Here we go for the second edition of the BallinEurope.com Euroleague Power Ranking presented by… OK, we’re still here at a normal blog and not on ESPN. So not that much changes at the top of the rankings this week, as you can read just below.
1. Regal FC Barcelona (2-0) (-)
The team of Barcelona still tops our rankings. While it was a tough decision after Week 1, today I can say that after the huge victory over Panathinaikos and the road win in Fuenlabrada in the ACB (without Fran Vazquez) is a clear sign. We will see if this positive trend continues during the next weeks but for the moment, Barca looks impressive.
2. CSKA Moscow (2-0) (-)
Not a big mover here too as CSKA confirms its top ranking. However, the injury of JR Holden may change their rotation a bit. Still, an uncontested win on the road against Panionios and a tough defensive game on the weekend against Triumph Lyubertsy make Ettore Messina’s squad a podium team for our power rankings.
3. Montepaschi Siena (2-0) (+2)
Montepaschi comes off two impressive wins this week which helped to gain two places and move into a top three spot. Neither Zalgiris nor Ferrara could stop the green train, and Siena is already looking pretty good. Ksystof Lavrinovic is huge at the moment and the rotations are working well. Everybody is waiting for the big game this week against FC Barcelona.
4. Olympiacos Piraeus (2-0) (-1)
Even if Olympiacos drops one place in our ranking, the nice win over Unicaja confirms their current position as strongest Greek team in the Euroleague. Also in the Greek championship, the team could not be stopped by PAOK this weekend and the upcoming road trip to Cibona Zagreb should be managed without a defeat.
5. Efes Pilsen Istanbul (2-0) (+1)
The “Brewers” may be a surprise for fifth place, but currently the team is winning their games. The opening defeat against Banvit has been forgotten and a new signing to replace the injured Mario Kasun gives even more depth to the bench. The next Euroleague game against Panionios should increase their position in the current group standings.
6. TAU Ceramica (2-0) (+1)
TAU Ceramica continues its run to the top positions of our power rankings without being super impressive. A hard-fought win against Ljubljana on the road and a nice 10-point victory over a struggling Real Madrid in the ACB push them one place higher; plus, it won’t be ALBA Berlin putting them in trouble this week.
7. Panathinaikos Athens (1-1) (-3)
What a devastating loss in Barcelona during the week! This poor result smashed Panathinaikos down our ranking and we find them back in seventh place, far from their expectations. A 20-point win this weekend against Panionios and the upcoming game against Nancy will, however, give them some confidence. If they manage to win in France.
8. Unicaja Malaga (1-1) (-1)
Unicaja looks pretty hot right now in the ACB, but a loss against a strong Olympiacos team in the Euroleague made them lose one place in our ranking. The upcoming road trip to Avellino may help them improve their Euroleague record as the Italian team is struggling to adapt to the level so far.
9. Lottomatica Roma (1-1) (+6)
Jasmin Repesa’s team is currently improving and the opening loss against ALBA looks more and more like an accident right now. The nice win over Joventut and the comforting win over Terramo in the Italian league makes Lottomatica one of the big movers of the week. All of a sudden, the road trip to Ljubljana looks promising.
10. Fenerbahce Istanbul (1-1) (+3)
The return of Gordan Giricek this weekend combined with a nice win at home against ALBA Berlin, and Fenerbahce is heading upward in our rankings. But a difficult road trip to Badalona is just ahead; we’ll see if this positive trend remains short or goes long-term.
11. Partizan Belgrade (1-1) (+3)
Partizan opens their season at Pionir in the best of ways, with a victory over Real Madrid. The short loss against Efes in Week 1 had already showed their potential and Stephane Lasme is currently making the Grobari forget about Nikola Pekovic. And they’re ready for the next dance this week.
12. Cibona Zagreb (2-0) (+5)
Two victories in two games is a nice surprise for Cibona and may even open the road for a Top 16 qualification for the Croatian team. Nikola Prkacin can still surprise (OK, it was a French team) with his one and a half move and even disastrous shooting gave Velimir Perasovic a first road win of the Euroleague season. Now, Olympiacos is coming to town and Cibona has to show its real value.
13. DKV Joventut (1-1) (-2)
Losing in Rome is not that dramatic for Joventut. But the injury of Week 2 MVP Pops Mensah-Bonsu puts Sito Alonso (as well as fantasy players) in trouble. Now the arrival of Fenerbahce in Badalona is crucial as the Turks are getting stronger while Joventut needs to find a substitute for the flying Brit.
14. Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv (1-1) (+4)
It’s still true that nobody f**ks with Maccabi in the Yad, even if it’s only Air Avellino. This victory is enough to put the Yellows at a 14th place, far from Maccabi’s goals but probably also too high for their current playing style. But still, as said above, I don’t see Le Mans making some love with the Israelis in the Nokia Arena this week.
15. ALBA Berlin (1-1) (-5)
On of the biggest losers in our ranking, even if they could have been a bit higher. ALBA comes off a tough win on the road in the Bundesliga, where they lost their coach to two technicals. But the third road game in one week is now ahead and the Fernando Buesa Arena of Vitoria will probably not give a second victory to Luka Pavicevic’s team.
16. Real Madrid (1-1) (-8)
What a devastating week for Real Madrid. Losing in overtime against Sevilla to open the seven-day, three-loss streak was tough already. Then Partizan overcame a unmotivated squad and finally a road loss to Vitoria this weekend crowned the club’s poorest week this season; a season which is of course still very young. And you know who’s next? CSKA is in town…
17. Asseco Prokom Sopot (1-1) (+4)
Sopot makes a nice step forward within the bottom half of our rankings by destroying SLUC Nancy, another candidate to be eliminated after the first round. And as Prokom also dominated easily in the Polish League, I gave them a little boost in the rankings, as they showed proper potential right from week 1.
18. Le Mans Sarthe Basket (0-2) (-6)
Le Mans looks like the same old story again, even with a totally rebuilt team around (for them) great Euroleague players. Losing at home against Cibona is simply not possible if you want to join the Top 16. And the fact that Nikola Prkacin scores 17 points on 8-of-8 shooting against you simply shows that you don’t know how to defend in Euroleague.
19. Union Olimpija Ljubljana (0-2) (-)
What a pity for the Slovenians to lose by one point after a nice comeback against TAU Ceramica. And as they are used to such short losses, the team continued by losing by two points against Split in the Adriatic League. But the talent level seems to be there to go for some victories this season. And the will is of course without any doubt one of the forces of the team.
20. Zalgiris Kaunas (0-2) (+3)
Finally, Zalgiris wins a game with a Zalgiris margin, even if it is only in the Baltic League against Siauliai. But this may help the team to find back on track after all the problems it has faced over the last few weeks. Now the trip to Prokom gives them a huge opportunity for a road win, as the Polish team looks at their playing level.
21. Air Avellino (0-2) (-5)
Avellino managed to lose by only seven points in Tel Aviv against a Maccabi team still searching for its team play. But an eight-point loss at home in the Italian League against Biella does not speak in favor of the team and makes them lose five places in our power ranking.
22. Armani Jeans Milano (0-2) (+2)
The fans of Armani Jeans Milano do not have to count to 24 again to find their team in this week’s rankings, even if the loss against Montegranaro in the Italian League didn’t help. But we have two teams in the Euroleague that look even poorer right now. And of course, Efes and CSKA Moscow are not the teams that AJ Milano needs to beat to be in their expectations.
23. SLUC Nancy (0-2) (-3)
A very bad loss in Poland puts SLUC Nancy close to the bottom of the ranking. Luckily for them, they are still winning in their domestic league so that they avoided last place (for now). Because their performance against Sopot was so poor that I was quite sure to put them in last, because I barely saw such a non-team performance for a long time. And knowing that Panathinaikos is coming to France this week…
24. Panionios Athens (0-2) (-2)
A second week in the Euroleague and a second destruction makes Panionios our current last-place team in the power rankings. Losing at home against CSKA is not that bad, but scoring only 52 points on your own courts raises some eyebrows. And as Abdi Ipecki is waiting right now, the future for the third team from Greece does not look that bright right now.