2013-14 Hoops – Week 9 (Dec. 8)

Updated: December 10, 2013

Week 9 sure was wacky… Two long losing streaks were snapped and the action did not let up at any point in the night.  Here is the Weekly Video Highlights — even if you normally don’t check this out — watch the first 10 seconds… Also, remember that next Week will be the final Week before Winter Break (we skip Dec. 22 & 29 and return on Jan. 5).. Okay on to the Power Rankings!

Power Rankings

1. Team Lalez  (Highland Pop) – 8-1, 1st in Eastern Conference

These guys just find a way to win week in and week out.  I’ve said it about a dozen times this Season, but what’s one more?  They go 9-deep and everyone on their roster serves a purpose and can hurt the opposition.  Week to week teams don’t know who to focus on trying to stop because it really can come from anyone on the squad.  This week, their shots weren’t falling as much as usual, and some of that can be attributed to the gamely Team Goldin defense; their slight dip in offensive production did not discourage their defensive effort (as it would to most).. In fact, it was quite the opposite.. They buckled down and again did what was necessary to have their arms raised at the end of the night.  Don’t want to paint the picture that they couldn’t score at all on Sunday Night.. David “D.D.S.” Gershenzon went for 29.. Someone will always fill it up for the #1 Team in the land.  Personally, their matchup in Week 10 is one that I have been looking forward to for two weeks.. They again will face-off with Team Bauer, who is on a bit of a slide as of late, but also have served as giant-killers this Season…

2. Team Maione (B. Weinstein Associates) – 7-2, tied for 1st in Western Conference

Their win streak is to four and the longest current run in the League.  Needless to say they are clicking coming into Winter Break.  Bradley “even with out the stretching” Deutsch had 28 and Nick “copy/paste” Wieczorek poured in 24 points of his own.  They were a bit shorthanded and still didn’t miss a beat. Can we talk about the fact they are averaging 88.7 points per game this Season.. In 44 minute games (minus the few minutes they lose for the slaughter rule).. They are basically getting a bucket a minute — just insane.  Thanks for agreeing to talk about that w/ me.  In Week 9, faced a streaking Team Zimmerman team who definitely tested them..  However, when it was all said and done Team Maione showed yet again why there are always in the Top 3 of the Power Rankings. Next week, they face a Team Shamberg squad, hot off their first W!

3. Team Kozin (SLA Insurance) – 7-2, tied for 1st in Western Conference

This is the Team Kozin squad we had come to expect the first 6 weeks of the Season. They hit a brief rough patch the past two weeks  but they rallied this past Sunday Night to tell everyone “we are back.”  They had many double digit scorers but the leading man this week was Matt “they missed him badly in Week 8” Wolk who had 24 (which didn’t include a put back dunk that happened after the whistle blew — it was sweet).. These guys are right where they want to be after 9 weeks of the Season — atop their Conference Standings.   Next week, they will face-off with the always scrappy Team Schwartz squad.  That one will be a battle for 44 minutes.

4. Team Harmelech (IShot) – 6-3, 2nd in Eastern Conference

If you sift through the fireworks, and yes there were fireworks on Sunday Night, you would notice that Team Harmelech might have played their best game this Season.  In many facets of the game their matchup with Team Schwartz is really even.  Those games usually come down to a few jump shots.  However, Team Harmelech really controlled the tempo and on crucial possessions of the game they got their desired outcome. Mike “the eldest” Maione had 25 points and Zach “still jostling for the best PG in the League title” Bulwa added 18 points too.  I’m not sure if it was their imperfect start or what, but everyone needs to stop sleeping on these guys.. They will be heard from in March and April. Fact.

5. Team Goldin (Sanders Court Pediatrics) – 5-4, 3rd in Western Conference

This is the hardest one to write this week.. They were so close to leaping into the Top 2.  They played well and even with a short bench hung with Team Lalez until the bitter end.  Just to set the stage — they had the ball with a few seconds to go — down 3 — and got fouled shooting a 3.  Of course, that means they went to the line for 1 shot worth 3 points (and the tie).  The ball just didn’t go in.  There were 100 plays that could have gone differently on Sunday Night that could have gotten Team Goldin to the Winner’s circle..  They are among the elite teams in this League even if their record shows them in the middle of the pack.  I think their effort against one of the League’s best just proved that.

6. Team Zimmerman (Teplitz & Bell Attorneys) – 4-5, tied for 3rd in Eastern Conference

Even with the L, they hold serve at #6 this week..  In part, because they looked good against Team Maione and also because much of the middle teams in the Power Rankings and Standings lost this week too.  These guys have looked really good since Thanksgiving and I think they have turned a corner in terms of playing off on another.  I know that they hadn’t all played together before the Season started and it takes certain styles longer to gel than others.  They have a really solid group and if they can keep getting 33 point outbursts like they did last Sunday from Euguene “splash” Connor they are going to be just fine.  They draw Team Holzman in their final game before Winter Break.

7. Team Eilian (Crystal Lake Chrysler Dodge Jeep) – 2-7. 5th in Eastern Conference

Welcome back to the Power Rankings and congrats on ending the streak!  Team Eilian, maybe more than any team in the League, has more talent than their record shows.  They are this week’s @AcceleratedPT Moment of the Week — as they sent home a Game Winner at the Buzzer to up end Team Holzman. I’m telling you watch the video.  What a shot.  This is just the type of momentum they need to get back on the right track.  Losses can pile up in a hurry in this League when you have to play great talent week in and week out.  If you arrive to the gym thinking you aren’t going to win.. you most likely aren’t going to.. These guys just needed something to fall their way. Sunday it did.

8. Team Shamberg (Sunset Foods) – 1-8, 6th in Eastern Conference

Finally….  FINALLY! Team Shamberg has gotten to the Winner’s circle! And on Captain Shamwow’s Bday no less!  It was another tight game for these guys but on this night they pulled it out. Todd “get on my back” Siegel had 26 points and an cherry-on-top clinching Free Throw.  Brett “guppy” Kaplan went for 22 as well in this one.  Everyone knew this was going to come at one point but it doesn’t make it any less sweet.  These guys come to the gym every Sunday and work their tails off.  Genuinely happy for them here.  They like Team Eilian need to use this and get every ounce of momentum they can to start climbing back up the Standings. Still plenty of time before the Playoffs start.  Better Seeds can still be had for these guys.  Congrats!

Rest of the Pack – Alphabetical Order

Team Apuli (Wrigley View Rooftop) – 4-5, 4th in Western Conference

When you are missing two of your best players its going to be hard to beat anyone.. Kyle “get out of my way” Daniels had 41 points and 19 rebounds in the loss. FORTY-ONE & NINETEEN!!!!!!!!!!

Team Bauer (Jam ‘n Honey) – 3-6, tied for 5th in Western Conference

They were actually up at half but their short bench on Sunday Night did them in as they could just not keep up the pace with Team Kozin for 44 minutes.  These guys are good.  They might drop a few games here and there but when at full strength they can beat anyone.. They have already, really.

Team Holzman (Groupon) – 3-6, tied for 5th in Western Conference

Being on the other end of a buzzer-beater is never an easy thing.. They need to just forget about it and comeback next week hunting for another W.  They have played a lot better in the last month or so and I think a lot of that can be attributed to getting court time together. Also Josh “Taco Meat” Cowin is making a push for the all-energy team as he is seemingly everywhere at once for 44 minutes.

Team Schwartz (Stems) – 4-5, tied for 3rd in Eastern Conference

Better weeks ahead for these guys. I’m sure of it.  They have an opportunity next week against Team Kozin, to get everything back on track. I say opportunity, because a win against one of the top teams can do wonders..  I think they have all the right parts to make that happen as well.

Hope everyone is staying warm. Have a great week. See ya Sunday for the last week before Winter Break.

– Holden