2013-14 Hoops – Week 17 (Feb. 23)

Updated: February 25, 2014

Well just like that we are down to just one final week in the marathon that has been this Hoops Regular Season.  Unbelievably, only one seed is wrapped up.. Team Lalez will be the #1 Seed when the Playoffs start next week and all of the 11 other spots will come down to the final Week 18 Games.  So many people have started to ask how/what the Bracket works/looks like.  First, here’s a link to the Playoff Bracket.  Ok, now that you know what it looks like, you are probably like, “WHAT is that?  Is the guy who made that nuts?”  To answer the second question first, “yeah maybe a little.”  As for how it works… The Power Rankings have been saying all Season how it’s important to get into the Top 8 before the Playoffs.. This is why:  Teams seeded 9-12, will start in the “1-Loss” Bracket, meaning that they have only two strikes left before Elimination.  They will open the Playoffs against each other.. Teams 1-8, will start in the “No-Loss” Bracket..  Since it’s a Triple Elimination Bracket, those Teams have 3 strikes until they’re out.. Without getting too long-winded.. In it’s simplest form, the Bracket truly works like this — Win and you advance in your current Bracket, Lose and you drop down to the next Bracket (So there’s a No-Loss Bracket, and a 1-Loss and 2-Loss Bracket).. If you lose when you are in the 2-Loss Bracket you go home for the Summer.  You guys battled throughout a rigorous Regular Season and deserve a true representation of who is the best.. The Playoffs will provide that.  Any questions?  Email – holden@allsportsseries.com

OK, Here’s the Weekly Video Highlights.  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.

The Power Rankings are going to work a bit differently this Week.. Rankings are going to be done by Current Standings and we are going to look at how high or how low each can climb/fall with specific outcomes for Week 18. The “Interview with One of You” will be in the Team Holzman section this week and it has a fun little twist.

OK Let’s Rank ‘em…

1. Team Lalez (Highland Pop) – 16-1, 1st in Eastern Conference & #1 Seed in Playoffs

Little intrigue left in terms of next week for their seed of course, however, they will still play a pivotal role in deciding the Seeding for the middle of the pack. They go head to head for the second time this season with Team Schwartz.  A win for Team Schwartz, will assure that they don’t see Team Lalez in the Opening Round.  Don’t expect Team Lalez to “rest their starters” here.  A few of the core was not at the game this past Sunday, but they have a next man up philosophy, and Brennan “silky” Keller delivered with 27 points and 11 rebs to boot.  They are ready.

t-2. Team Goldin (Sanders Court Pediatrics) & Team Maione (B. Weinstein Associates) – 12-5, tied for 1st in Western Conference 

Wow.  Team Goldin pulled out an OT W, to move their streak to 7.  This might have been the hardest fought game of the Season.  If you look at the score — 63-62 in OT — you’ll see that both Teams scored well below their Season Avg’s and that is because both Teams really needed this one. The Defensive intensity picked up at basically half court and these guys did not give up one easy possession the whole night.  As for Team Maione, they bounced back from sleeping through Week 16 with a huge victory, as they were up over 100 yet again.  Josh “@JBart20” Bartelstein went for a cool triple-double, with 18 points (on just 10 shots), 10 dimes and 10 boards.

These two teams split their head to head battles at one a piece.  The next tiebreaker will be Division Record, which Team Goldin has a 1-Game lead with.  That means if Team Goldin can defeat Team Apuli on Sunday Night, they win the Western Conference and grab the 2 seed.  Team Maione will need a Team Goldin L, and a W over Team Bauer.  If they both lose, which most would think is unlikely, Team Kozin is just a game back lurking…

4. Team Kozin (SLA Insurance) – 11-6, 3rd in Western Conference 

I’m not sure if a Team has had more heartbreaking losses than these guys throughout the course of the Regular Season.  Usually, that bolds well for their Playoff hopes, as they have “been there and done that.”  They dropped an OT thriller w/ Team Goldin and it might take a bit of time come back from that one.  They are still not totally eliminated from the Conference race as they are just a game back.. They’ll need both Teams Goldin and Maione to Lose on Sunday and they’d need to beat Team Holzman.  Crazier things have happened this Season, that’s for sure.  Either way the farthest these guys can fall is the #5 Seed and even if that were to be the case I don’t think their Seed matters as much as some others might, because these guys fear no one.

5. Team Harmelech (iShot) – 10-7, 2nd in Eastern Conference

Have hit a bit of a rough patch the past few weeks and honestly that is to be expected as they are still trying to get their bearings without PG Zach Bulwa who was lost for the Season in a charity bball outing. They still have a tremendous amount of talent and they can end up as high as #4 when the Playoffs begin.. Realistically that won’t matter much, whether they or #4 or #5.. They are looking at a probably matchup with Team Kozin in the Opening Round of the Playoffs and that one could “steal the show” on Night 1 of the tourney.   Mike “you only get 5” Maione fouled out again.  Just so everyone knows.

t-6 Team Schwartz (Stems) & Team Zimmerman (Teplitz & Bell) – 8-9, tied for 3rd in Eastern Conference 

Team Zimmerman knocked off Team Schwartz on Sunday to pull into a tie for the #6 Seed going into the final week of the Season.  The game was closer than the score would indicate as both Teams really brought it on Sunday Night.  Eugene “don’t leave him open” Connor led Team Zimmerman with 23 points and Max “don’t leave him open either” Kaplan had 23 to match it for Team Schwartz.  These two teams split their head to head battles at one a piece. Team Schwartz holds the Division Record tiebreaker and, thus, with a win will clinch the #6 Seed.  If they fall short against Team Lalez, Team Zimmerman would grab a hold of the #6 spot with a W vs. Team Eilian.  If both Teams fall short and Team Apuli upends Team Golin, than we can be looking at some true madness with tiebreakers for the 6-8 seeds for the Opening Round…

8. Team Apuli (Wrigley View Rooftop) – 7-10, 4th in Western Conference 

Been saying the same thing for a few weeks now, if they get their whole crew to FFC for the Playoffs, than they are going to make some higher seeds very unhappy come March.  Earlier in Season when they had their whole crew, and before a few time conflicts arose, they were regularly ranked in the Top 5 and had some really nice early Ws.  They can get as high as 6th with some help (Team Schwartz and Team Zimmerman losses, and they Win) and if not they will remain in the #8 Spot and a date with Team Lalez to Tip-Off the Playoffs.  The road will not be easy, but they can win against any Team out there.

t-9. Team Holzman (Groupon) & Team Bauer (Jam ‘n Honey) – 5-12, tied for 5th in Western Conference 

Team Holzman knocked off Team Bauer on Sunday Night to pull into a tie for #9.  Team Holzman are winners of two in a row and Team Bauer have dropped a few in a row.. Both have tough games to close the Season as Team Holzman draws Team Kozin and Team Bauer will go toe to toe with Team Maione.  If either Team wins and the other loses than they will finish #9 and get to play the #12 Team in the Opening Round..  People might be shrugging their shoulders when it gets down, saying, “what’s the difference?”  Well, when you only get 2-Losses before your Season ends, each and every Team that you get lined up against matters..  These two squads split their two meetings, so Division Record will decide who gets the upper-hand should they wind up tied.. Team Holzman gets the nod in that category.

Oh and here’s the Interview with Team Holzman members, that’s right, more than one! Josh “Taco Meat” Cowin and Alex “Parmo” Parmacek.  Enjoy.

All Sports: Two Ws in a row.. What’s going right for Team Holzman in February?

Alex Parmacek: Our team has really developed some strong chemistry late in the season. For many of us, this season was our first time playing together. We have finally figured out each other’s roles within the team, and how to best utilize our strengths within those roles. Above all, we have put our personal stats aside for the greater good of the team. Winning has become all that matters.

Josh Cowin: Agree with Alex on the selflessness aspect. We are confident and hope that we can continue this success going forward. As Paul Harris always said, “Play your best basketball at the end of the year.”

AS: As the Playoffs are upon us, who do you guys see as the go-to-guy for a late bucket when your season is at stake?

AP: As the season has progressed, we have continuously found success in playing selfless, team basketball. We have several guys on our team who are capable of putting up 25 on a given night; however, our success has been a result of finding the hot hand early in the game and fully exploiting it. The go-to-guy will most likely differ from game-to-game, which makes us a scary opponent for anyone. Yet with the way I have shot the ball this season, it most likely won’t be me with the hot hand.

JC: Again, I agree with Alex, I guess our uniformity extends past the basketball court. A multitude of performers have stepped up their game recently and everyone would be prepared and willing to take a last shot. Maybe even Andrew “I broke my foot” Holzman or Ben “I haven’t played since week 1” Mur can come in and make a Willis Reed-esque comeback and hit a big shot. Is our unselfishness a problem, only time will tell… (Editor’s Note: easy on the run-on nicknames.. it’s kinda my thing..)

AS: Finally, any bold predictions/statements for the Playoffs?

AP:  Team Holzman is comprised of a bunch of guys that HATE losing… We will be treating every game as it could be our last. We’ve really gained some momentum late in the season and intend to carry it deep into the playoffs. Last week we implemented a new defense that proved tenacious, and it led to a huge upset. Like in the NCAA tournament, the teams that play well together often go further than the teams with one or two stars. I am confident that we can be a real contender, expect some upsets in the early rounds. Think of Team Holzman as this year’s Florida Gulf Coast.

JC: I refuse to jinx us and put a Billy Goat or Bartman curse on this team. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to play Team Holzman in the playoffs.

There you have it.. The official interview of Team Holzman folks.

t-11. Team Eilian (Crystal Lake Jeep) & Team Shamberg (Sunset Foods) – 4-13, tied for 5th in Eastern Conference 

Team Eilian is finding their stride just in time! Led by Max “League Leader in Week 17” Kaplan  who had 32 points and Team Shamberg member Todd “hot on his heels” Siegel had the 2nd most with 30 You know what’s amazing — there are 4 pairs of Teams that are tied with each other going into the final week of the Season — each one of those pairs have split their 2 head to head meetings.  This League has so much talent, and it really just comes down to a few jumpers from week to week.  Anyways, so yeah, these two Teams split their head to head battles and so Division Record will be the deciding factor.. Team Eilian holds the Division Record tiebreaker.. Team Eilian has Team Zimmerman on Sunday and if they get the W they will stay out of the #12 spot.  Team Shamberg draws Team Harmlech in the League’s final week.  They’ll need a W and a bit of help to climb out of the basement before the Season comes to a close.  Here’s the deal though, and this goes for Team Holzman and Team Bauer as well, these guys are a Playoff Win away from gaining all the confidence they need to go on a tear.  So don’t sleep on them.

This concludes what might be the longest Power Rankings article in All Sports Series history. If you made it down this far, congrats on your ability to focus on one thing for longer than 10 minutes. Have a great week everyone. I won’t actually be at the gym on Sunday Night, so the next time I see you will be for Playoff Hoops.

– Holden