NBA Postseason Blank Rankings

Playoffs?  PLAYOFFS?!  That’s right Jim Mora Senior, you crazy overreacting bastard: we’re talking playoffs – NBA playoffs, to be exact.  And what’s not to like?

Ridiculously competitive play!  Frequent “I’m-tougher-than-you-bitch-but-we-both-know-neither-of-us-will-ever-throw-a-punch-so-this-is-a-waste-of-time” stare downs!  Suspiciously poor/biased refereeing!  Players refusing to make use of the little hammer to smash the glass on fire extinguishers!  Daily doses of Sir Charles on TNT babbling in circles for minutes at a time before coming around to a surprisingly poignant point!  It’s the greatest show on wood!!

To help you sort through the clusterfuck of hot, playoff, team-on-team action, I’m going to run down the sixteen squads who were lucky enough to find a date to the dance and rank the shit outta them – bottom-to-top, back-to-front, ass-to-face – until there’s no more confusion about what’s what in this two-month-long soap opera we call the NBA postseason.

In other words, welcome to the first playoff edition of the NBA Blank Rankings.  As usual, feel free to fill in the Blank with whatever word you want.  Or just leave it Blank, as in “these rankings are completely blank of any bias and/or factual evidence.”  On to the ranks:

16 – Chicago Roses (1-1)

Oh, the humanity!  The poor, poor, poor, poor Bulls… how gut-wrenching – tragedy, thy name is Derrick Rose’s Anterior Cruciate Ligament!  You know what?  Boo fucking hoo.  Cry me a goddamn river, Chicago.  And then dye it green on St. Patrick’s Day like a bunch of drunk assholes.  The fact of the matter is, anybody who thought Derrick Rose would go through a whole career playing the way he plays without tearing an ACL (or MCL, or some sort of CL) is an idiot.  Was it unfortunate timing?  Of course.  Will anybody outside Chicago give a shit two months from now?  Hell no.  Rose was injured all season and rushed himself back for the playoffs – these things happen, the games go on.

Even without their lameduck MVP, the Bulls are still a better team than Utah, Orlando, Philly, Denver, and possibly New York.  Regardless of that, there’s no team or fanbase that feels worse than Chicago right now – …well, except possibly New York – and that’s what this ranking is based on.  The Bulls may edge out the Sixers for the right to lose to Boston, but that’s not much of a prize considering that they harbored legitimate title hopes all season long.

Keep your head up, Chi-Town – at least you’ve still got The Mob, and Kim Kardashian’s next ex-boyfriend.

15 – New York Knickerbockers (0-3)

Amar’e Stoudamire – you old glasswipe, you!  According to sources close to somebody who knows a guy who may or may not have been there when Amar’e maimed himself, here’s what really happened in the moments leading up to the now infamous SmashGate incident that occurred in the bowels of American Airlines Arena, after New York’s Game 2 loss to Miami:

Amar’e:  Damn – sucks that we lost, Coach.

Woodson:  I know, it’s frustrating.  Our offense was real stagnant tonight – real stagnant.  But I believe, with a little fine-tuning, I can slow the ball down and make it even MORE stagnant!  That’ll work for sure.

Amar’e:  I don’t really get your gameplan, Coach.  Oh well, though – as long as I got my Mondos on the flight home I don’t even give a fuck what we do.

Woodson:  …There won’t be any Mondos on the flight home, Amar’e.

Amar’e:  ……………….What?

Woodson:  The Mondo “juice” drink has been discontinued, due to lack of quality.  I’m sorry.

Amar’e:  WHAT?!  NO!  THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!  FUCK THIS SHIT!!  FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!

(SMASHES FIRE EXTINGUISHER CASE, SLICING HAND AND INCITING “SMASHGATE”)

14 – Utah Jazzercizers (0-2)

The Jazz lost the first game of their series with the Spurs by 15 points, and in the second game (although it’s unfair to even call it a game, really – “de-pantsing” would be a much more accurate term for what transpired) they danced awkwardly to the tune of a 31-point loss, making for an average losing margin of 23 points.  San Antonio sported an average winning margin of 7.2 points per game this season, which means that so far the Jazz have been about 16 points shittier than the Spurs average regular season opponent.  Wow – stay classy, Utah!  The fact that there are two teams below the Jazz on these rankings is truly a testament to how crazy the opening act to this postseason has been.

13 – Atlanta Balks (1-1)

First came the news that Horford wouldn’t be ready for the first round.  Then the Hawks were barely able to win Game 1 at home, even with the refs calling fouls all night on every Celtic player they could see or think of (I’m pretty sure I actually heard them whistle one on Vitaly Potapenko – I don’t know).  Then the Hawks couldn’t win Game 2, even after the league suspended Rajon Rondo for letting his momentum carry himself into a ref after the worst and most influential call of the playoffs thus far.  Then Josh Smith fucked his knee up.  Then, finally, everybody in Atlanta simultaneously realized that their town is best known for an airport.

Needless to say, it’s not a great time to be a Hawks fan.  Teague looks like the real deal, if nothing else (and by “if” I mean “and it’s a good thing for that because there is”).

12 – Orlando Magic (1-2)

The only reason the Magic aren’t ranked down below both the Hawks and the Jazz is because they were able to capitalize on Indiana’s “deer-in-the-headlights-means-roadkill-for-dinner” routine and win Game 1 in Indy.  Kudos to Orlando for that.  That being said, I don’t want to write another sentence about this team because they are extremely bad, and they’ve got no chance to advance to the second round barring an injury, a plane crash, or a sporadic eight-inch growth spurt overnight by Big Lazy Davis.

11 – Denver McNuggets (0-2)

Who’s the best player on this team?  Gallinari?  Lawson?  Afflalo, maybe?  McGee??  No, seriously – is it McGee?  I don’t even know.  There’s just no way of knowing.

Point is, this team is going nowhere until one of these players steps up and fills that Alpha Dog role.  They’re basically an army without a general right now.  L.A. looked bored during the first two games – it was like they were playing in a fucking church league exhibition or something – but still managed to dispatch Denver fairly easily.  Look for that to continue unless somebody on the Nuggets decides to take matters into their own hands and be a leader.

10 – Dallas Mavericks (0-3)

Dallas played pretty good up in OKC in the first two games of this series, and I thought “If they keep playing this way, they’ll be coming back to OKC in Game 5 with the series tied at two.”  Then they got blown the fuck out in Game 3 at home, and I thought “Well, I’m an idiot.”

So much for your title defense, Dallas – looks like all those media jerks who wouldn’t give you any credit or coverage all year long were dead right, because you wound up being a pretty weak-ass defending champ in the end.  Here’s a tip for the future, Mark Cuban: if you want the media to respect you after you win a championship, then don’t let half of your title-winning roster walk away in free agency just to clear some cap space so you can maybe possibly sign Deron Williams later, you jackass.

9 – Philadelphia 1776ers (1-1)

The Sixers are a lot like the Nuggets, although I suppose Andre Iguodala is sort of their Alpha Dog by default since he’s right in the middle of his prime.  In the grand scheme of things, the fact that there’s still a legitimate question as to whether Philly can beat the Roseless Bulls pretty much says it all about this team.  However, thanks to Rose’s injury there is now a chance they could move on to receive a second round spanking from the Celtics – something that was considered all but impossible as recently as a week ago – and those good vibrations have got them riding high up at number nine.

8 – Indiana Pacers (2-1)

The Pacers came out and took a massive, steaming deuce on the faces of their fans in Game 1.  Any team worth its weight in garbage would sweep this decidedly non-magical Magic squad, and the Pacers just couldn’t get it done.  Indy will beat Orlando in the end, obviously, but their initial lack of focus doesn’t bode well for their approaching date with LeBron and Friends.

7 – Memphis Grizzle (1-1)

Sure, the Grizzlies surrendered the biggest fourth-quarter lead in postseason history in Game 1, but the fact that they had that lead – and the fact that they came out and convincingly took care of business in Game 2 – really leads me to believe they’ve been the better team thus far in this series.  The Blank Rankings aren’t always about who’s the “better team,” though, and it’s pretty hard to look past the fact that the Grizz gave up a fucking 27-point lead!!  In the fourth quarter!!!!  I’m surprised that none of the Memphis players tried smashing through glass with their bare hands in frustration after that one.  No seriously, that’s not even a joke – I’m very surprised.  Not only because that was probably the shittiest, most frustrating loss in history, but also because a lot of the Memphis players just seem dumb.

6 – Los Angeles Comebacks (1-1)

Memphis and L.A. are extremely evenly matched, talent wise.  The only reason that Slob City ranks above Grit Town is thanks to the rabbit they pulled out of the hat hidden up their ass in Game 1, and the de facto home-court advantage that came along with it.  I almost went the other way on this one, though – let’s face it: their furious comeback notwithstanding, the Clippers have basically played like a bunch of Amish Canadians out there so far.  We’ll see if they can get it back on track in front those malignant, tortured souls known as the Clipper faithful.

Random Prediction: whoever wins the Clipp-Grizz series will go on to beat the Spurs.  Book it!  And remember – you heard it here one millionth.

5 – Boston Celtics (1-1)

For the first quarter of this postseason the Celtics looked like they were tired, rusty, and possibly shitfaced drunk, but since then they’ve clamped down and played quite well – particularly on defense.  They were able to pull out Game 2 without All-Star trickster Rajon Rondo, bringing home court advantage back to Boston for Rajon’s return in Game 3.

Pierce looks locked in, KG is operating at maximum insanity, Avery Bradley shook off the jitters and started contributing, and rumor has it that Ray Allen’s Spooky Ghost may even make an appearance in the game tonight at the Garden – everything’s looking up for Team Too-Old.

4 – Oklahoma City Bombers (3-0)

On the one hand, they’re 3-0 this postseason.  On the other hand, it’s been a very pedestrian 3-0.  And on some completely separate third hand, the Thunder are supposed to beat the Mavericks and that’s exactly what they’re doing, so really this is all moot.  But I feel as though those first two close games in OKC exposed a somewhat of a chink in the armor of the Thunder, so to speak – the Mavericks made them bleed their own blood, in their own house.  Just something to think about as the playoffs roll on and the pretenders get weeded out.

3 – L.A. Lakers (2-0)

The Lakers have picked up two wins in cruise control, so they’ll have plenty left in the tank when their second round intergalactic dogfight with Oklahoma City begins.  Not much else to really say about this team, at the moment, other than “I definitely don’t trust Mike Brown at all – he just seems stupid and it’s obvious the players don’t like him.”

2 – Miami Feet (3-0)

It cracks me up that people were stupid enough to think the Knicks’ recent hot streak – fueled by a Melo scoring surge that coincidentally/predictably began right around the time teams started coasting towards the playoffs – and the Heat’s late season struggles were reason to believe that New York even had a fucking prayer of upsetting Miami in the first round.  It was never happening, dummies.

Miami has looked pretty invincible to this point, but they get knocked below San Antonio in the ranks thanks to Chris Bosh’s monumentally moronic timing of his child’s birth.  Yeah, I know he made it back to New York in time for the game – I don’t give a damn!  Just the fact that he almost had to miss the game is ridiculous in itself.  Not that I expected him to miss the birth of his son to play basketball, or anything – I just expected that he was capable of a little better planning.  Can you not count nine months forward in your head, Chris Bosh?  What the fuck is wrong with you!? Get a calendar!!

One of three things happened here: either A) he actually is too stupid to count ahead nine months in advance and realize that it would be playoff time, B) he purposely planned to have the baby around playoff time so he’d have an excuse to miss a game if things weren’t going well for him and/or his team, or C) the baby was just an accident.  I honestly can’t decide which of these is worst.

1 – San Antonio Spurs (2-0)

The ancient Spurs are dominating the upstart Jazz, turning the first two games of this series into outlandishly funny jokes right from the onset.  TP is wiping everything up, TD is banking shit home like it’s 1955, Matt Bonner is goofily wetting threes, and Ginobili is just Manu being Manu.  Right now, the Spurs are feeling the best out of any team in the playoffs, and rightfully so – I won’t even ruin the vibes by offering some cryptic remark about how they’re gonna lose in the second round.  Oh, wait…

Andy J. Krom (@Ace_Jack_King) wrote this for @Drunknsportsmen. He will eat your children and fade into Bolivian.

Photo by Aaron Frutman

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