- PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS -

WRITTEN BY: PROFESSOR X

We are officially back for what is already shaping up to be the most intriguing season of ETBL to date! What felt like an NBA offseason has come to an end and we are ready for Season 5 to tip-off. These are my preseason power rankings based on what I know...but I will be able to make a better assessment once I see everyone in action as there are tons of new guys in the league. If you feel slighted because of where you are ranked just email me at professorx@IdontgiveanF.com 

  1. CLIPPERS: These aren’t Kawhi and PG's Clippers but we might as well crown them ETBL's version. GM Randy made some serious power moves to put together this star-studded roster that appears to be an early season favorite to win it all. MVP Kris Gnanenthra leaves behind the Pistons team that he led to the finals this past season to join a well-rounded team that will feature some very talented players like Archu, Anson, Jason, and Randy. Shahriar makes his ETBL return as well as 2-time Champ Anujan to round out this Clippers team. Health will be the only question as Kris works his way back from a wrist injury but expect this team to go the distance if he is right. 

  2. HEAT: The Clippers might be a star-studded roster but GM Billal has definitely put together the most well-rounded roster on paper. Milton the beast finally gets some help as the reigning 2-time Finals MVP joins his team along with 2 former DPOYs in Yaga and Vasko. In addition to those names Billal brings back 2 veterans in Fasel and Glenn to fill out his roster. There is talent and toughness which means teams will have to bring the kitchen sink to beat this squad.

  3. SPURS: The reigning GM of the Year looks to make his case to win the award again this season as he has put together an impressive roster heading into year two of his GM career. Baki returns after an all-star season but the real story is the additions of big man Donald and star guard Javed. Expect both these players to put up huge seasons for this team as they look to make a push for a title. Veteran and 2-time champion Bahee will provide the toughness every contending team needs. Jeni, Puvi, and Nitharshan round out the deep roster. Time will tell if we will “Witness” another magical run for Wilbert and his team but for now they earn the #3 spot on our Power Rankings. 

  4. BULLETS: Anytime you bring a player of Nidun's caliber on board, you’ve done enough to earn yourself a top 4 spot in the Power Rankings. Nidun's talent absolutely speaks for itself and he will be leading a very talented “Big 3” that includes a gritty player in Venush as well as a former Season 2 MVP runner-up in Zayn. GM Ruben has some work to do to figure out how this team wants to play but he has all the necessary pieces to make some noise this season. 

  5. KINGS: The young superstar himself, Duzan, makes his ETBL debut alongside his big brother Senthu. Both these guys are legends in the South Asian Basketball Community for what they’ve done in other leagues. Can they replicate their individual success and team up to collect an ETBL Championship? I believe they can and that is why they round out our top 5. Look for this team to be a threat with their two stars alongside solid role players like Aswath and Komo.

  6. TWOLVES: Everyone’s favourite GM Suthan returns for another season despite not earning a single win last year. He went 0-12 in an 11 game season (Sadly, I am not even joking). We don’t expect the same record from this Twolves team as they are locked and loaded for Season 5. Anthony returns after a one year absence from ETBL but he is joined by the man they call the Tamil Kyrie Irving (Arun). Big man Dinash and shooter Nick Regis will also suit up for the Wolves this year as they look to turn this franchises’ fortune around! 

  7. BULLS: New talent seems to be the theme this year in ETBL and this team has no shortage of it as Tes and Shang aka MTL look to win big in Season 5. These two players are as talented as any duo in the league and they look poised to make a run with veterans Sutharsan and Andrew joining them. This is a top heavy team but will they get enough contributions from the rest of the squad? Roshan joins the long list of rookie GMs who have made a splash to start the season but let's see if his team will live up to the hype on the court.   

  8. BLAZERS: The Blazers (formerly the Bucks) are coming off a tough season that saw them finish the season outside the playoff bracket but what better way to return this season than to bring back your MVP NJ. Will NJ just be Chris’ Co-star or will he be able to play at an MVP level like in Season 3. These two enjoy playing together and have built great chemistry over the years and this duo will win a lot of games for this team this season. The supporting cast looks to be solid with Nishant, Vijith, and Rookie Rogith who is a solid third piece on this team. Annojh gets his wish as he has his “friends only team"...the difference this year is that this team can also contend for a Championship. 

  9. SIXERS: The Sixers are back under GM Flash (too complicated to get into right now, hopefully the Commish can explain that later) and look to be a solid squad on paper. Flash brings his boys from other leagues including Naren who will be one of his co-stars. Naren is an athletic player who has expanded his game over the years and will be huge for this team. We have some new names joining the squad who appear to have some promise in Adrian, Abe, and Matty. Flash and company will have a lot of work to do in this star-studded league but it appears early on that he has the talent to hold his own this year. 

  10. HORNETS: The Hornets are back under a new GM as second year man Satish takes over for Hari to lead the new look team. They start the year off with a talented group with some big names in Nishan, Jelton, and Viji. These three guys seem to complement each other very well along with rookie Bavi who will show off his athleticism as a key player in this rotation. We will have to wait and see how Nishan is feeling coming off a season in which he was not 100%. They are also one of the smaller teams in the league once again so they will have to make sure their zone is on point this year. On paper this team can make some noise earning them the number 10 spot. 

  11. SONICS: To be fair I have no clue how good this team is but after doing some research I found out a few things. They got a legit star in Zaid Parekh who could end up being a top 10 player in this league apparently. They got a bunch of tall players...I mean they got 6 guys that are at least 6 feet and over. They all play in a competitive league called MCBC and are now looking to test their abilities in ETBL. Considering all this and the fact that they all know and have played with each other for some time...I decided to put them exactly in the middle of the pack for now. Seems like a definite playoff team but can they push to be a title contender? 

  12. WARRIORS: New look. New challenges. New teammates. Still the champs. While this roster has gone through a complete makeover you have to take the time to give credit where credit is due. GM Gautham is coming off impressive back to back titles in ETBL and he looks to make a push for 3 in a row. This roster is talented with the likes of Jamshed, Gobie, Thanujaan (the only player who was willing to run it back?), and Ganen but there will be a lot of questions on how this team can compete in the most talented league we have had to date. On paper this team appears to be in the middle of the pack for now but they definitely have the tools to surprise some people depending on how fast their chemistry gels. 

  13. GRIZZLIES: The Suns have decided to change it up (seems like they do it every season...Celtics, Suns, and now Grizz) but will that finally lead them to success. They always have ample talent but underperform during the season and playoffs. They should be higher on this list after adding Mr. Ben Okyere who is 6'4 and a bonafide first round talent but GM Jas has not been able to put all these puzzle pieces together in the past and so I would like to see it happen before making any proclamations. Abdul, Uma and Zanoon will have to do their part if the Grizz wanna make it deep into the playoffs for the first time. 

  14. PELICANS: All-star Harrison joins the mix as a GM this season as he looks to make a push with Vman and floor general Vijay. There are some questions surrounding the rest of this team however but we can say with a lot of confidence that any team featuring these three players are good enough to be a playoff team. They do not have any liabilities on this team as everyone knows their role and can ball. Vijay will be the straw that stirs the drink and look for him to get everyone involved on offence. Look for this team to play together and play smart.

  15. PISTONS: The Pistons are back without the guy who led them to a close loss in the ETBL finals just this past season. Although they’ve lost their star, adding Gopal and Season 1 MVP Asim is a solid consolation prize. Cameron is back following a solid rookie season and we expect him to thrive as he will have less attention placed on him this year. Like many other teams there are questions about the roster outside the top few players but this squad looks solid from 1 to 6 and GM Sanjoo and former GM Sugee can be 3pt threats to round out the roster. They could be ranked higher after watching Umar and Gohulan play.

  16. NUGGETS: Ray is back again with another major move to help strengthen his roster. Former Hawk Nirsan takes his talents to the Nuggets to team up with Dwayne and Javan. Ray has always done a great job coaching his teams and now he has a complete roster to do so. If he can get his team all on the same page then look for this team to be a dark horse this season.

  17. PACERS: We’re down to #17 in the rankings and we are still talking about the outstanding talent in this league. This goes to show not only the growth of the league but the parity this season as well. Mr. Ali Nizam will put down the whistle and step on the court to join the action this year. Ali is easily a top 5 player in the league and he will look to lead this team back to a playoff appearance after a solid year by the Pacers a year ago. GM Vimal has never had a shortage of stars on his roster and this year will be no different but he will have to figure out how this team will play around Ali in order to be more than just a fringe playoff team.      

  18. JAZZ: Another year and another new look for the former Champion GM Sayon. While this team lost its three best players from a year ago they come back with three young studs in Mithun, Nitharsan and Suman. The first two will play with a high motor and can really put the ball in the basket night in and night out. While Suman is a promising young big who will be tasked with guarding some of the best bigs in the league. Louie has had success in this league and he will be leaned on heavily as the primary point guard on this team but he will have fun passing to all these young studs. Trevor and Zaid round out the roster and will be a key part in helping this team push for a playoff spot.

  19. NETS: The Nets (formerly Raptors) bring back their core with the subtraction of Louie and addition of Paolo and Mike Daemi. Mike is a 6'4 big man who can run the floor and can flat out score and rebound (after looking at stats/video online). He will be a great complement to Davy but I just don't see enough of the other players stepping up in order to make the playoffs. GM Chris did a great job addressing his biggest weakness (big man that can score) but has put faith in his friends to step up and contribute. They barely squeeked into the playoffs last season and that is the most they will do this season. 

  20. KNICKS: We welcome yet another new GM to the league as Lemo looks to lead his all rounded team into a playoff spot. This roster is mainly composed of new but talented players to the league led by big men Nash and Kirk Facey. Markus stood out at the draft and was ultimately a top pick going to the Knicks (RJ Barrett style). We will have to wait and see what they have in store but early indications are that this team is full of players who can contribute top to bottom. Having a deep roster in ETBL is a luxury so look for Lemo to take advantage of that and have his team ready to go from the start.

  21. LAKERS: Somi is back with a new look team as former Sixer Ara joins the purple and gold along with another new star Christian. These two will have to be huge for them along with significant contributions from Somi and Ragu. This team is the only team out of 22 that choose to go with a 7-man roster instead of the traditional 8. It will be something to keep an eye on this year as a shorter rotation can go either way for this group. They need one more solid player to be a playoff team in my opinion so for now this team appears to be on the outside looking in but a lot can change once the action begins.

  22. MAGIC: Manish has decided to lead his own team after a few solid seasons in ETBL. There are lots of unknowns with his roster as he brings in a mix of former players and new players. Matheos is expecting to be the top option for this squad along with Brian and Waqar. Obaid and PJ bring a ton of size to this team and that will be huge for Manish as the league has gotten bigger. He will lean on these two to bring a defensive presence and help the squad rebound and keep the offence to one possession. Defence and grinding out games will be the key for them to have a chance. This looks to be a friends team for the most part and we all know how those typically do (ask the Bucks).