2013-14 Hoops – Weeks 13 & 14, Double Header Sunday (Jan. 26)

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Updated: January 28, 2014

There are definitely going to be some sore bodies walking around Chi-Town this Week as we are coming off what was an extremely high-impact Double Dip.  Before we get too far, here’s the link to the extended Weekly Video Highlights.  Also, a new Feature will be debuted in this Week’s Power Rankings — Scroll Down to Team Goldin’s Section to find out!  It’s honestly hard to sum up everything that went on this week in just two sentences for the Intro, so what I’ll do is congratulate everyone for not needing an ambulance and further congratulate Team Lalez, Team Kozin, Team Goldin and Team Bauer on going 2-0 on Sunday.  That’s no joke gents. Well done. Remember, we are off next week for the Super Bowl.  Alright, let’s see where we are with the Rankings with just FOUR WEEKS LEFT to play in the Regular Season.

Power Rankings

1. Team Lalez (Highland Pop) – 13-1, 1st in Eastern Conference

They have created quite a bit of distance between themselves and the rest of the League in terms of the Standings… A 2-0 Sunday helped that quite a bit.  For all their hard work, they’re will be an extra space between their paragraph and the #2 Team this week.. You have earned it. They defeated Team Zimmerman in their first game and then a fresh Team Holzman in Round 2.   Their trademark depth was not there this week either as they went to battle with just 6 guys on Sunday.  Hard to get 1 win with 6 let alone 2.  David “D.D.S.” Gershenzon went for 28 points in Game 1 and followed up with 22 points in the second.  He also managed to examine a jaw at one point in the afternoon. Definitely a full day’s work.  There are only four games left in the Regular Season and these guys have already clinched at least a share of the Eastern Conference Regular Season title.  With one more W or a Team Harmelech L they will have it all to themselves. Considering they’ve won 13 of 14, you’d think they can grab 1 more.  With 2 more wins they will clinch the #1 overall seed come Playoff Time.  A feat they are very familiar with from other iterations of All Sports Series.

(Extra Space)

2. Team Kozin (SLA Insurance) – 10-4, tied for 1st in Western Conference

Team Kozin had lost 2 of 3 coming into Double Header Sunday and what a way to turn everything around!  They went 2-0 on Sunday defeating Team Apuli and then Team Shamberg. Josh “Inside/Outside” Davis went for 23 pts and followed up right after with 21 more.  These guys had their full complement of players back Sunday and it seemed as if the confidence they were running around with in the Fall burst back into them at one point on Sunday.  They are now tied atop the Western Conference and hold the tiebreaker (for now) over Team Maione.  Those two will do battle after this short Super Bowl Recess and the Winner will have the inside track on the Western Conference Regular Season title and the likely #2 Seed.  Big Game.  Plenty of time to prep.

3. Team Goldin (Sanders Court Pediatrics) – 9-5, 3rd in Western Conference

So a new Feature was promised for this week and here it is.. For the first time in an All Sports Series Power Rankings we have a real interview that will peel back the curtain one of the top Teams in the League. The Interview came about as Brandon “@DaivonAgusta_CC” Lathon engaged the @AllSportsSeries Twitter account during the week boasting that Team Goldin would go 2-0 in their Double Header. It was certainly a bold claim since top tier, Team Maione, was waiting for them in the final game of the night. This proved to be the @AccleratedPT Game of the Night. Brandon was promised a forum if his crew went 2-0 and they did just that! Want to be the next one whose voice is heard!? Hit up @AllSportsSeries on Twitter and we’ll see… Below is the Interview along with a few Editor’s Note to provide some context… Enjoy!

All Sports: OK Brandon, So Team Goldin is rolling right now, winners of 4 straight and going 2-0 on Sunday.. You defeated Team Schwartz and Team Maione in back to back games.. What do you think has you guys playing so well right now?

Brandon Lathon: I would have to say that our chemistry on the court with one another has been off the charts. The first game of the year was the first time I had met 5 of our 8 guys. We are finally used to each other and know each others strengths and weaknesses. We also tried to make an effort to not let the refs take us out of our game, thats still a work in progress (Editor’s Note — There are about 11 other teams who likely feel the same way).

AS: Last Sunday, you guys got back Alex Fillin from the DL, what does he bring that you guys have been missing in his absence?

BL: Man, Alex coming back is very big for us. The way he played Sunday, you would have never known he was hurt. (Editor’s Note: Alex had 21 points in Game 1 and then 22 points in Game 2.) I always say that we have the 2 best inside outside bigs with Alex and Garrett. Having him back just makes the game so much easier for the rest of us. When we are in a drought we can go to Alex for an easy bucket. He brings a lot of toughness and sometimes our teams identity can be matched up perfectly with Alex’s attitude. He’s a matchup nightmare for a lot of teams..

AS: Captain DG compares himself to Lance Stephenson, who would be your NBA Doppleganger?

BL: Tough question for me to really answer. DG and I have arguments all the time about who he is, he can have Lance if he continues to play well. I’m more of a defensive minded player, so I accept JImmy G Buckets comparisons, I often will say I’m like Ronnie Brewer with my inconsistent outside shooting and he can guard 4 of the 5 positions on the floor. DG has been saying Terrance Jones. I just try to fill the stat sheet and do what I can to get the W.

AS: Finally, what’s your crystal ball telling you about Team Goldin’s finish this season (I might have an idea…)

BL: We are playing good ball and we have a really good team. We can go inside and outside and our defense is usually very good. We’ve played against every team in the league now and only one of our 5 losses did we feel that we got outplayed and didnt deserve to win. Im confident saying that we will be among the final four teams come playoff time. All the predictions go out the door then and we will have to have do our talking on the court. I’m pretty sure that we might be the least liked team in the league (Editor’s Note: there is no actual evidence of this), so I expect to get everyone’s best shot for the rest of the season.

Thanks to Brandon and congrats to Team Goldin for jumping into the Top 3 this week.

4. Team Maione (B. Weinstein Associates) – 10-4, tied for 1st in Western Conference

Not the perfect Sunday they were hoping for but they still managed to go 1-1 on the day and they had a really tough schedule lined up.  They played Rivals Team Harmelech in Game 1 where they fought from behind and won.. Then, they had to play a streaking Team Goldin squad who played maybe their best Game of the Season.  I think a Loss or two is good for these guys as we head into the last stretch of the Regular Season.  Talent wise they can matchup with anyone and no matter what they are going to be in the 3-5 Seeds come Playoff Time..  Seed #3 is shaping up to be a big difference so you don’t have to play one of the other Top 5 Teams in the Opening Round.  However, with Team Maione much of what they do is predicated on them and not their opponents.  When they are playing well and moving the ball… they get open shots and those get knocked down for these guys.  The Loss they suffered will do more to refocus them as the Playoffs get closer than anything else.  They have a HUGE Western Conference game the week back from the Super Bowl as they go toe to toe with Team Kozin.
 

5. Team Harmelech (iShot) – 9-5, 2nd in Eastern Conference

Not a great week. Just in general.. They’ve lost big timers Zach “knee” Bulwa and Ricky “concussion like symptoms” Silverman to injury (unrelated to Hoops League) and then couldn’t manage to shake that off enough to get a W on Sunday. It’s not like they had an easy task at hand in the Double Header. First, they had Rivals Team Maione and then the always tough, always feisty Team Schwartz. 0-2 is obviously not what they wanted, but if these guys can just hold on for another week or two and get healthy, they will be in great position for March and April. Mike “Big Fundamental” Maione who will no doubt be outraged he wasn’t the Interview this Week, led his squad in scoring with 20 in Game 1 and 15 in Game 2. The week off really couldn’t come at a better time for them. Rest Up and Get Better guys.

6. Team Zimmerman (Teplitz & Bell) – 7-7, tied for 3rd in Eastern Conference

1-1 on Sunday keeps Team Zimmerman right at their .500 mark. Through 14 weeks they have yet to have wore Ws than Ls however that’s a fairly misleading stat. They had as tough of a Game 1 as you can as for — getting Team Lalez in Sunday’s Opener. They followed that L up with a W against Team Apuli to even out the record once again. It’s been said numerous times but these guys had a real tough run in the beginning of the Season and their record early on was not indicative of where they are right now. This is one of the best team’s out there right now and they have 4 weeks to really push into a top spot before the Playoffs start. They are safe from finishing in the Bottom 4 (remember the bottom 4 teams heading into the Playoffs start with 1-Loss in the Triple Elimination Tourney) but with a few Ws down the stretch they can avoid the the likes of Team Lalez in their first game. Team Zimmerman will have another tough task in their pursuit of a winning-record as they have a game with Team Harmelech the week after the Super Bowl. A top 5 spot in the Rankings is also up for grabs in that one.

7. Team Schwartz (Stems) – 7-7, tied for 3rd in Eastern Conference

Team Schwartz managed to go 1-1 the hard way on Sunday Night. As they dropped their first game in what was likely their worst game of the Season — against Team Goldin.. But they rebounded nicely (and immediately) as they beat Team Harmelech to cap off the Hoops League on Sunday Night.  Max “one of the prettiest 3-balls in the League” Kaplan led the way with 17 points in Game 1 and then shared leading scorer hat with Austin “best shoes in the League” Brown — both had 20 in Game 2.  Sunday Night sort of perfectly summed these guys up within a 2 Hour span.  It was NOT pretty against Team Goldin in Game 1. At all.  Even through the cold spells though they kept grinding away and it paid off as the ball went in more for them in Game 2.. The defense and hustle are always on display as they are anchored by the Greater Than guys Jon Sider and Craig Samsky (thanks again for keeping everyone hydrated on Sunday — literally couldn’t do it without you and GT!)..  If I were a top team these guys would scare me in a pending Playoff game, because their D will make you uncomfortable no matter what and if their jumpers are going.. well ya they are going to probably win.

8. Team Bauer (Jam ‘n Honey) – 5-9, 5th in Western Conference

Team Bauer had lost 5 Straight Games coming into Sunday.  Their last W was before Thanksgiving… Nov. 17 to be exact: DRose was still in the Bulls line-up, Josh McCown had just led the Bears to a wacky W over the Ravens in OT, Chicago didn’t know of “polar vortexes” and Team Bauer left that night sitting at .500 with a 3-3 record..  A lot has happened since then obviously and not all of it good for Team Bauer, obviously.  What I’ve failed to mention in this little timeline is that Team Bauer had not once played at full-strength since that pre-Thanskgiving game in November. Literally, they have been short-handed one way or another for WEEKS but you wouldn’t hear them complain about it. They knew eventually they’d get everyone back, and now they have.. In fact, the time that they played short-handed actually made them stronger as they have developed more ways to score over the past couple of months. Back in the Fall, they were a 2-headed Monster — Jabarri “League Leader” Reynolds and Evan “not too shabby” Zahniser definitely shouldered much of the scoring load.. Since then Ian “give me all 3 of these” Shaffer has turned the 2-Headed Monster into a Big 3.  He went for 32 points in Game 1, aided by several open looks, and that led all scorers for the entire Double Header on Sunday.  For the record the rest of the guys on this team can shoot too.  They went 2-0 on Sunday and with it that has given them a chance to avoid a Bottom 4 Seed come Playoff time.

Rest of the Pack

Team Apuli (Wrigley View Rooftop) – 6-8, 4th in Western Conference

Didn’t have the normal crew for Sunday and the lack of time played together may have done them in.  Back to Backs are hard.. When you factor in having to over-think because you aren’t sure where your teammates are going to be make that task near impossible.  They are still pretty safe from the Bottom 4 seeds and have plenty of time to right the ship before Playoff time.

Team Eilian (Crystal Lake Jeep) – 2-12, 6th in Eastern Conference

Erik “added some much needed scoring punch” Rosen went off for two-20 pt games on Sunday but they came out on the short end of both.  Laying it down right now.. These guys will win a Playoff Game. Not sure against who or in what round.. And it could be more than 1.. I’m just telling you right now.. their record in no way, shape or form is indicative of what this team is capable of.

Team Holzman (Groupon) – 3-11, 6th in Western Confernce

Josh “taco meat” Cowin had a double-double in Game 1 and EJ “more like Gold” Silver went for 21 to lead the way in Game 2.  Unfortunately for these guys Double Header Sunday provided a tough schedule and not much room for error.  Captain Holzman is a Vet and will get these guys in the right mindset over the next 4 weeks.. Oh and quick tangent.. Alex “parmo” Parmacek gets the award for providing the most entertainment from a Player during his 1-Hour break on Sunday.  Just high quality comments from this guy.

Team Shamberg (Sunset Foods) – 3-11, 5th in Eastern Conference

Lookin’ good guys! They went 1-1 on Sunday and played very well in doing so.  Considering how long it took for W #1, these guys have rattled off few pretty quickly, as was predicted! (Have to show I’m right even 1% of the time every once in a while).. The key for them all season long has been depth — when they get their core 8 guys their they are in the game every time.. If not, it hasn’t been a good result for the guys in red.  They are certainly on the rise.

 

Hope everyone enjoys the Super Bowl on Sunday. Stay warm.  See you on Feb. 9 for the beginning of the home stretch.

– Holden