2013-14 Hoops – Week 16 (Feb. 16)

Updated: February 18, 2014

And then there were 2.. 2 Weeks Until the Playoffs begin, that is.  Here’s a link for the Weekly Highlight Video.  An “Interview with One of You” will kick off the Power Rankings this Week, with the #1 Seed for the Playoffs Team Lalez — if you want to be the next one to get an Interview hit up @AllSportsSeries on Twitter.  Just a reminder for the All Hoops Team Ballot.  Many of you have already cast your votes but if you have not, Click Here To VOTE. Please read the instructions (or at least skim them) so you understand how Championship Night will work regarding the All Hoops Team Festivities (yes, there is going to be a Game and a 3PT Contest).  Voting ends March 10th, the day after the Playoffs officially begin.  OK Let’s Rank ’em…

Power Rankings

1. Team Lalez (Highland Pop) – 15-1, 1st in Eastern Conference & Clinched #1 Seed in the Playoffs

Congrats on Team Lalez for locking down the Regular Season crown and “Homecourt” throughout the Playoffs. Fresh off the Win in the @AcceleratedPT Game of the Week,  is Eytan Azaria with the “Interview with One of You” feature. Enjoy.

All Sports: To start, a Congrats is on order.. Sunday Night you guys officially wrapped up the #1 Seed in the Playoffs and the Regular Season Title.. What’s made you guys so consistent all year?

Eytan Azaria: I’ve played on more than a dozen intramural teams over the last few years but this team that Cap’n Lalez put together has the the most balanced offense I’ve played with. While we have a lot of talent behind the arc, we don’t live and die by the 3 ball. Gersh, Laz, Darren and even our PG Benny have great awareness on the block. We find the weak points in the defense and exploit every mismatch. BK and Epstein are quick 3s and can rebound over any guard that tries matching up with them. Hakimian is a rock, don’t try to underestimate him. (Editor’s Note: I wouldn’t dream of it.)

AS: Team Lalez put up 107 points on Sunday Night… What led to the Offensive explosion?

EA: People don’t know how to match up with us and everyone was hitting on Sunday. Only negative with that high shooting percentage is the dip in my RPG, I count on those offensive rebounds for the stat line. There are also a few guys on the squad that had to prove a point to their eye candy on the sideline.

AS: Let’s talk Gersh, he’s the leading scorer on Team Lalez, but what does he do help make the game easier on the rest of you?

EA: Gersh and I used to do battle back in the day with our GBN / GBS rivalry. I can tell you that he’s just as impossible to guard now as he was then. A guard can’t hold him in the post and a big man can’t keep up with him on the perimeter. This team knows who’s hot and moves the ball around well. Gersh is a consistent lifeline, when we need a bucket or some momentum, he gets the ball and it frees up everyone else because you’ll either need to double team him or give up an easy basket.

AS: OK, shoot it to us straight.. How do you see the Playoffs going down?

EA: Playoffs are a veteran’s tournament and nothing will change from our dominance in the regular season. We’ve had some close games but we know how to put teams away, a glass of bourbon just tastes better after a playoff win.

There you have it folks, from the big man himself.

2. Team Goldin (Sanders Court Pediatrics) – 11-5, Tied for 1st in Western Conference

Streak to 6.  They are as hot as any team in the League right now and believe it or not can pull out winning the Western Conference over the next couple of weeks after being 5-5 in Week 10 and 3 games back.  Wanna welcome back Joe “#theReturn” Mapes who played for the first time since the Opening Weeks after getting back to 100%, he had 18 points.  He is a huge addition for these guys.. Some might have thought it was not a great time since they are streaking, but he makes them even that much more difficult to stop and significantly grittier.  Garrett “down on the block” Staniec led the way with 25 and 9 rebs while Alex “always strong” Filin had 23 and 7 boards.  Team Lalez clearly has the most impressive resume but Team Goldin might be the most dangerous just two weeks out from the Playoffs.

3. Team Kozin (SLA Insurance) – 11-5, Tied for 1st in Western Conference

Back in the Winner’s Circle and back in a tie for 1st place in the Western Conference, albeit a 3-way tie.   Josh “showing Steph Curry range” Davis had THIRTY THREE points on just 18 shots and hit his first five 3pt shots of the game, which included a heat check from just inside half court.. Pull-up splash!  It seems as if these guys are involved in close games each and every week.. That type of experience is just so valuable in the Playoffs when there will no doubt be some nail-biters in April..  They have a date with Team Goldin on Sunday Night and the Conference (or a share of it anyway) will likely be decided then.  “Can’t Wait” – Scott, Bart

4. Team Maione (B. Weinstein & Associates) – 11-5, Tied for 1st in Western Conference

Gonna sleep on it this week.  Happy Belated to Nick “your back is going to start hurting soon” Wieczorek.

5. Team Harmelech (iShot) – 10-6, 2nd in Eastern Conference

Sometimes there’s just not much you can do.. Team Lalez was firing on all cylinders and when that happens you just have to remember its a long season.  Captain Sam “passion” Harmelech finished 3 boards shy of a triple double:  27 points, 10 dimes, 7 boards and some extra-curricular activities to boot on Sunday.   Right now they are in 5th in terms of overall Playoff Seeding.. One more W and they will lock up a top 5 seed, but if they can manage two more and possibly leapfrog a couple of those top Western Conference Teams, that would be very nice.  Just a repeat from last week — the teams that finish 4 and 5 in the Standings are going to have a wicked Opening Round Playoff Game against each other.. While that will be fun for spectators, in a tourney that allows 3-Losses you want to put off those epic games for as long as possible.

6. Team Schwartz (Stems) – 8-8, 3rd in Eastern Conference

Team Schwartz will finish out the Regular Season with games against Team Zimmerman, who is a game behind them in the Standings and then #1 Team Lalez, who I don’t think will be resting guys as #1 Seeds often do in the Pros.   That means Team Schwartz, who currently would be the 6th overall seed really really needs a win next week or they risk facing Team Lalez in back to back games, with the second coming in the Opening Round of the Playoffs.. Considering they are 15-1, likely safe to say that is a situation worth avoiding if at all possible. Couple quick notes, Austin “might need to keep the new jersey” Brown went OFF for 34 points and 10 boards in their close loss on Sunday Night.  Finally, if you haven’t seen the New Greater Than logo, go check out Twitter @DrinkGT and take a peak.  Awesome stuff guys!

7. Team Apuli (Wrigley View Rooftop) – 7-9, 4th in Western Conference

Dropped a tough one by 2 points to Team Kozin on Sunday Night.  All year these guys have been up and down, but one thing is for sure, they are dangerous.  They played well for long stretches of Sunday Night but a few droughts did them in.  They are likely going to have their full crew back in two weeks time and that means that the top seeded teams need to be alert for an Opening Round “upset.”  Kyle “the Danimal” Daniels had 23 points and 10 boards.. If Danimal is not a thing yet, well it should be.  Apologies for taking 16 weeks. Let’s get some Ts made up.

8. Team Zimmerman (Teplitz & Bell) – 7-9, 4th in Eastern Conference

Played tough but couldn’t come up with the W as they fell in OT to Team Shamberg… If you haven’t gotten the feel yet, let me just come out and say it.. Most of the Games on Sunday were REALLY close and the Teams that dropped them need to pick themselves up and quick as there are only a couple opportunities to get right before everyone’s back is against the wall.  Dan “thunder” Lehtman led these guys with 17 points.  They’re another group that if playing at 100% will be able to scare a top squad come the Opening Round.

Rest of the Pack – Alphabetical Order

Team Bauer (Jam ‘n Honey) – 5-11, 5th in Western Conference

Was up at Halftime over Team Goldin (as seen in the pic above) but just didn’t have enough to close it out.. Only have 6 guys is tough and, especially so against the most physical Team in the League – Team Goldin.    Jabarri “League Leader” Reynolds went for 30 once again, Ian “don’t leave him open behind the arc” Shaffer went for 18 points, and Jeremy “Captain” Bauer put in 14 of his own.. They will need his Offense in the Playoffs.. If they have 4 viable scoring threats they become significantly more tough to deal with.

Eilian (Crystal Lake Chrystler Dodge Jeep) – 3-13, 6th in Eastern Conference

Everyone knew this was coming.. It was just a matter of when, not if.. Team Eilian picked up their first W in 2014 on Sunday Night in what really should be a first of many.  With 16 games played by each Team so far, its easy to think of Football when looking at Team’s records — Team Eilian is that Division Winning – Talented Team from a year ago, that winds up drafting in the NFL because of some unlucky breaks and then a snowball effect.. The difference is here, this talented bunch will actually get to still be a part of the Playoffs instead of drafting in the Top 5.  They have two more weeks to keep re-assuring themselves that they are significantly better than their record, and they are, I assure you.. They are NOT going to be an easy out come March and April, even if they start with an L.. Well done by the Bens — Kaplan and Eder — who each had 25 points in the W.

Team Holzman (Groupon) – 4-12, 6th in Western Conference

Breaking a long streak of their own and getting a nice W is Team Holzman.  Well done gents, even without some of their regular crew they did enough.. It’s as if the competition was sleeping on them…..

Team Shamberg (Sunset Foods) – 4-12, 5th in Eastern Conference

Team Shamberg started off 0-8.  They are 4-4 since then and have a much better record than many Teams over that span.  It’s too bad they couldn’t turn it around a bit earlier, because they may have been able to avoid 1-Loss status entering the Playoffs.. But again, they are playing good ball right now and they rightfully believe they can hang with anyone.   Todd “anyone would be happy to have him on their squad” Siegel went 14 of 18 to have one of the most efficient and least selfish 33 points games you can find.

Hope everyone is able to enjoy the brief HEAT SPELL we’ll have in the middle of the week.. See You Sunday Night.

– Holden