Fantastic night. Today's post is sponsored by Kyle Singler's heart. He hurts for the greater good.
First off, congratulations to Beast of Burden for clinching the 4th and final playoff spot.
Fun fact: Last night, the league was 39/60 from the foul line, a 65% mark. Impressive stuff.
There may be a lack of playoff drama next week, but here are some things to look out for:
*The race for the scoring crown has come down to Rafael Rodriguez and Keith Gormley. Rodriguez has a slight lead at the moment, averaging 15.8 to Gormley's 15.2, but the big man is still within reach. It's coming down to the wire!
*Speaking of coming down to the wire, Lars Rasmussen maintained his slight lead in the free throw race with a 2-4 performance last night. He's currently shooting 72.5% from the stripe on the year. Shane Ryan is in second place at 72.2%, while two players who are almost eligible are within striking distance. Kevin Felder is 10-14, and 71.4%, while Saulo Feliciano is 10-12, and 83.0%. Both players need 15 attempts to qualify.
*The team scoring title is also neck-and-neck going into the last week. After week 8, The Hospital Bombers took an incredibly slight lead for the first time all year, but The Cray's Nest ripped it back with a 48-point performance last night. TCN has 386, and the Bombers stand at 381.
*On team defense, the Layup Line Heroes hold a 7-point edge on Beast of Burden. They've allowed only 337 on the year.
*The Cray's Nest is one win away from taking the coveted regular season title. A win against Team Fouls, and it's theirs. If they lose and Layup Line Heroes win, the title will come down to point differential.
On to the features...
Player of the Week: Shane Ryan
Controversy! Bias! 18 points, 5-5 at the line, and some heady D at the top of the 3-2 zone secured this one. The ankle shenanigans look to be officially over. It is fucking go time. For his efforts, Shane will get to watch Duke make the Final 4 and punish John Wall for choosing Kentucky over the Blue Devils.
Honorable Mention: Nate Purinton and Saulo Feliciano
Purinton scored 11 points, hit two threes, and was 4-6 from the line in the Bombers' tight 3-point win. His clutch foul shot at the end pushed the lead to 3, and allowed his team to play swarming perimeter defense without worrying about the 3. Team Fouls couldn't get a shot off, and the Bombers positioned themselves to take second place outright in week 10.
Feliciano scored 15, and hit 3 of 4 from the stripe on the way to dismantling Dunk-a Schoen 39-31. His steady point play and driving ability kept the Schoeners off guard all night, and his play has helped elevate the Heroes to the top of the power rankings.
Both players will receive posters of Greg Zoubek screaming at the camera after laying down a furious jam on that total asshole Chris Kramer.
Past Players of the Week:
Week 1: Lars Rasmussen (retroactive)
Week 2: Ismael Rodriguez (retroactive)
Week 3: Geoff Nelson
Week 4: Rafael Rodriguez
Week 5: Jordan Glickson
Week 6: Keith Gormley
Week 7: Bob Van Kolken
Week 8: Vance Tucker
The King's Court: Week 9
Rule, GABL! GABL rules the waves! G-A-B-L never will be slaves!
Sir Prolificus (points): Shane Ryan, 18
Dr. Charity (foul-shooting): Shane Ryan, 5-5
Narrowly edges out Ismael Rodriguez (4-5), Matt Brinkmann (4-6), Nate Purinton (4-6), Bob Van Kolken (4-6), and Saulo Feliciano (3-4)
Captain Long-Range (three-point shooting): Andrew Weiner, 4
The Earl of Baskets (field goals): Ryan, Feliciano, R. Rodriguez, 6
The Duke of D: Matt Brinkmann, Greg Wyrick and Keith Gormley, for containing the big bodies of Dunk-a Schoen and owning the interior.
The Dime Baron (week's best pass): Bob Van Kolken, for a quick no-look dump pass to Jeremy Forsythe in the paint.
The Marchioness (best female performance): Kerry Brown, who connected on 3 treys, played inscrutable point, and collected 11 points in a win over Team Fouls.