1) Knicks: (12-4)
The Knicks continue to write and rewrite PGBL history as they begin their quest for an unprecedented 3rd straight PGBL championship. It’s hard to argue that during the time the Knicks have been in the league they have been the best team with consistent results. With Louie Karapanagiotides leading the point as well as Alex Lolosides and big men Stephanos Karas and Jim Armenakis this is perhaps the most balanced starting 5.
Issues: Will compliancy start to set in or is this team ready for the long haul of another season. As defending champs they will face most team’s best effort every time they take the court.
2) Sixers: (8-8)
The Sixers seemingly are always trailing the Knicks, always a few plays or players short of the Championship. 2 consecutive years the Sixers have made the finals and twice they have come up short. The tweaking of the roster continues by replacing one big time scorer for another. George Mashas (7th all time PGBL scorer) is gone (as well as Christos Sarianos, Terps) replaced by Dimitri Poulimenos (2nd all time PGBL scorer).
Issues: Is this the fix the Sixers needed? Was scoring the problem with this team or did it come down to execution for them. The Sixers as with most teams have added pieces and with that comes chemistry issues and growing pains.
*PGBL History (With the addition of Poulimenos 4 of the original Pistons 10-0 team have been reunited)
3) Warriors: (12-4)
Last years regular season champions look to continue their stellar play. Teaming behind 2 time MVP George Vlahos this team has finally gotten their play maker to join them. Point Guard Aris Haritonidis looks to make his PGBL début with a team he is already quite familiar playing with.
Issues: The Warriors looked to make and win their first championship last year but an ill timed injury to sharp shooter Will Galiatsatos prevented us from seeing them at full strength when it counted most. This team has known regular season success. For them they know its all about making their name in the playoffs.
4) Kings: (11-5)
The Kings come into this season a year older but more importantly with a whole another year of playing together. The Kings had a rough time incorporating 2 new starters into the line up early last year. Once that happened they appeared destined for PGBL glory until running into the eventual champion Knicks.
The Kings much like the Warriors understand for them its all about the playoffs. With lots of PGBL experience and plenty of team leaders on the team I expected the Kings to stay focused and hungry through out the entire season.
5) 100% Arseniko: (5-11)
This is the team the new Mr. PGBL expects ready to make the jump into the top 5. Last years disappointing record of 5-11 could be misleading as the team was competitive through out much of the season. With the addition of Tommy Poulos to help offset the loss of Alex Zikos (Sixers) he seems ready to step up and take over ball handling duties as well as providing a much needed offensive presence.
With a solid young core of players they have the talent needed to be a competitive team. For them its all about coming together and not allowing a slight lack of experience derail them from their goals.
6) PAOK: (8-8)
The 2nd of the 3 teams to finish 8-8 (Sixers, Paok, Rev) last year, PAOK has made perhaps the most important pick up of the off season. Chris Vasiliou was added to team up with perhaps the most potent scorer Tony Grammenos (All time leading scorer). That provides the best 1-2 punch in the PGBL.
Will Paok have a third option to help taking the burden off of Grammenos and Vasiliou?
7) Revolution: (8-8)
The revolution come into the season looking to rebound from a tough 3 point loss in the first round of last years playoffs that saw them push the Sixers to the limit. This team does not have a major or even minor weakness when looking at them on paper. From the shooting of Spiro Skliros to the size and skill the Nasis brothers provide they are always a tough matchup for any team.
Issues: PGBL insiders insist that they will be able to field the whole team as listed. However the major concern is if that will become a reality once the season starts. If the team reports as constructed look for them to rise the in the rankings rapidly, however, bring a team together on a weekly basis for a whole season is a tough task for any organization.
8) Mavericks: (5-11)
The Mavericks are always one bounce away from having an 11-5 season as oppose to a 5-11 season. I believe they always rank in the top of the league when it comes points allowed. With their resilient defense and persistent hustle even if the offense isn’t working they are a threat to beat any team on any night.
Defense has always been key to the Mavericks’ strategy. However if foul trouble or the occasional off night strike, the Mavericks will have to dial in on offense to provide a few victories through out the season.
9) Terps: (3-13)
The Terps come into this season with a new name and a reshaped roster. This team will have to come together quite quickly. Scoring won’t be a problem for this team but as with any team sport defense wins championships.
Issues: The Terps have always been a tough opponent and often times only come up short in the final standings as a result of their lack of size. If they are making their shots there are no rebounds to get and they can play with anyone. The trouble comes when they have the rare off shooting night. Will they have the team discipline needed to overcome the lack of size?
10) Grizzlies: (N/A)
Few if any people within PGBL know much about this young group from Buselton. They are however carrying with them the confidence that comes with winning a GOYA championship in last year’s league.
The X factor of the league. I eagerly await the opportunity to see what this young group can add to our league. I also would not be surprised to seem them pull a few upsets of the higher ranked teams.