2013-14 Hoops – PLAYOFFS Week 2 (March 16)

Updated: March 19, 2014

Last Sunday the Playoffs started with a surprisingly chalky Opening Round… This Sunday more than made up for it as there was craziness occurring at every turn.  The first four games of the night were decided by a combined 21 points and the lower seed won in 4 of the 6 Games on Sunday Night. The landscape has significantly changed from this time last week.. Before we Preview next week and take a look back at Sunday Night… Here are some links.. Planning on playing in All Sports Series this Summer?  Well Registration opened last week and here’s your chance to play for FREE.. Just follow us on one of our social media sites, enter our College BBall Bonanza and WIN (password: allsportsseries) Enter Here Then click for: Weekly Video Highlights (Extended for Playoffs), UPDATED PLAYOFF BRACKET,  and finally All Hoops Team Roster (scroll down a bit).

Quick aside, and I don’t normally do this in the weekly articles but I just want to make sure everyone knows this.. As the League gets deeper and deeper it seems injuries are starting to pile up.. Accelerated (the MVP Sponsor of the League) has offered anyone in the League a FREE Injury Screen. They have a ton of locations. Go get yourself checked out if you feel a tweak or something like that, before it gets worse.. Was that a plug? Yes, but seriously, if you think you need it go get checked out!

OK, back to the lay of the land.. Week 2 of the Playoffs have left us with two Teams in No Loss Bracket: 1. Team Lalez and and 3. Team Goldin… These two squads will do battle for a 3rd (and hopefully not) final time next Sunday Night.

Then in the 1 Loss Bracket, four more Teams reside: 2. Team Goldin, 4. Team Kozin, 6. Team Zimmerman, and 10. Team Bauer.  These four teams will make-up two of the Games next Sunday Night with the Winners of the Games playing each other immediately after.

Finally, in the 2 Loss Bracket — aka ELIMINATIONville — the population is six Teams:  5. Team Harmelech, 7. Team Schwartz, 8. Team Apuli, 9. Team Holzman, 11. Team Eilian, and 12. Team Shamberg.. From here on out it is Win or Go Home for these squads.   Teams Harmelech, Schwartz and Holzman have Byes this Week and will be back in Week 4 to try and extend their Season. As for the other 3 squads.. Two will be sent packing this Sunday Night.

Alright, it’s time for the Preview…

No Loss Bracket

1. Team Lalez (Highland Pop) v. 3. Team Maione (B. Weinstein Associates) 

These two Teams are the last Unbeatens left in the Playoffs.  That’s obviously a huge deal as they still have an extra Loss to utilize, but maybe more importantly, their road to the Crown is now significantly easier than their competitors.. And really it should be.

These two Teams are both coming off such impressive Ws.  1. Team Lalez stayed on their magical run, winning 19 of their 20 Games this Season and 13 in a row, by defeating 4. Team Kozin on Sunday Night.  Their one blemish came at the hands of 3. Team Maione back in November.  This will certainly be a fantastic and significantly more important rubber match.  While Team Lalez, was extending their Win Streak, 3. Team Maione was busy snapping 2. Team Goldin’s.  In what might have been one of the best Games of the Season Team Maione snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.  They were down late and as much as 5 points with as little as 30+ seconds to go when they decided they just wouldn’t lose.  Bradley “quite possibly the odds on favorite to win the 3pt contest (if eligible)” Deutsch tied the game up with 10 seconds with a top of the arc 3.  Then seconds later Team Maione forced a turnover which led to a Deutsch lay-in to complete the comeback.  The win not only propelled them into the matchup with Team Lalez, but it sent 2. Team Goldin to the 1 Loss Bracket.

These two Teams  obviously will play in the @Accelerated Game of the Week and the question leading up to the Game will be if 3. Team Maione can match the size of 1. Team Lalez, and do so without Chris “get better soon” Wroblewski who went down late on Sunday Night.  He should be back hopefully by the following week.  They were able to do so back in Week 6 but Team Lalez is clicking way more now than back then and really use the inside-out approach. 3. Team Maione will have to shoot lights-out to compete and make sure not to commit silly fouls.   Team Lalez will look to get boosts from their usual suspects including Eytan “welcome back” Azaria.  He, Ben “Big Man” Lazarov and David “D.D.S.” Gershenzon’s ability to finish in the paint could be the difference next Sunday Night.  Another can’t miss game.

1 Loss Bracket – Winners will play later in the Night.

2. Team Goldin (Sanders Court Pediatrics) v. 10. Team Bauer (B. Weinstein Associates) 

2. Team Goldin and 10. Team Bauer will enter Sunday Night’s game with vastly different emotions. 2. Team Goldin is coming off their first loss SINCE CHRISTMAS and is going to enter the gym on Sunday with a bad taste in their mouth.  They have been simply unstoppable.  Sometimes, once a great run comes to an end, it’s difficult to come back and start another.  However, I have no doubt in my mind that these guys are capable of starting up another one that will end with them hoisting the Crown in 4 weeks time.  Thinking otherwise would be crazy.  Their Defense will certainly be there and they always allow that to lead the way.  As for their opponent, I assume, there are other Teams they’d rather face to get going on another Streak.

10. Team Bauer on the other hand is going to be soaring high walking in on Sunday Night.  They are currently playing their best Hoops of the Season and are riding a 3-Game Playoff Winning Streak.  They not only came back from down 17 points at halftime to stun 7. Team Schwartz on Sunday Night but they balled that momentum up and used to it throw the gauntlet down on 5. Team Harmelech to send them to the 2 Loss Bracket as well.  I think it’s safe to say that 10. Team Bauer has scared many all season because their best might be better than many other’s best.. It was just a matter of figuring everything out.  2. Team Goldin is not one of those Teams that will be intimidated however.  This has potential “to steal the show” in Week 3.

Quickly just want to turn back to something that was written in the Playoff Preview: “In every All Sports Series, there is one team that makes an improbable Playoff run. The Hoops League will be no different. Just to prove that isn’t rhetoric — numerous double digit seeds have made Final4 Appearances throughout the Years.  All it takes is one fortunate bounce that didn’t come in the Regular Season and BOOM… Upset City…  As for 10. Team Bauer, they have the leading scorer in the League and two others that possess the ability to go for 20+ on any night.  They need to play smart and keep their cool.  If they do so, they have more than just two games left. ”  Seems like I sold them short, honestly.. Not only do they have more than 2 Games in them.. They have more than 2 wins.. And they are looking for more…

Oh and the Winner.. Will play right after against the Winner of this Game…

4. Team Kozin (SLA Insurance) v. 6. Team Zimmerman (Teplitz & Bell)

4. Team Kozin battled valiantly with 1. Team Lalez but came up a little short.  They managed to hold Team Lalez to about 30 points under their normal season average. Really impressive stuff.. They just needed a few more jumpers to go.  As for 6. Team Zimmerman, they played what could have been their most complete Game on Sunday Night as they took down 9. Team Holzman who were winners of their first 2 Playoff Games.  Eugene “Butter” Connor went for a game high 31 points in that one to help lead the charge.

I would expect the tempo to be played at a high pace in this one.  6. Team Zimmerman likes to get out and run.. While 4. Team Kozin does like to do use their post-up game they are not shy about running the Floor.  Turnovers will be key in this one as well.. Both Teams know what’s in store and how much is at stake.. I think the Team that limits their mistakes will continue on with just one Loss.  I’d also urge both Teams to keep their potential Double Header in the back of their minds… Getting out and running is great for as long as you can last.. However, the Winner will face the Winner of the 1 Loss Game above, right after the conclusion of this one.. I know it’s nice to say “take it one game at a time” but in the marathon that is the Hoops Playoffs… you sometimes need to take it two games at a time…


11. Team Eilian (Crystal Lake Jeep) v. 12. Team Shamberg (Sunset Foods) 

For those that have been a bit bogged down with the Bracket itself.. I think this should be pretty simple for you.. Win and you get to keep playing.. Lose and it’s time to start rebuilding for next season. These two crews split their season series and both have had an extra week to regroup, scheme, and hydrate.  Neither Team wants to be in this spot, but one of them could use this as a potential spring board for a memorable run..  Someone in the 2 Loss Bracket will eventually be one of the 3 Teams left standing in a few weeks.. For these two squads, they have to keep believing “why not us?”

For 11. Team Eilian, I’ve said it over a dozen times this year, it’s not for a lack of talent that they are in this spot.. From top to bottom, they really do have a very talented roster.. For whatever reason, they have lost their fair share of heartbreakers this season and just never got on a true winning streak..  What’s great for them is they have several guys who can put the ball in the basket..  So even if one guy is not having his best day, they can turn to others for a hot hand.  They’ll need to really get after it on the Defensive end on Sunday Night if they want to advance.

For 12. Team Shamberg, it will come down to if they can play a complete 44-minute game.  Early in the season they struggled as they faltered down the stretch.. They had a short bench and in the last 15 minutes or so of the Game that really showed.. However as 2013 turned into 2014 a new Team Shamberg started to emerge and I think everyone who has played them since would say “they don’t look like the last seed in the Playoffs.”  They have scoring, they have hustle players, they have size and they have the will to win (Captain Shamberg will be happy to know Hawk Harrelson personally called me to tell me that).

This is the first of what will be at least 11 (and potentially 12 or 13) ELIMINATION GAMES.  Both Teams are certainly going to give it their all and for the Winner.. They will have one hour to recharge and do it all again with…

8. Team Apuli (Wrigley View Rooftop) v. Winner of Team Eilian v.  Team Shamberg 

Team Apuli will be the third and final Team fighting for survival on Sunday Night.  Playing a Team in their 2nd Game of the Night presumambly has its advantages.. case in point.. Team Zimmerman’s win over the exhausted Team Holzman last week.  However, there’s a chance that Team playing in their second game utilizes the momentum from Game 1 and propels themselves to their second win of the night.. Take a look at Team Bauer over Team Harmelech from last week..  For Team Apuli to get their desired result they are going to have to be able to take that initial punch from the winner of Team Eilian and Team Shamberg…  Without a doubt, whoever they play will be flying high into this one.. Team Apuli will have to weather the initial storm, believe that they have enough to take over the momentum and then make their opponent start thinking about how tiring 2 Hours of ELIMINATION HOOPS really is..

These guys have had an up and down year.. They have many impressive wins and they have some losses they would surely like to have back.. It would almost be a fitting end for them to now make a run in the 2 Loss Bracket with their backs firmly planted against the wall…

So which one of these three Teams will survive?  Sunday Night is officially our first ELIMINATION SUNDAY!


5. Team Harmelech, 7. Team Schwartz and 9. Team Holzman are off during Week 3 and face Elimination Games in Week 4.  These three squads will be joined by the one survivor of this week’s Elimination Games.  5. Team Harmelech will play the lowest seed out of the four Teams and the other two teams will battle.

Everyone have a good week. Rest up. See you Sunday.

– Holden