As always, these rankings are subjective and probably biased. My guidelines are:
- These rankings are based on who is playing the best basketball in the PBL right now. How you played last season, in the pre-season, or how you might play in two months doesn’t mean that much to me. If your team looks good on paper but are winless then you’re still going to find yourself at the bottom of the heap.
- Strength of schedule matters (and that includes homecourt advantage)
- Win-Loss is most important, but margin of victory also matters.
- Recent results matter more than older results but both count. A team’s last five regular season games are weighted heavier than older results.
- Two other things worth noting: Champlain Cup games and exhibition games are not taken into account. The sample size is very small since it is only week four so expect these rankings to be very different in a week when the sample size gets bigger and teams start separating from the pack on the top and bottom. A number of teams have played a pretty limited number of opponents so that also limits the ability to properly compare teams.
There is one new wrinkle to account for now – Montreal have folded and the players have been dispersed among teams that wanted them. While Detroit and Quebec, both teams who are realistically out of the playoff hunt, picked up some good players this is really about the rich getting richer: Rochester and Manchester both added solid big men to their rosters. Anyway, the rankings are after the jump with each team’s previous ranking in parentheses.
#1 (1) Battle Creek Knights (9-0) I am increasingly uncomfortable putting them here as they continue to thrash weak opponents: 7 of their wins have come against teams with losing records. Brutal.
#2 (2) Manchester Millrats (8-3) It’s not the record of the Millrats that I find so impressive, it’s the wins against Halifax and Vermont. They’re leading the toughest division in the PBL and it’s starting to look like the Frost Heaves and Rainmen are battling for the wildcard spot, not for the division lead.
#3 (3) Vermont Frost Heaves (7-4) A road loss to a reborn Halifax team isn’t enough to convince me to drop them a spot, particularly considering the fact they were on a 4 game winning streak before rolling in to Nova Scotia.
#4 (5) Rochester Razor Sharks (6-3) The Razorsharks are on a five game winning streak but are looking at a crucial two games next weekend with games against Vermont and Augusta. The addition of Xavier Morton to back up starting centre Ron Rollerson gives Rochester the heaviest front court imaginable.
#5 (6) Halifax Rainmen (7-5) The Rainmen look like a totally different team under new coach Les Berry and managed to defeat Vermont for the first time in franchise history.
#6 (7) Wilmington Sea Dawgs (6-4) Two big wins this weekend against Augusta mean that the Sea Dawgs are not only on pace to get into the wildcard round but are still in the running to win the Eastern division.
#7 (4) Augusta Groove (5-4) The Groove are 2-3 in their last five games and their wins came against god awful opposition. It’s starting to feel like this is a team heading in the wrong direction.
#8 (9) Quebec Kebs (2-7) They only have two wins but they’re against Manchester and Vermont… and yet have dropped games to Montreal and Chicago… that makes no sense.
#9 (12) Chicago Throwbacks (4-6) How on earth does this team have four wins? Oh yeah, by beating up on some scrubs with losing records.
#10 (11) Detroit Panthers (2-6) The bottom third of this league is not just bad but terrible. They’ve lost five straight and yet still aren’t the worst team in the league right now.
#11 (11) Mid-Michigan Destroyers (2-7) A 55 point loss to Rochester makes me feel sympathy for these guys. I know what it’s like to cheer for a team which absolutely sucks.
#12 (13) Buffalo Stampede (1-8 ) This is just getting embarassing.