Credit: Roman Kruchinin,Alfonso Cannavacciuolo, Aykut Akici - Getty Images | BasketNews illustration/A.Zaikauskas
Credit Roman Kruchinin,Alfonso Cannavacciuolo, Aykut Akici - Getty Images | BasketNews illustration/A.Zaikauskas

The first half of the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season came to an end, so it's time to have a look at the updated Power Rankings edition.

In the latest Power Rankings edition, our experts had a say, and the positions of the teams are determined on their current form and the potential they got in the foreseeable future.

For starters, we have nine teams going down, eight climbing up, and only one remaining at their previous spot.

UNICS Kazan made an enormous jump, climbing up by seven places. Meanwhile, AS Monaco and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv suffered the biggest fall by going down by six places.

18. Panathinaikos OPAP Athens ↔ (18)

Current record: 4-13

Since the last Power Rankings edition, Panathinaikos won two games. Still, it wasn't enough for the Greek powerhouse to climb out of the bottom.

17. Zalgiris Kaunas ↔ (17)

Current record: 3-13

Zalgiris' situation hasn't changed much as well. After beating Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce, the Lithuanian champions suffered four losses in the last five games.

16. AS Monaco ⬇ (10)

Current record: 6-11

How the turntables. A couple of months ago, Monaco were sitting at 8th place of our Power Rankings, but many things have changed since then.

Sasa Obradovic replaced Zvezdan Mitrovic in the head coach position, but the progress is taking time. Since November 5, Monaco has won only two games in 10 contests.

15. Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz ↔ (15)

Current record: 6-11

Another team that didn't manage to rise from their current position. Like Monaco, Baskonia also made changes in their coaching department, but the improved results are barely visible so far.

Under Neven Spahija, the Spanish club won three times in eight games, so there's definitely room for improvement.

14. ALBA Berlin ⬆ (16)

Current record: 6-11

This season, ALBA are moving slowly but steadily. No one expected them to be playoff contenders, but they managed to pull off upsets against teams like Maccabi or Armani Exchange.

On Wednesday, they beat their table neighbors Monaco and snapped a 3-game losing streak.

13. Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv ⬇ (7)

Current record: 7-10

The last time we did our EuroLeague Power Rankings was November 23, and Maccabi had 7 victories. Today, it's December 24, and Maccabi have… 7 victories.

The rollercoaster of a season continues for the Israeli powerhouse, which suffered the seventh consecutive defeat after losing against Zenit on Thursday.

12. FC Bayern Munich ↔ (12)

Current record: 7-10

Just like Maccabi, Bayern are going through different patches. After securing 4 wins in 5 games, Bayern lost three consecutive games. Despite that, the Bavarian club remains in playoff contention.

11. LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne ⬇ (9)

Current record: 8-9

Despite winning only twice in the last nine games, ASVEL fell too much, neither in the standings nor in Power Rankings.

However, it's worth mentioning that the French club suffered some heavy defeats against Barcelona (60-80), Baskonia (66-91), or Olympiakos (54-89).

10. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade ⬆ (14)

Current record: 7-10

Since the last Power Rankings edition, the Serbian powerhouse went 3-3, but it could have gone completely different.

Last week, Crvena Zvezda put up a serious fight against Barcelona (lost 69-76) while on Wednesday suffered a nail-biting defeat against the defending champions Anadolu Efes (83-84).

9. Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul ⬆ (13)

Current record: 7-10

After a disastrous beginning of the season, Fenerbache recovered with four victories in a row against Monaco, Zenit, Maccabi, and Baskonia.

However, the Turkish powerhouse might have problems in the foreseeable future as both Nando De Colo and Jan Vesely suffered injuries in Thursday's game vs ASVEL.

8. CSKA Moscow ⬇ (5)

Current record: 10-7

CSKA lost another few positions in our Power Rankings, but it is hard to blame the Russian club.

Dimitris Itoudis was constantly dealing with injuries, but despite that, he turned the ship around after five consecutive losses.

CSKA won five of their last seven EuroLeague games, and the Russian club is only two victories behind third place.

7. AX Armani Exchange Milan ⬇ (3)

Current record: 10-6

Not that long ago, the Italian club was going neck and neck with leaders Barcelona. However, injuries started to pile up, and Armani Exchange suffered four losses in a row against UNICS, Zenit, Olympiakos, and ALBA.

Moreover, the Italian club is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak in the team, so a smooth comeback could become another challenge.

6. Anadolu Efes Istanbul ⬆ (8)

Current record: 9-8  

It looks like the champions are getting back to their grove. High-scoring games, dominant victories, and strong individual performances are something we got used to during the last season. Now, we can see something similar again.

Efes won eight of their last 10 EuroLeague games and are back into the Top 8.

5. Zenit St. Petersburg ⬇ (4)

Current record: 11-6

Shabazz Napier is yet to make his EuroLeague debut, but Zenit are going strong regardless. The 3-game losing slump was followed by a 3-game winning streak, and now the Russian club is back Top 4.

4. UNICS Kazan ⬆ (11)

Current record: 10-7

It feels like all of our experts have fallen in love with UNICS, which moved up by seven places – the biggest jump of this Power Rankings edition.

The love is very much deserved. After a sluggish start and a humiliating 41-80 loss against Fenerbahce in Istanbul, UNICS bounced back. After starting the season with a 1-4, the Russian team won in nine of 12 remaining games.

The 10th one could have been against Barcelona on Wednesday, but UNICS wasted a 20-point lead and suffered a heartbreaking defeat in overtime (109-111).

3. Olympiakos Piraeus ⬆ (6)

Olympiakos finally got the respect they deserved. The Greek powerhouse has been of the most consistent teams throughout the season. Giorgos Bartzokas and his players managed to avoid a slump or any rough patch and, therefore, they are currently third in both EuroLeague standings and Power Rankings.

Olympiakos are in hot form, winning 6 of their last 7 games, including Thursday's victory over rival Panathinaikos. Olympiakos won 84-65, the biggest victory over PAO in the club's history.

2. Real Madrid ↔ (2)

Current record: 14-3

What Real Madrid are doing is simply impressive. Despite having a Covid-riddled roster, the Blancos continue to win.

Missing players such as Guerschon Yabusele, Anthony Randolph, Thomas Heurtel, Adam Hanga, Vincent Poirier, Fabien Causeur, or Juan Nunez was not a problem to dismantle full-strength CSKA.

Moreover, Pablo Laso could not be next to his team, so Chus Mateo took over and did a brilliant job.

Finally, 14-3 after the first half of the season is one of the best records since the new format was introduced, so Real have plenty of reasons to be proud of themselves.

1. FC Barcelona ↔ (1)

Current record: 15-2

Yes, the Top 2 remains unchanged, and it's not hard to understand why. If we were saying how Real brilliantly managed their roster, there are no words for Sarunas Jasikevicius.

It's been a while since Barcelona are playing without Nick Calathes, Cory Higgins, and Alex Abrines. As time went on, Sergi Martinez and Nigel Hayes-Davis joined the sidelines.

Despite that, Barca kept winning and currently have a 9-game winning streak. A number of those victories were reached in hard-fought fashion, but as Jasikevicius said, they'll happily take the point and not going to worry about it.

The best example of Barcelona's character was on Thursday. Despite trailing by 20 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Barca managed to force the overtime and win the game.

15-2 start is the best record since the new EuroLeague format was introduced. However, Fenerbahce were the first to reach such an achievement in the 2018-19 season.

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why PAO is below Zalgiris?? bullshit
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