By Lefteris Moutis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Eurohoops presents in detail the dynamics of every team, their overall records, at home and away, but also their averages in offense and defense. The criteria have to do with the status of each team, their dynamics, and their performance in the first 20 rounds based on expectations, as well as unexpected wins or defeats.
Read here about the teams in positions 9-16
1. Real Madrid
Previous ranking: 3 (+2)
At home: 9-1
Offense-Defense: 86.9 ppg.-80 ppg.
Madrid is having its best run of the season, or at least the most effective. The Madrileños count six consecutive wins, with the one against CSKA Moscow by 10 points (a bigger margin than their defeat in the first phase) giving them an advantage for the top spot. The miraculous kid, Luka Doncic, and the leader, Sergio Llull, are perhaps the most in-form duo of guards in the EuroLeague and they are safely leading Madrid. The Spanish champions are leading the EuroLeague in assists and in performance index rating.
2. CSKA Moscow
Previous ranking: 1 (-1)
At home: 9-1
Offense-Defense: 87.8 ppg.-80.5 ppg.
It’s the first time since the start of the season that CSKA’s first place is challenged both in the EuroLeague standings as well as the power rankings. The holders of the trophy have four defeats (of the five in total they’ve suffered this year) in their last seven games. Last year’s MVP, Nando De Colo, is back in action after his injury, but Milos Teodosic has missed the three last games and CSKA have lost their momentum. The loss to Madrid by 10 points hurt Dimitris Itoudis’s team, but essentially the slip-up with Zalgiris Kaunas (and Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade before that) might cost them more in the battle for first place.
3. Olympiacos Piraeus
Previous ranking: 2 (-1)
At home: 9-2
Offense-Defense: 79.1 ppg.-74.3 ppg.
Olympiacos are one win away from the top spot, despite the defeats they have suffered against the last teams in the standings. After the losses to Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv and Brose Bamberg came the defeat against EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, as well. It was the fourth time that Olympiacos has lost to the bottom five teams. The Reds have gotten big away wins, however, to cover for those blunders. Olympiacos ranks first in rebounds, has the second-best defense, and forces opponents into the worst two-point shooting percentage, fewest assists and worst PIR on average.
4. Fenerbahce Istanbul
Previous ranking: 6 (+2)
At home: 8-2
Offense-Defense: 78.2 ppg.-76.3 ppg.
Fenerbahce’s backcourt is complete again after Bogdan Bogdanovic’s return, the team went through Ekpe Udoh’s injury without any major losses (thanks to the excellent Jan Vesely), and they made a dynamic return to the top four. Zeljko Obradovic’s team has a three-win streak for the first time since late November, essentially having only one unexpected defeat in the last month, the one in Belgrade by extremely in-form Crvena Zvezda. The Turks’ firepower comes from behind the three-point line, as they are the most accurate team from that particular spot.
5. Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz
Previous ranking: 5 (-)
At home: 8-2
Offense-Defense: 81 ppg.-79.1 ppg.
Baskonia haven’t had three defeats in a row before being beaten by Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul, Olympiacos and Zvezda, in the process losing the opportunity to stay in the top four. The emphatic win over FC Barcelona Lassa, however, proved that Baskonia can remain firmly on track for the top six thanks to its very good defense, with Shane Larkin and Adam Hanga steadily leading the effort lately.
6. Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens
Previous ranking: 4 (-2)
At home: 9-1
Offense-Defense: 77.4 ppg.-75.7 ppg.
Panathinaikos only has two wins in the last six games, thus missing an opportunity to remain high in the standings and to feel more secure for the playoffs qualification. The Greens have the EuroLeague’s best home winning rate (90%) together with CSKA and Madrid, but they also have the worst road record among the top nine teams in the standings. Xavi Pascual has turned Panathinaikos into the third-best defensive team in the competition, restricting the creativity of opponents to a great extent, but many missed rebounds have cost them dearly. Mike James and K.C. Rivers have been the top players lately, but they obviously need more support in order for Panathinaikos to climb higher.
7. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Previous ranking: 11 (+4)
At home: 7-3
Offense-Defense: 74.9 ppg.-72.7 ppg.
Zvezda has been a phenomenon over the last month and a half. They have seven wins in a row, the biggest winning streak in this year’s competition. (CSKA has two streaks of six consecutive wins and Madrid now have six wins again.) The Serbs have now nominated themselves forcefully to compete in the playoffs again, upsetting the prognostications. Zvezda has the best defense in the EuroLeague, they make the most steals per game and they showcased Ognjen Kuzmic as the MVP of January, the capstone to an excellent month.
8. Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul
Previous ranking: 7 (-1)
At home: 6-4
Offense-Defense: 79 ppg.-79 ppg.
In the past month in Darussafaka, everything revolves around the excellent 20-year-old rookie in the competition, Ante Zizic, who in collaboration with the in-form Brad Wanamaker is keeping the Turkish team firmly within the top eight candidates for the playoffs. David Blatt’s team relies heavily on the one-on-one game, they dish the fewest assists, and they have the lowest percentages in two-point shooting.
9. Anadolu Efes Istanbul
Previous ranking: 9 (-)
At home: 6-3
Offense-Defense: 83.9 ppg.-84.6 ppg.
Efes have only three wins in their last nine games, all of them over Turkish teams (two of them over Galatasaray and one over Darussafaka), and as a result they haven’t managed to establish a place in the top eight. Velimir Perasovic takes Efes’s games to a high tempo and so its second place among the worst defenses is justified by it having the league’s third-best offense. Thomas Heurtel has consistently been the team’s key player, with Brandon Paul having helped in execution.
10. FC Barcelona Lassa
Previous ranking: 8 (-2)
At home: 6-4
Offense-Defense: 72.3 ppg.-75.7 ppg.
Constant injuries haven’t allowed Barcelona to find rhythm and chemistry, and this has resulted in four defeats in the last five games. The Blaugrana’s defeats by Panathinaikos, Olympiacos and Baskonia have kept them out of the top eight and going forward they have to outdo themselves in order to get in the playoffs. Georgios Bartzokas’s team has the fourth-best defense but also the worst offense in the competition by a big gap behind the next team in line.
11. Zalgiris Kaunas
Previous ranking: 13 (+1)
At home: 4-6
Offense-Defense: 78.2 ppg.-80.7 ppg.
Zalgiris got the victory of the year against CSKA in Kaunas, then won over Darussafaka in Istanbul the next round. They look like, if anything, they can fight to the end for a place in the playoffs. Sarunas Jasikevicius has created an excellent unit, crafted since the summer, with direction and, it seems, a high degree of efficiency. The team’s chemistry is so good that only the old warhorse Paulius Jankunas is among the 50 highest-ranked players in the EuroLeague.
12. Brose Bamberg
Previous ranking: 10 (-2)
At home: 5-4
Offense-Defense: 79.7 ppg.-80.1 ppg.
Bamberg’s excellent December was followed by a mediocre January, as they count four defeats in a row that resulted in them being left out of the top eight. The German team is very effective from behind the three-point line, but they are ranked last in the collection of rebounds, with consistently fewer possessions than their opponents in most games.
13. Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
Previous ranking: 12 (-)
At home: 4-6
Offense-Defense: 78 ppg.-82.9 ppg.
Maccabi are down to their last hopes for an entry into the top eight, but with only two wins in the last eleven games, they can’t be very optimistic. The Israelis have the fourth-worst defense in the competition, they keep making changes to the roster (the latest of which were the departures of Sonny Weems and Maik Zirbes), and they still haven’t found the right chemistry and roles that head coach Ainars Bagatskis would have liked.
14. Unics Kazan
Previous ranking: 14 (-)
At home: 5-5
Offense-Defense: 76.7 ppg.-80.4 ppg.
In their last five games, Unics have only defeated Bamberg and they’ve surely lost most of their hopes of staying competitive until the end. The top scorer and by far best player in this year’s EuroLeague in terms of PIR, Keith Langford, has taken a small tumble in his performance in the last three rounds, Quino Colom has missed the last four games and Unics have stayed at the bottom of the standings.
15. EA7 Emporio Armani Milan
Previous ranking: 16 (+1)
At home: 5-5
Offense-Defense: 82.4 ppg.-88.6 ppg.
Milan defeated Galatasaray and Olympiacos, putting an end to its streak of 10 consecutive defeats, and in the next round they fought to the end against Madrid in the Spanish capital. The Italians, however, still have the worst defense in the EuroLeague despite the slight improvement, while they have now risen to fourth place among the best offenses. Krunoslav Simon has excellent stats and is now a steady performer for Jasmin Repesa, but in order for Milan to become consistently competitive, they need to make more progress.
16. Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul
Previous ranking: 15 (-1)
At home: 6-5
Offense-Defense: 79.9 ppg.-84.5 ppg.
Galatasaray won their last two home games against Maccabi and Zalgiris, improving its overall defensive performance, but the loss to Milan and their inability to prevail on the road (they are the only team yet to win away) keep them at the bottom. The leader of the Turkish team, Sinan Guler, is in excellent form, Blake Schilb is consistently good, while the newly acquired Bruno Fitipaldo has also helped out considerably.