Why the 76ers Will Win the Eastern Conference (According to Game of Thrones)
As most of us know, there will be no new episodes of Game of Thrones this spring or summer and it got me thinking… How can I take the biggest show on TV and project it onto an otherwise unrelated struggle for power, The NBA’s Eastern Conference Playoffs. Here we’ll breakdown the matchups and see how every series will play out, given each team’s relation to a particular house in Game of Thrones.
- Raptors – White Walkers
- Celtics – Targaryen
- Sixers – Stark
- Cavs – Lannister
- Pacers – Tyrell
- Heat – Martell
- Bucks – Baratheon
- Wizards – Night’s Watch
The opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs will kick off with a matchup between the #1. Toronto Raptors [White Walkers] and the #8. Washington Wizards [Night’s Watch]. Much like the long extinct raptor, the mythical white walkers were believed to have been dead for thousands (hundreds of millions) of years. Led by the gracefully aged Night King, Kyle Lowry, a recent resurgence has these reanimated corpses looking like the clear favorite to come out of the East this post season.
Woven with spells and magic, the Wizards are led by their strongest player, The Wall, who hopes to keep the Raptors from advancing any further south. If Season 7 is any indicator of just how easy it is for a team of White Walkers to carve up the Night’s Watch and topple their star player, we expect the Raptors to roll through the Wizards with ease in this series.
Our second matchup features the most prestigious franchise in NBA history, the #2. Boston Celtics [Targaryens] and the #7. Milwaukee Bucks [Baratheons], an upstart rebel with aspirations for the throne. The Celtics appeared to be making another notable run in their franchise’s storied history, but after losing Ser Gordon Hayward and The Prince That Was Promised, Kyrie Irving, their chances of survival we’re almost lost entirely. They’ve pinned their hopes on young stars Jayserys Brown and Jaynerys Tatum who, with a veteran team of supporters aiding their development, have performed well so far. Will it be enough to propel the Celtics into the second round or will their great house crumble to dust?
We’re expecting a franchise revival after a Jon Snow type reveal errr trade to bring this team back from the ashes, but in keeping with ASOIF lore, the upstart stag Giannis Antetokoumpo, a powerful threat on the court, will usurp the series and lead the Bucks into the second round.
A once storied franchise, fighting their way back to relevance, the #3. Philadelphia 76ers [Starks] take on the geographically gratifying #6. Miami Heat [Martells]. Like the Martells of Dorne, everybody’s favorite fair weather franchise, The Miami Heat, still haven’t fully recovered from their short brush with a King’s Landing. The team has a lot of young talent and the aging Doran Wade at the helm, but unfortunately for them, this one was over the moment Rhaegar spurned Elia Martell for Lyanna Stark.
The Triple Double Eyed Raven, Ben Simmons’s Bran-like court vision has led the team out of the crypts and back to the top of the castle. He’s rejoined by the once weak and broken, Joel “Sansa” Embiid, who has since become one of the league’s most feared and powerful threats going forward. With the help of several key role players, among them JJ of House Rodrik and Dario Naharis, and their youngest asset Aryakelle Fultz back from finding himself in Braavos, the team is poised to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Our final first round matchup, the crown #4. Cleveland Cavaliers [Lannisters] vs #5. Indiana Pacers [Tyrells], a once proud family with an Old Bird perched at the head of their basketball operations. We didn’t expect to find these two franchises in a power struggle, but in the Game of Thrones, you either win or you die. The thing about LeBron the Lannister is that he’s Cersei, Joffrey, Jaime, Tywin, and Tommen all rolled into one.
Like Cersei and Joffrey, he’s a ruthless killer on the court. He’s as calculating and tactical as Tywin. He’s Jaime with the sword. He’s a social warrior who, like Tommen, takes real initiative in the interests of his people. Just don’t cross him. Remember when Jaime killed his own cousin so he could escape captivity? That was Kyrie and every other player or coach that stood in Bron’s way. Even as the Tyrells took out Joffrey and Tywin and Tommen met their demise, LeBron’s reign at the top remained unfaltering. Like Margaery, Victor Oladipo continues to build an impressive resume, but even with some help from the foreign sell sword, Bojan Bogdanovich, it won’t be enough to overcome the crown. The Cavisters take over and win the series.
As the Season 1 prophecy of an antler through the neck of a direwolf had foretold, we’ve been dealt a second round matchup of the #3. Philadelphia 76ers [Starks] and the #7. Milwaukee Bucks [Baratheons]. Two unlikely foes thrown into the mix as enemies when Ned Hinkie had his head lopped off at the order of a Baratheon. The Bucks continued to take shots at the Sixers while Winterfell was in ruins and the team was at its lowest.
Like the Stark family, Sixers were being killed off left and right so their best players could rise up and complete The Process. But as Joel Embiid so eloquently reminded us with an Instagram geotag, King’s Landing is a Shithole, and the Stags were never meant for rule. Over time the Baratheons would slowly be ran out of The Red Keep and The Process would give way to The Results. The Sixers are clearly the stronger house once again. Giannis Antetokoumpo and Stannis Middleton, now proven pretender kings, won’t be enough to help these Baratheon Bucks outlast the revived Sixers squad.
#1. Toronto Raptors [White Walkers] vs the #4. Cleveland Cavaliers [Lannisters]
LeBron has spent the entire season killing off his closest advisers and seeking out new allies to help bring about his reign. Individually, he remains the strongest and most powerful player in the kingdom, but he’s since ostracized his coach Tyrion Lou in another play for power. While a very smart and a capable game planner, Tyrion hasn’t received any respect from The King and it appears to have created an internal strife among the Lannisters. We’re not sure how a divided house will be able to withstand the White Walkers as they continue their crusade across towards the (West)eros.
Kyle Lowry will be throwing around assists like frozen spears into the heart of a dragon as DeMar DeRozen drains any remaining Lannisters of whatever life they have left. LeBronister has been fully capable of putting his house on his back and destroying entire families in the past [see The Tyrells at the Sept of Baelor], but the White Walkers are a different force this time around and his unwillingness to team up will come back to bite him. The Raptors have taken their lumps over the years, frozen in the Canadian tundra, but they’ve always been there and for now, they’re more than prepared to make a push.
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Look, everybody who’s ever watched Game of Thrones knows that the Starks are the first and last line of defense against the White Walkers and their army of the Undead. Which brings us to our final battle of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the #1. Toronto Raptors [White Walkers] vs the #3. Philadelphia 76ers [Starks]. The White Walkers have invaded the North, but the Starks have returned in full forced just in time to reclaim their kingdom. To quote George RR Martin’s original title for the 7th and final book, it is “A Time for Wolves.” I’m an optimist.
Aryakelle Fultz has the skill set to be a ruthless killer. They’re loaded with mercenaries; Dario Naharis, JJ of House Rodrik, M’aarco Belinelli, Ersan Ilynpova. The Stoneman Robb Covington is another huge wall the White Walkers will have to get through. I don’t care about any ice dragons. I don’t care about the Night King Kyle Lowry and his army of undead others. Bran Simmons and his ability to warg and greensee the entire court at all times will be the great neutralizer. The Game of Thrones was created to sit a Stark at the head of the kingdom and I can’t see anyone more fit to rule than Joel “Sansa” Embiid. Sixers in 7.
Key Role Players:
NOTE: A lot of people are saying Bran can’t win Rookie of the Year because this is technically his second time in Westeros, but this is his first full year logging minutes as the Three-Eyed Raven, so I don’t see any issues with it. With his abilities, he’s set up to become the greatest power the Seven Kingdoms have ever seen. Bran= ROY
The Defeated King James joins forces with the Starks to rule the NBA for a thousand years to come. It’s going to be magical.
Thanks for reading along. Go Sixers.
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