Power Rankings: 3rd Edition

25 February 2013

Every second week leading up to EuroBasket 2013,'s undercover expert ranks the 24 teams headed for Slovenia. Join the discussion on facebook now. No movement at the top in this edition whilst Great Britain has entered a downward spiral following Luol Deng's likely withdrawal.



Jose Calderon's stats continue an upward trend in Detroit, whilst Ricky Rubio's contributions in Minnesota have grown post-All-Star weekend. Add into the equation Pau Gasol who now has some peace of mind following the NBA trade window closing and Spain is shaping up nicely.



San Antonio are sitting atop the Western Conference with the best record in the NBA, featuring a roster with no less than three French national team players. Tony Parker is resting a slight injury but it is nothing for French fans to fear.




In the past fortnight Goran Dragic has been averaging 16.25 points and 12.25 assists a night - evidence that the playmaker is coming into a fine vein of form. Early signs out of Orlando are that Beno Udrih could be in line for bigger minutes after being traded there from Milwaukee last week.



The Greek-laden Euroleague line-ups of Panathinaikos and Olympiacos both appear headed for the Euroleague Final 8. Respectively, Georgios Printezis and Michael Bramos have been key contributers on these teams and will be important players for Greece come summer.




With Andrei Kirilenko last week making it official that he will not be suiting up for Russia this season, the Russians have now, along with coach David Blatt, lost two of the biggest pieces of their puzzle, leaving their dreams of a return to the podium looking shaky at best.




Valencia left it late to make it into the EuroCup playoffs, but nonetheless they are there with Montenegrin center Bojan Dubljevic stepping up in must-win games against VEF Riga and CEZ Nymburk, further confirming Montenegro as having one of the best front-courts in Europe.




The news coming out of Lithuania this week has been less than encouraging for the basketball-proud nation with injury clouds hanging over the heads of key personnel in Paulius Jankunas and Linas Kleiza. Only time will tell if these players will be available come summer.




It is difficult to see how the standing down of national team coach Simone Pianigiani from Fenerbahce could be viewed as anything but positive news for the Italians with the play-caller now having more time to focus on the national team.



With Hedo Turkoglu announcing in 2011 his retirement from international basketball, the Turk's recent drug ban fails to have any affect on Turkey's weekly ranking. Instead the focus remains on Omer Asik and Ersan Ilyasova who continue to be productive in the NBA.



A plethora of Serbian players feature on teams that are underperforming this season - but don't blame the Serbs. Milos Teodosic is coming of his best two weeks in the Euroleague in this campaign for CSKA, averaging 23 points and six assists-a-game in the past fortnight.



Roko Ukic single-handedly pulled Zalgiris apart in the Euroleague last week, capping of a line of consistent performances for Panathinaikos. In Fenerbahce, things may be going from bad to worse, but Bojan Bogdanovic is still averaging 21.3 points in the EuroLeague Top 16.




Maccabi's contingent of national team players are making strong contributions for Israel's powerhouse club - particularly Yogev Ohayon who has steadily been improving his offensive output in recent weeks.




It has been a positive two weeks for German basketball, with three German teams moving into the next round of the respective European-wide competitions. Ratiopharm Ulm are into the Eurocup quarterfinals whilst Telekom Baskets Bonn and EWE Baskets Oldenburg are into the EuroChallenge quarter-final play-offs.




Zaza Pachulia is back in action for Atlanta and proving himself to be a force to be reckoned with under the boards. If his shooting can improve, so can Georgia's chances in Slovenia. Tornike Shengelia continues to be suffocated of playing time in Brooklyn for the Nets.



Zach Wright is on his way to the Eurocup quarterfinals with Spartak St.Petersburg and it is a place he will also be hoping to travel this summer with Bosnia and Herzegovina - a country he has made his home recently.




Joensuun Kataja are on the verge of qualifying for the EuroChallenge quarter-final play-offs, which will provide invaluable playing time for a number of potential national team candidates this summer. However, failure for them to make it may see the Finns ranking drop next time round.




It has been a less than memorable beginning to the New Year for F.Y.R as Predrag Samarziski struggles to adapt to life in Serbia following his tenure in Lithuania with Lietuvos Rytas, and MZT Skopje struggle for consistencyin the Adriatic League. But with Great Britain falling dramatically, F.Y.R of Macedonia go up.



Great Britain

There is no "i" in team, but there is a Luol Deng in Team Great Britain. When the NBA All-Star announced last week that he is unlikely to play in Slovenia this summer, there was only one direction that Great Britain's ranking could go.

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PGE Turow - playing in the VTB League - are the only Polish club remaining in a competition outside of Poland, with national team hopefuls instead needing to prove themselves domestically. There is no questioning the importance of the "Polish Twin Towers" committing to the cause this year.



VEF Riga's inability to close out big games with two heartbreaking losses in two weeks in the Eurocup brings into question the mental steel of the Latvians. A EuroChallenge loss on Tuesday for Ventspils may see Latvia dropping in the ranking.



Budivelnik have moved into the Eurocup quarterfinals, offering signs of hope for Ukrainian fans. Some good results for Budivelnik over the coming weeks will have a positive impact on Ukraine and could see the EuroBasket 2015 hosts begin to move into the top 20.




Thomas Massamba is consistently playing over 20 minutes-a-night at point guard for Lukoil in the Bulgarian League at present, averaging over nine points an encounter. In a relatively strong league, this experience could prove invaluable in Slovenia.




CEZ Nymburk's exit from the Eurocup last week has been a setback for a number of Czech national team players. Their goal is to now make the VTB playoffs in order to continue to play against top-level competition for as long as possible.




Axel Hervelle is about the only shining light for the Belgians, with the forward making the Eurocup quarterfinals as part of Spanish outfit Bilbao Basket. Hopefully for the Belgians, he can bring a winning attitude into the national team camp.



26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2013
26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2015
26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2013
26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2013
26.09.2013 - EUROBASKET 2013

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