2015-16 Chicago Hoops – Week 7 (Nov. 29)

Updated: December 1, 2015

Hope Everyone had a great Thanksgiving… By Sunday Night it appeared people were certainly ready to get back to work as we saw several gritty performances throughout the night. Our last two Undefeated Teams found a way to tack another W on to their Resumes.  Before we get into the normal Intro, we want to shed some light on the FREE SportsLock 64-Person NBA Bracket (EXCLUSIVE for All Sports Series Players)!  Here’s the scoop: 64 People will battle it out head-to-head (think march madness) in Daily NBA Fantasy, where you get to actually draft against your opponent (so not salary cap based). Winners advance. The Final4 will earn $$ and the Winner takes home $200+. Again, totally FREE.  To Enter: Just Download the SportsLock app and type “AllSports” into the Enter Code section in the top left of the app. That’s it! Good Luck!

As well, Jeff Howard  takes home the Greater Than Performance of the Week for his 25 and 13 output for Team Harris on Sunday Night.  Just a reminder, we started this Award in Week 5, and from here on out a Player will receive a case of GT each week!  

Here’s a Link to the Weekly Highlight Video (which will be exclusively for the Hoops League for the next handful of weeks!) powered by Orunje On-Demand Healthcare!  People have asked about Orunje.. Essentially you can get a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner out to your home/office within 2 hours. No need to waste time going in anymore..  OK Let’s Rank ‘Em!


Power Rankings:

1. Team Lalez (Orunje) – 7-0, Currently tied for 1st

Some thought that this past Sunday may have been the end of the line for the 2x Defending Champs W-streak to start the 2015-16 season but they proved yet again that it is going to take near perfection to topple them.. In Week 7, they defeated a tough Team Free Agent squad who pushed them further than most have thus far.. Team Lalez was also without several key pieces this week do to the holiday and they still wouldn’t allow for any excuses to be used.  They look to make it eight straight of the gate next Sunday against Team James-Hagari.


2. Team Harris (DoorDash) – 7-0, Currently tied for 1st

Just an opinion here.. The best thing for Team Harris is that Team Lalez keeps winning too.. Team Harris has managed to get to 7-0 without placing gigantic targets on their backs and that’s a really tough thing to accomplish.  They’ve won Games in several different ways at this point and it just seems like they believe they are going to win each time they take the floor.. They will likely be pushed further than they have all season long this coming Sunday when they take part of in the Game of the Week powered by Orunje.. They’ll face #4 Team Zimmerman who sit at 6-1 and eager to leapfrog some Teams.


3. Team Maione (popchips) – 6-1, Currently tied for 3rd

They took on some familiar foes from HP on Sunday Night and came out victorious for the 6th time in 7 Games to start the season. Good to see Captain Anthony back out on the floor for them after a couple weeks out.. They will take on Team Apuli, who happen to be looking for their first W still, but have played many top Teams close this Season.. They need to be careful not to look ahead to the a Playoff rematch from a year ago with Team Kozin (who they take on in Week 9).


4. Team Zimmerman (Biaggi’s Navy) – 6-1, Currently tied for 3rd

Team Zimmerman has had many battles with Team Kozin throughout the years and several have taken place in the Playoffs.  Even if Team Kozin is currently on a bit of a skid, it was still a Game that Team Zimmerman certainly had marked on their calendar and one that they were extremely happy to Win on Sunday Night. They won another close one and the story is getting to be pretty similar as weeks go on.. They are a very well-oiled machine and at the end of the Game, they play Team Ball as opposed to Hero Ball. It has allowed them to pick up multiple close Ws so far this Season.  It’s why they are 6-1 and why they will take part of the Game of the Week powered by Orunje next week against Undefeated #2 Team Harris!


5. Team Goldin (StudentCity) – 6-1, Currently tied for 3rd

Got another W and did so going way once again.. It’s been said multiple times in the past couple of months but this Team is just vastly improved from a year ago and they are still missing one of the best bigs in the League.. This past week, Alex Filin led them in scoring with 24. Each week it seems it’s a different player stepping up. They exploit match-ups and are comfortable with spreading it around.. Next week they’ll take on the 4-3 Team Free Agent squad who will be looking to snap their brief losing-skid. It’s one of the of the most compelling Week 8 match-ups.


6. Team Bulwa (Le Brocq Lawyer) – 5-2, Currently tied for 6th

Team Bulwa made it 3 straight Ws on Sunday Night after downing Team Cohen in what was a great contest.  Their recent surge in the Win Column just proves what their talent level had already suggested, however large the “elite tier” is, they are certainly a part of it.  They are getting better with each passing Game as their Rookies get more in sync with Vets.. Zack Novak had an impressive 30 and 11 to help seal the W for Team Bulwa.  Next up, another group that is far better than their record would suggest, Team Tucci.


7. Team UC Booth (Kelly Parker HC Maroon) – 5-2, Currently tied for 6th

What was said above in Team Bulwa’s section about the “elite tier” could be repeated here for Team UC Booth. They are now 5-2.  With several dominant performances already on their resume. One of their 2 Losses came when the bulk of the roster was away for a B-school competition.. They are the real deal. Ben Hanessian had 20 points and 10 boards to complete his Double Double. In Week 8, they get a hungry Team Silver, who they need to remained focused on for the time being, even though a date with the Undefeated, 2x Defending Champs, Team Lalez looms in Week 9.


8. Team James-Hagari (Biaggi’s Red) – 4-3, Currently tied for 8th

This has been the streakiest Team in the League through 7 weeks. They started with 2 Ws, then fell into a skid with 3 Ls in a row, and now they’ve bounced back with 2 more Ws.. Their resurgence shows that a) they have the ability to bounce back, which is vital come Playoff time and b) that their skid was just a hiccup for a group still learning each other’s Games and nothing more.. They are a talented bunch and when they really work on the Defensive end they are tough to beat. They had 5 Players in double figures for scoring including Co-Captain Christian James who led them with 19. They will try to sleigh the giant next Sunday Night when they take on the Undefeated, 2x Defending Champs, Team Lalez.  Some of this group knocked off the last Undefeated Team last season (Team Maione).. Christian James hit a tough leaner at the buzzer in one of the more memorable Regular Season moments we’ve had in the Hoops League. They know how to get it done.


9. Team Free Agent (VIP Express Limo) – 4-3, Currently tied for 8th

For the first time they’ve lost two Games in a row.. This happens to every Team.. They just need to figure out how to stop the bleeding.. They can take solace in the fact that the most recent Loss was to the Undefeated, 2x Defending Champs,  Team Lalez.. Everyone else has fallen to them.. No big deal. They are going to be tested once again next Sunday when they face the streaking 6-1 Team Goldin.  This is going to be good for them in the long-run.. Better to face some adversity now than for the first time in the Spring. Plenty of time to right the ship here. They are still Ranked in the Top 9 after all.


10. Team Sternberg (Pear Tree Catering) 4-3, Currently tied for 8th

Dropped their first one in a few weeks.. Going to happen with the crazy depth and talent of the League. They struggled a bit with the size and athleticism of Team UC Booth (so have each one of their opponents for the record).. So nothing to get down about. Captain Sternberg has a way of preventing the flood gates to open following Losses. These Teams seem to always bounce back quickly following their few Ls.. They’ll take on Team Shamberg in Week 8, a Team looking for a W, in the worst way.


11. Team Schwartz (Jam ‘n Honey) – 3-4, Currently tied for 11th

Their W on Sunday Night over Team Shamberg makes it 3 Wins in their last 4 Games and it seems that they are certainly over the hump following their slow start to the season. They take on the winless Team Gainski in Week 8 before a big showdown with Team Goldin in Week 9.  If they stay focused they have a good shot to get back to .500 on Sunday Night which would have seemed pretty daunting just a few weeks back.  They actually have the size to compete with Team Goldin, which few Teams have, and that should be a fun one down the road.


12. Team Kozin (Camp Ojibwa) – 3-4, Currently tied for 11th 

Want complete proof the League is deeper/better than a year ago, when it was already stacked? Take a peak at Team Kozin.  They are just 6 months removed from being the 2014-15 Runners-Up and this season through 7 weeks they are now under .500. Now, they’ve had an extremely tough schedule out of the gate and they too are improved from a year ago.. This group is a Title contender.. Even if they end up with a double digit seed come Playoff time.. They were the 6 seed a year ago. They have no “panic” button. They are too good and will be just fine. Team Malvin is up next in Week 8.


13. Team Tucci (Esser Hayes Insurance) – 2-5, Currently tied for 13th

Now that’s the Team Tucci we remember!  The 5 seed from a year ago got a Week 1 W, but haven’t Won since.. Until last Sunday.  They again, went to battle with a short bench but they are getting more used to it with each passing week.. When they do finally get their full roster in tact they are going to be a scary Team with a nice second-half schedule coming as well.. This is a group that has potential to tear off double digit Ws in a row as we head into the Playoffs. For real.  Captain Tucci had 29 points and Drew Zahora had 24 and 17 boards.  They have another huge test on Sunday Night when the 5-2 Team Bulwa rolls their way…


14. Team Malvin (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) – 2-5, Currently tied for 13th

Clinging on to the final spot in the Rankings is Team Malvin.  After their slow start they managed to win two in a row before dropping one on Sunday Night to Team Tucci. We knew that it was unlikely they’d run the table, so another Loss was going to come at one point.. Let’s see if they’ve figured out how to stop the slide at 1 this time around.. They have Team Kozin in Week 8 who will be feeling awfully testy after a couple of tough Losses these past couple of weeks..


Rest of the Pack (Alphabetical Order) 

Team Apuli (Chicago Trolley) – 0-7, Currently tied for 19th

Took another top squad to the brink on Sunday Night.. This time it was Team Harris. It’s tough to see them with this type of start but they are better equipped than most to handle the adversity and the truth is they’ve played nearly all the top Teams at this point.. There will be a stretch in 2016 where they are playing below .500 teams week after week and while their record may not be what they hoped for when the season started they will enter the Playoffs with confidence. Book it.


Team Cohen (Crystal Lake CDJ) – 2-5, Currently tied for 13th

Dropping out of the Rankings this week is Team Cohen who dropped a close one to Team Bulwa. The good news is, there crazy gauntlet to start the season is now in the rearview mirror.  They have a real opportunity to go on a run and rattle off a bunch of Ws in a row to not only climb up the Power Rankings but the Standings. Team Cohen may be a sleeping giant and their schedule has helped them fly under the radar thus far.. Their turnaround starts this coming Sunday with Team Gutman.


Team Gainski (SLA) – 0-7, Currently tied for 19th

At this point the record is just a number associated with them.. They need to put it out of their minds.. Each Team goes to the Playoffs, so whatever seed they are will work itself out.. It’s time to just focus on the positive.. For example, they had 4 Players in double digits this past Sunday. That’s a hard thing to accomplish. They have 12 Games left in the Regular Season, which is an eternity to turn it around and start getting Ws.  They will have an opportunity to flip the script on Sunday Night against Team Schwartz.


Team Gutman (Teplitz & Bell) – 2-5, Currently tied for 13th

Lost a tough one to Team Maione (as many have before them). No big deal there.  They have lost 3 in a row now though and they need to just get back to what they did in the beginning of the season.  If they focus on Defense and keeping Teams away from the rim on that end they’ll wind up in the Win Column. Marin Kukoc had a huge 39 points on Sunday Night. They have a tough couple of weeks schedule wise coming up but they’ve proven that they can hang with the very best the League has to offer. Their size allows them to matchup with each and every Team. They’ll have Team Cohen in Week 8 before a showdown with Team Zimmerman in Week 9.


Team Shamberg (Schweitzer Title Agency) – 1-6, Currently tied for 17th

They’ll be happy to turn the page on November which was not a good month for them. Luckily, the Season is insanely long and they have plenty of time to not only turn everything around but start leapfrogging Teams.  They are within 1 or 2 Games of the next 6 Teams in the Standings.. With a few Wins they can be all the way up to 11th in no time.  No reason to panic and they won’t.. These guys have Championship experience now from the Summer and will get through this..


Team Silver (Kelly Parker HC Gold) – 1-6, Currently tied for 17th

Team Goldin is as good as it gets right now.. They played them competitively but just didn’t have enough to get the W. David Holmes had 20 on the night.  Looking ahead, they have a tough battle looming in Week 8 with the 5-2 Team UC Booth followed by a date with the winless Team Gainski in Week 9.  Team Silver is playing well just need to put it together for 44 minutes.


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