2014-15 Hoops – Week 4 (Nov. 9)

Updated: November 13, 2014

We had our first taste of non-Divisional Games this past weekend and its always interesting to see how the Divisions stack up.. This one week will obviously not tell the entire story as certain matchups may have been more favorable than others.. But still interesting nonetheless.  Before we get to the Power Rankings, here’s the Link to this Week’s Video Highlights!  OK Let’s Rank ’em!

Power Rankings

1. Team Lalez (Crystal Lake CDJ) – 4-0, 1st in South Division (look below #2 for recap)

2. Team Maione (Biaggi’s Blue) – 4-0, 1st in West Division

…and then there were 2…  Going to recap the #1 and #2 Teams together this Week..  To no one’s surprise the final unbeatens in 2014-15 are the last two Teams left standing in last Spring’s Playoffs. These squads have been #1 and #2 respetively all season long and it’s a testament to them just how consistent they really are.. Team Lalez and Team Maione get everyone’s best efforts each and every week but still always manage to find a way to end up on top.  Both won extremely big (big for November) Games this past Sunday Night and in doing so reminded everyone that while this League is as good and as deep as any out there, the top2 dogs have clearly established themselves.

First, Team Maione battled through a defensive struggle with heated Rivals, Team Goldin, on Sunday Night.. In doing so they secured a 4pt W and kept their win streak intact.  It was the 6th Time those two Teams have met since the beginning of last season.. Team Maione now owns 4 Ws to Team Goldin’s 2.. One stat that every member on both Teams are well aware of.. Chris Wroblewski has 27 points and 8 boards to help secure their W.  Next up for Team Maione is Team Holzman..

Then, Team Lalez took the court against fellow Undefeated, Team Harris..  This was the first time Team Harris stepped on the court with one of the true Elite squads in the Hoops League.. We can say this.. They belong.  However, they came up short as so many have over the years.. Team Lalez just wins baby.  That’s what they do.  They didn’t play their best and they were shorthanded but at the end of the day they went to 4-0 and Team Harris now sits at 3-1.  Dave Gershenzon was an insane 15 of 21 from the field and went for 36 points on Sunday Night!  Next up for the Defending Champs are Team Elrod.

3. Team Kozin (Theory) – 3-1, 1st in East Division

Back up to #3 this Week is Team Kozin who regained their winning ways on Sunday Night.  Last week, they dropped a nail-biter to Team Holzman and much was made about their short (or non-existent) bench.. They got back most of their crew on Sunday Night and the results, to no one’s surprise, were positive.. These Games are just too long and too hardly-fought to get Ws with just five guys.. Anyways, they looked great as a unit once again Sunday — this time taking down Team Schwartz in the process.  Their size is going to be one of the long-standing storylines this Season. Not many Teams will be able to match what they have going on with their Frontline.. Next week, Team Apuli will get a shot at them.

4. Team Zimmerman (Biaggi’s Orange) – 3-1, 2nd in South Division

Team Zimmerman is back up to the #4 Spot after dropping a bit last week following their close Loss to Team Lalez in Week 3.  They took care of their business in a very, well, business-like fashion on Sunday Night.. They defeated Team Shamberg and really controlled the Game from start to finish.. This Team is as good as anyone at their best and what they need to do over the course of the next few months is really find out where they can get better and where they can go for an automatic 2 points in crunch time.  They have so many good players that at times it seems they may not all be in rhythm.. They’ll need that depth come Playoff time but they also need to know who the “go to guy” is in crunch time.. Plenty of time to figure it all out and if/when they get everything going at full capacity — well they might be too tough for anyone to stop.

5. Team Harris (Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.) – 3-1, 1st in North Division

We learned a lot about Team Harris on Sunday Night: 1) They are a deep Team.. They stayed in it with Team Lalez and without a bunch of their top guys.. Top scorer Dylan Richter only played in the 2nd half, 2) they truly are among the League’s best.. as they were just seconds away from winning on Sunday.. and 3) the first few weeks were no fluke..  Basically, even though it was in a losing effort on Sunday Night — they showed a lot and are here to stay.  They dropped a couple spots in the Rankings but only because the Teams right around them have also been so stellar (and won last week).  They are going to be in the Top 5 for the foreseeable future and it’s going to be fun to watch them in their first battles with the other top squads as the season rolls on..

6. Team Horwitz (Esser Hayes Insurance Co.) – 3-1, 2nd in West Division

They finally get to move up in the Power Rankings this week and it’s likely they’ve needed to wait too long.. A couple weeks ago, Team Harris — was dubbed, “the Best Team no one is talking about”.. Well people are talking about them now.. They are officially on the radar.. As for Team Horwitz, they are still under it and frankly they shouldn’t be.  This squad has everything you need to win the Championship.  Not just have an impressive Regular Season record.. They can win this whole thing..  They dropped a Game a couple Weeks back to Team Maione — no shame in that — and they’ve only gotten stronger since.. The true signs of a Champion.  Word to the wise — stop sleeping on this crew.

7. Team Goldin (Cy Fredrics) – 2-2, 2nd in East Division

Team Goldin left Sunday’s Rivalry Game with a sense of “what if”.. They had the lead for much of the Game with Team Maione and only in the Game’s final minutes did they give it up for good.  They are clearly one of the Elite squads in the League and coming in at #7 is not a slight on them but more so an acknowledgement that there is some great new talent that has emerged in 2014-15 right out of the gate.. Team Goldin has lost to Team Maione and Team Kozin on the season so far.. Nothing too worry or think too much about.  What we do know is they could have taken both of those Games and we’ll certainly see them again both of those Teams down the line.. Much has been made about the Rivalry between Team Goldin and Team Maione and with great reason.. They played 5 times including the Playoffs last year and then a 6th time last Sunday.. We’ll have to wait for their 7th match-up until the Playoffs roll around in March or April — but there’s on doubt that they will meet again and next time there will be way more on the line.. For those that follow @AllSportsSeries on Twitter (get on there!) you likely noticed that there was some chatter about Team Goldin’s assists numbers.. Well here’s the brand new #AssistWatch — It was Danny Goldin and Brandon Lathon who originally got into a debate over who was the better assist man (both tied with 2 this past Sunday) while Dominic Lopez went for 4.  These guys like to get everyone involved and those numbers are sure to grow as the season moves forward.

8. Team Hernandez (Kelly Parker Home Collective) – 2-2, 2nd in North Division

What a difference a couple weeks make?  Team Hernandez is a “Free Agent” squad that was put together before the season with many of the guys just meeting for the first time during Week 1.  They came out of the blocks slow, as to be expected, and dropped their first two games.. However, in the past two weeks they have really come together as a unit and have put together back to back wins.. Something that not many Teams can say yet during this young season..  They have a pair of powerhouse scorers in Dave Altman and Christian James who went for 36 and 31 respectively on Sunday Night.  Are they going to run the table? No, but that’s unlikely for anyone.. What they can do is become a surprise to many and earn the right to stay in the top half or so of the Rankings.  These guys are good and are only going to get better with time..

9. Team Apuli (iShot Mounts) – 2-2, 3rd in West Division

They’ve climbed back to .500 for the second time this Season… It seems they play with more urgency when their backs are against the wall.. They’ve come out looking quite different in Weeks 2 and 4 (when they knew a loss would put them at 2 under .500) compared to Weeks 1 and 3.  If they can bring that same energy each and every week this group can be quite a threat.  They have scoring coming from inside w/ Kyle Daniels and all over the perimeter from a variety of sources. Their Defense is strong as well. They make Teams earn everything.. Like last year, they have a Win or 2 (at least) against a couple of the top Teams.. Book it.

10. Team Levitan (Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Maroon) – 1-3, tied for 3rd in South Division

Many Rookie Teams will tell you that Win #1 in All Sports Series is the hardest.. Well, Team Levitan doesn’t need to worry about that anymore. While their current W/L Record isn’t going to jump off the page at you — they really have been impressive in their first 4 Weeks of existence. They took the Defending Champs to the brink in Week 2 and have had a really tough schedule to start their season.. These guys know now they can close one out together as a group in this extremely tough Hoops League and many more will follow.. Expect these guys to climb into the upper-middle of the Power Rankings in no time.

11. Team Holzman (Benjamin & Shapiro Law) – 1-3, tied for 3rd in East Division

Couldn’t follow up their fantastic Week 3 performance against Team Kozin with another big W this week.. Fear not though.. While the records may not indicate it — by season’s end the East should prove to be one of if not THE toughest divisions.. So between that tough division schedule and Team Horwitz — their schedule has been absolutely brutal to begin 2014-15.  They will benefit from that as 2014 turns into 2015 and the Schedule lightens up a bit.. Perfect for a late-season surge and gaining momentum into the Playoffs.

12. Team Bernkopf (Stems) – 1-3, tied for 3rd in East Division

They let this one slip through their hands on Sunday.. They know it.. It was a physical Game and one that’ll look back to when it’s time for Playoff battles in March and April.  This squad isn’t going to be rattled by a tiny losing streak.. They have many Players who have experienced a ton of success in All Sports Series and it’s only a matter of time until they get everything back on track.. What was said above about Team Holzman’s schedule can be echoed here — the East is tough and they beat up on each other in the first 3 Weeks of the Year. As time goes on, it’ll prove to be one of the tougher divisions and all of these squads will be just fine.

Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order) 

Team Elrod (Dr. Jacob D.D.S. Navy) – 1-3, tied for 3rd in North Division

They’ve fallen on some tough times after winning their first Game in OT back in October.. It’s been said a few times already but it bares repeating.. These guys are playing their first Games together ever (not just in All Sports Series) and many of them are just meeting each other for the first time.. It’s going to take time to get used to each other on the court.  Captain Elrod and Zach Nudelman are providing scoring punch from the back court they are just still searching for that inside presence. The beauty of the Hoops League is they have a ton of time to figure everything out.. and they will..

Team Schwartz (Greater Than) – 0-4, 4th in West Division

They fought hard against Team Kozin this week and with their entire crew (they were missing Jason Vismantas and Danny Roseth) they maybe would have pulled it out.. This group is not the type to believe in “morale victories” but they really did play pretty well and if not for just being over matched inside they’d likely be looking at W #1 this season.  They obviously are not off to the start that they’d hoped for or want.. But, the foundation is there for them to go on an extended run.. They did so last year and can/will do it again.. There are several Teams within a Game of them in the overall Standings so there’s no reason for them to worry or get down.. They are vets and know you can only win one at a time anyways.. Not sure if it’ll be in a month or two or three.. But these Guys are so so so much better than their record.. Eventually that will even itself out.

Team Shaffer (Muchacha Salsa Black) – 1-3, tied for 3rd in South Division

Took a step back after notching their first W last week.. They too are one of these Teams that are getting their first Games in together as a unit.. These things take time.. It’s not just about talent alone.. They need to know who likes the ball in what spots and who’s comfortable playing bigger/smaller etc.  It’ll tell you something, even if their record isn’t as strong as some other Teams.. come Playoff time these guys are going to be a handful..

Team Shamberg (Muchacha Salsa Silver) – 1-3, tied for 3rd in North Division

They didn’t have their full crew on Sunday Night which of course hurt their chances at climbing back to .500.. It’s important people know that while the Team Name has stayed the same.. This is a different Team Shamberg than in 2013-14.  They’ve improved and as time rolls on, as is the case with many of these new crews, they are going to improve greatly.  Next week, it’ll be a great measuring stick game (and interesting as they meet up with some old teammates) with Team Shaffer.

That’s it for us. Have a great week and see you Sunday Night!

– Holden