2013-14 Hoops – Week 5 (Nov. 10)

Updated: November 14, 2013

There was a certain Intensity in the air this past Sunday Night that had not yet been there in previous weeks.  Could it be that Teams are starting to realize that there are no cakewalks? Sure.  Is it more likely everyone was a little testy because the Bears blew the game 21-19.. Well let’s just say it’s a combo of both (if not a majority of the latter).. Quick side note — there won’t be Hoops Highlights in the Video this Week — the Video is a Campus League (Champaign & Madison) Playoff Exclusive — which can be found here if you want to kill a few minutes at work (watch the first 15 seconds!). Fear not though, all the highlights from Week 5 will be included with the Week 6 Video Highlights next week!  Let’s get to the Power Rankings…

Power Rankings

1. Team Lalez (Highland Pop) – 5-0, 1st in the Eastern Conference

This was certainly their greatest test to date. Team Schwartz gave these guys all they could handle during their 44-minute battle AND they still won by 12… Team Lalez losing at this point will feel like a huge upset if/when that happens.  With the schedule being so long they are bound to have a hiccup especially with all the great talent throughout All Sports Hoops.  However, with the way these guys are playing I really can see them running the table.. Good Teams win when they aren’t at their best.. Better teams never come without their best and Team Lalez seems to be in that mode right now.  David “D.D.S.” Gershenzon had 18 points while Eytan “the man in the middle” Azaria chipped in with 17 of his own.  Team Maione is lurking in Week 6 for #1. Oh boy.

2. Team Kozin (SLA Insurance) – 5-0, 1st in the Western Conference

I really feel like lost in the story of Team Lalez being 5-0, is the OTHER Undefeated Squad – Team Kozin.  When people walk into the gym their are certain buzzes that go around and Team Lalez is always squarely in the center of them.. “Who are those guys?” “Oh that’s Team Lalez” etc..  However, cooly flying under the Radar is Team Kozin at 5-0.. Captain Jason “ice in the veins” Kozin knocked down a pull-up J with no time left on the clock to give his team a 1-pt victory vs. Team Goldin on Sunday Night!  They had to inbound the ball from under their own basket with just six seconds left.. Captain Jason got the ball around his own 3-pt line split two defenders rushed through the mid-court got to wing and boom!  This was certainly the @AcceleratedPT Moment of the Week!  These two teams were at it front them the Tip. This was certainly one of the chirpier games of the Season thus far. Afterwards though both teams were able to shake hands and realize how good of game they had just competed in.  Not to get too ahead of ourselves becauset there is still a lot of Hoops left between now and then, but in Week 7 on Sunday Nov. 24 — Team Kozin and Team Lalez will do battle.  Let the TV outlets begin their bidding for broadcasting rights now..

3. Team Harmelech (iShot) – 3-2, tied for 2nd in the Eastern Conference

This is the highest ranked Team Harmelech has climbed so far in All Sports Hoops.  These guys are very familiar with the top of the mountain however from various All Sports Series Summer Leagues.  They aren’t going to be content until they are at #1.. They stumbled twice in the Season’s opening weeks and some of that can be chalked up to an incomplete roster on those nights.   Clearly the doubters that thought these guys were over the hill are mistaken and they are going to be a major factor in the coming weeks.  Mike “SHOUTOUT” Maione dazzled again posting a 20-12 game.  Zach “pull my finger” Bulwa and Sam “Captain” Harmelech both had strong games from the field as well. The arrow is trending up for these guys.

4. Team Schwartz (Stems) – 3-2, tied for 2nd in the Eastern Conference

I know what you are probably thinking.. Win or Lose and it doesn’t matter — we are always #4.  Well, right now that’s just the way it is.. Team Schwartz had come in on a 3 game winning streak which was good enough to catapult them into the #4 Spot the past few weeks.  They were trailing in all of 3 of those Ws and it seemed like they were heading for that “cardiac cat” label.  This week they finally met their match with Team Lalez.  However, how can I move them down when they had by far the best showing anyone has had in 5 weeks against the top ranked team?  I just couldn’t justify giving some other team the nod in the top 4 for this week.  Austin “stone cold” Brown went for 19 points on 14 attempts… The guy can certainly play.  Their Defense is their true calling card as they refuse to give the opposition any easy looks.

5. Team Maione (B. Weinstein Associates) – 3-2, 2nd in the Western Conference

This was a weird game.. The flow was just non-existent.. Tons of whistles.. This is not making an excuse for Team Maione dropping this one as I thought Team Bauer “out-worked” them in key areas on Sunday Night.  Loose balls seemed to always wind up with Team Bauer and in a tight game that can be all of the difference.  Team Maione came out in their Press that allowed them to score 128 points in Week 4. However, this week they might have been a bit too “amped up” and got in foul trouble.  I know that they didn’t agree with most of them and a few might have gone against them when they shouldn’t have but I think most of it could be chalked up to their eagerness to out do what they had done the Week 4.  Even if it was subconsciously.  They certainly missed Captain Anthony “twan” Maione who provides a different type of athleticism than anyone else on the roster.  I think this L is already behind them as they are Vets and it really should be.  The biggest game of the Season, in my eyes, is looming next week.. Team Maione goes toe to toe with #1 Team Lalez — A team they have battled with in All Sports Series past.  Personally, I can’t wait.

6. Team Bauer (Jam ‘n Honey) – 2-3, tied for 3rd in the Western Conference

Big, big, BIG Win for these guys in Week 5.  I hate to call anything an upset because there is so much talent spread out around the League but at first glance based on both teams’ last few games, I think its safe to say that Team Maione was favored in this one.  Team Bauer didn’t care.. They just kept answering. Every time, Team Maione scored, they’d go into their Press.. Team Bauer kept their composure however and eventually in the 2nd Half, took the lead, and didn’t look back.  This is now a weekly occurrence but I have to bring up Jabbarri “League’s Leading Scorer” Reynolds who had 24 points (lowering his season avg. ha) and really made sure his squad was on an even keel throughout the fast-paced 2nd half.   I truly believe that Jabarri is going to win his team a Playoff game come March and April. Obviously don’t know when it’ll come but he’s going to go off at one point and I think people will be talking about into the Summer months.

7. Team Goldin (Sanders Court Pediatrics) – 2-3, tied for 3rd in the Western Conference 

Losing on a buzzer beater to an Undefeated crew that you really feel you are better than stings.  However, I know these guys and how they operate.. By the time they walk into the gym next Sunday Night this past week will be a distant memory.  They are one of the most talented teams in the League.  Sometimes their shot selection could be a bit improved.. They are fairly imposing on the Defensive end and if they could limit the other team’s quick run out opportunities, which seem to be coming from quick shots than I think they could really be in business.  To say I’m not worried about these guys would be an understatement — I actually think these early losses are good for them.  They are going to be hungry later in the season for Ws and won’t be hindered by a feeling of invincibility.  Garrett “down on the block” Staniec had 15 points on just 10 shots.  He’s improving each week and is just another guy other teams will have to worry about.  They are going to be just fine.

8. Team Zimerman (Teplitz & Bell Attorneys) – 2-3, 4th in the Eastern Conference

2 out of their last 3 have gone for Wins.. Team Zimmerman has to be feeling pretty good after coming out of the gates a bit slower than they’d like. Again, these guys got no favors from the Schedule makers early in the Season (sorry) but that just means they will be that much more battle tested as the Season rolls on.  Eugene “everyone needs to pay attention to this guy” Connor led all scorers in Week 5 with a whopping 29 points.  Next week they get to take on Team Goldin so another Win and they will definitely be jumping a team in the Rankings at this point next week.

Rest of the Pack – Alphabetical Order

Team Apuli (Wrigley View Rooftop) – 2-3, tied for 3rd in the Western Conference

Were missing some key ingredients and came out of the tip a bit sluggish.  A positive is that they are now done with Team Holzman for the Regular Season.. 2 of their 3 losses are to the guys in green.  Just one of those weird things.  Plenty of time for them to get back to their winning ways.

Team Eilian (Crystal Lake Jeep) – 1-4, 5th in the Eastern Conference

The recent slide continues as they have yet to regain that Week 1 form. I actually think they are playing better than they were at the beginning of the Season but they just haven’t been able to put together a complete 44 minutes.  Too much size and shooting ability with this group for them not to get a few more wins soon.

Team Holzman (Groupon) – 2-3, tied for 3rd in the Western Conference

Would have been my #9 Team this week if the Power Rankings did such a thing.  They are now 2-0 against Team Apuli this Season which is awesome.. They need to figure out a way to duplicate that success against other squads. Josh “taco meat” Cowin had 18 points and Jeremy “there is a good restaurant in Highland Park that shares your last name” Mizraji went for 17 points in this one.  Captain Holzy has the building blocks he needs.

Team Shamberg (Sunset Foods) – 0-5, 6th in the Eastern Conference

This week really showed the difference between having 5/6 guys and having 7-9 guys at the game.. These guys were shorthanded once again and just ran out of gas.  They are just as talented as other teams in the League and I have no doubt that this opening stretch has as much to do with some bad luck and lack of bench size as anything.. They are going to turn it around.  I promise.

That’s it for the Week 5 Wrap-Up.  Have a great weekend and see you Sunday Night.

– Holden