKA Moscow (10-0 in Euroleague regular season; 8-1 in VTB United League, 7-1 in PBL) – Remember the date December 10, 2011: That’s the last time the scary Red Army lost, in falling to BC Khimki in Russia while getting just seven minutes out of Andrei Kirilenko. The Red Army’s only loss before that was exactly one month prior when they fell in a squeaker at Spartak St. Petersburg in their VTB opener. Considering the starting team alone – an all-star squad of Kirilenko, Milos Teodosic, Nenad Krstic, Ramunas Siskauskas, Viktor Khryapa – BiE has to wonder what non-NBA team could beat ‘em. Even after the star power, the CSKA Moscow bench contributed 43.2 points per game in Euroleague play while the team leads in overall performance rating, assists and assist-to-turnover ratio. This has got to be considered the team to beat in 2012.

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Nov
8

Euroleague Power Rankings: November edition

With two Euroleague games in the books for each team and something of an overall picture developing, BallinEurope unleashes the November edition of its ever-“popular” power rankings for the two dozen squads. For reference, edification and jollies, the preseason edition of the ‘rankings may be seen here.

Once again, advisories in effect: These ratings are formulated from once source (namely yours truly) and are based on the way teams are trending at present, i.e. Bennet Cantu is not necessarily *better* per se than Fenerbahçe Ülker, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum. While play in other leagues was considered, emphasis was put on performance in each team’s pair of EL games thus far, i.e. BiE knows Union Olimpija is 5-0 in the Adriatic League.

Without further ado, then, let’s get to the rankings! (Žalgiris fans, you may want to consider before clicking “Read More.”)

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