2013-14 Hoops – Week 10 (Dec. 15)

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Updated: December 17, 2013

The first half of the Season is officially in the books. Here’s a link to the Weekly Video Highlights.  As we head into Winter Break, let’s see where everyone will reside in the Power Rankings until 2014!

Power Rankings

1. Team Lalez (Highland Pop) – 9-1, 1st in Eastern Conference

Another Sunday Night and another W for #1 Team in the Land — Team Lalez.  Darren “fantsy pants” Angell had 22 points and several no-look passes and circus scores to the lead the way for his crew this Week. Adding to the scoring barrage was Captain Benny “the jet” Lalez who had 19 and Ben “Memphis Strong” Lazarov who had 18.  Winning 9 of your first 10 in any League is a feat that most would be proud of.  However, these guys always just have one thing on their mind and you can’t win that until April.. They just aren’t satisfied with anything less than titles.  Enjoy the Winter Break atop the Mountain.

2. Team Maione (B. Weinstein Associates) – 8-2, 1st in Western Conference

These guys want to be #1  in the Power Rankings.  They aren’t shy about it.  They’ve done everything they possibly could over the past 5 weeks — only 5-0 Team in the League over the past 5 — including a W over #1 Team Lalez.  However, their up and down start is still holding them back that one extra spot.  There will come a time later in the year when Team Lalez has another hiccup (I think) and these guys will be waiting.. However, it’s not going to be an easy ride for Team Maione in the 2nd Half of the Season.. First up is #3 Team Harmelech waiting on Jan. 5.

3. Team Harmelech (iShot) – 7-3, 2nd in Eastern Conference

Hot on the trails of the top 2 teams is Team Harmelech.  These guys had a rocky start to the year but have really settled in since just before Thanksgiving.  They are on a tear as of late and are figuring out how to utilize their strengths. Captain Sam “melo” Harmelech led his team in scoring with 17 points on just 12 shots and Mike “the little fundamental” Maione had 16 of his own. They have over 2 weeks to gameplan for what will be the biggest game of their season to date w/ Team Maione.  A win, could go really far in helping them land a top seed come March.

4. Team Kozin (SLA Insurance) – 7-3, 2nd in Western Conference

Winter Break comes at a great time for Team Kozin.  Sometimes, you just need to step away and have a chance to look at the big picture.  They were the last Undefeated squad in the League and ranked #1 for some time.  After dropping their first, the edge of being Undefeated sort of lifts, and you need to reconfigure a few things.  They are still one of the most talented things out there and a group that no one will want to see come Playoff Time.  I’ve said this several times so far this Season — many of the teams are so close in talent, that many games come down to just a few jump shots.   In the first 6 weeks of the year, these guys made a few more jumpers than they have in the past 4 weeks.. It’ll even out and I expect big things from Team Kozin in 2014.

5. Team Zimmerman (Teplitz & Bell) – 5-5, tied for 3rd in Eastern Conference

Spoiler Alert — Team Zimmerman is really good!  They came into the Season with a tough early schedule and managed to stay afloat while figuring out their Rotations, having never played as a unit before.  Since Thanksgiving they have been on a roll and in a slew of 5-5 teams they are certainly trending up.  They might have the most length in the League including Max “can shoot from anywhere” Boton who had 24, and even though they might not get the “pub” that other great backcourts get..  Eugene “sniper” Connor had 22 and 5 assists to go along with Esteban “handles” Vega who tallied 20 points and 7 dimes.  If I’m a top team, I’m paying attention to Team Zimmerman in terms of seeding for the Playoffs, these are guys that genuinely scary.. As talking heads have told us for a loooong time.. You can’t teach size.

6. Team Schwartz (Stems) – 5-5, tied for 3rd in Eastern Conference

Back in the Winner’s Circle goes Team Schwartz.   As the tiers become more and more divided, in terms of win-loss record, Team Schwartz sticks out as the biggest question mark in the middle-tier.  At times this Season, they have looked like they are among the Elite.  Then there are weeks when the ball just doesn’t go down and it seems as if they are heading into a nose dive.   If they continue to play together as they did this past Sunday Night against Team Kozin, then there are really really great things in-store for them in 2nd Half of the Season.   Quick shout-out to Jon “Young” Sider who tallied a double-double on Sunday Night.  Most of the doubleX2’s are achieved by the 6’4″ guys — Sider is among the League’s best hustle-rebounders and he boxes out with the best of them.  They will certainly be tested right out of the gate come January as fellow 5-5 squad – Team Goldin awaits.

7. Team Apuli (Wrigley View Rooftop) – 5-5, tied for 3rd in Western Conference

Team Apuli has certainly been the biggest head-scratching Team of the bunch in the League’s 1st Half.  They have had amazing “upset” victories and have also dropped a few to teams that aren’t Ranked this Week.  They were short-handed and still got the job done on Sunday Night in a Thriller against Team Eilian.. Clutch Free Throw shooting was of course key down the stretch and Justin “Captain” Apuli can give himself a nice pat on the back for help sealing the W.  Kyle “the Manimal” Daniels sort of came back down to earth after his two mega weeks — he simply posted a 16 point, 16 rebound performance.  No big deal.  Cannot tell you week to week what to expect from these guys, but I know this.. I’d never feel comfortable if I looked across the court and saw the boys in blue waiting.

8. Team Goldin (Sanders Court Pediatrics) – 5-5, tied for 3rd in Western Conference

Not their best outing.  Things that normally come easily to this bunch — creating shots, hitting open jumpers, and getting teammates open — just didn’t happen on Sunday Night and for a variety of reasons.  Some can attributed to Team Harmelech’s tough D and some can just be chalked up to an off-night for Team Goldin.  These guys are better than there .500 record.  I’ve likely said something to that affect 6 to 7 times this Season, but I’m still confident in that. It might take until March or April to prove me right, but they just have too much talent and after Winter Break they should be getting some guys back from the DL.

Rest of the Pack – Alphabetical Order

Team Bauer (Jam ‘n Honey) – 3-7, tied for 5th in the Western Conference

They were without their two leading scorers and went up against the #1 Team this past week.  Well, someone forgot tell these guys to just lay down and get run over.. In fact, with only a minute to go in the first half they were tied with Team Lalez.. They simply ran out of gas and the game got away from them in the second half but it’s honestly hard not identify with these guys.  They exert so much energy on each and every possession and want to win terribly.  That type of stuff generates an extra win or two somewhere down the line.  Ian “for 3” Shaffer went for 26 on Sunday Night.  He’s becoming someone that other teams have to account for.. Big things coming for Team Bauer in 2014.

Team Eilian (Crystal Lake Chrysler Dodge Jeep) – 2-8, 5th in the Eastern Conference

Another nail-biting finish for Team Eilian — this week they couldn’t get the same heroics as last week’s buzzer beater. Steven “copy/paste” Cadwallader had 24 points in the defeat.  All the last few weeks have shown is that this crew is better than it’s record.  They are going to win more games in the second half than they did in the first — book it.

Team Holzman (Groupon) – 3-7, tied for 5th in the Western Conference

They’ve had better showings.  Said it a bunch of times this Season — playing with 5 guys in this League is basically sealing your fate.  The games are too long, the talent is too immense and you are putting yourself into a defensive disadvantage by worrying about foul trouble the whole game.  Need a bench.   EJ “was feeling it” Silver had 24 points and is looking to keep that momentum as we turn the calendar to 2014 in a few weeks.

Team Shamberg (Sunset Foods) – 1-9, 6th in the Eastern Conference

Got that first W last Week!  Let’s just focus on that as we head into Winter Break!

 

Everyone please have a Happy and Healthy New Year.  See you in 2014.

– Holden