Winter is here. The series that has dominated pop culture in the last few weeks is Game of Thrones. After the Season 8 premiere, it’s clear that this show will go out with a bang for its final season. What makes Game of Thrones so unique is its ability to cross over into other genres. In particular, thanks to shows like Game of Zones, the fantasy series has found a home in the NBA. I wanted to take it one step further. The show is known for its memorable dialogue. Because of this, I wanted to use famous quotes to describe teams in the NBA Playoffs. Here’s what I came up with.
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Golden State Warriors: “Winter is coming.” – Ned Stark, S1E1
Winter is here, and the Warriors are leading the charge. Once again, the NBA Playoffs will be the Golden State Warriors vs. The Field. That’s the only war that matters. Every other matchup is secondary because the only question of importance concerns the Warriors. Who can beat Golden State? Until proven otherwise, the Army of the Dead from Golden State will win yet another championship. Humanity and the rest of the teams in the playoffs don’t stand a chance.
Milwaukee Bucks: “The Long Night is coming. Only the prince who was promised can bring the dawn.” – Melisandre, S7E2
The Warriors are the Army of the Dead. They continue to wreak havoc on the NBA and in all likelihood will win their fourth title in five seasons. However, if some team, or someone, is going to take down Golden State, it’s going to be the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Sure, Milwaukee has never won a playoff series with Giannis and the living world has never defeated the Night King, but Giannis and Jon Snow have a chance to do both. If both stars bring their A-game on the court and the battlefield, anything is possible.
Denver Nuggets: “This isn’t a war we can win.” – Jamie Lannister, S7E5
Congratulations to the Denver Nuggets. You had a wonderful season. The Nuggets went from missing the playoffs to battling for the one seed in the span of two seasons. Nikola Jokić became an all-star and Jamal Murray became a shooting assassin. That being said, the Nuggets cannot win the NBA Championship. The Nuggets may not even be able to beat the Spurs. Great season, but try again next year.
Toronto Raptors: “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” – Cersei Lannister, S1E7
Fight or die, win or lose, this is the last stand for the Raptors. After trading for Kawhi Leonard, who is on the final deal of his contract, the Raptors pushed all of their chips to the center of the table. It’s now or never. This is their sixth straight trip to the playoffs. The previous five ended in disappointment with the last three series’ defeats coming at the hands of LeBron James. LeBron James is gone. Kawhi Leonard is in Toronto. If the Raptors don’t make the NBA Finals this year, I expect this team to blow up like the Sept of Baelor.
Philadelphia 76ers:“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” – Ramsay Bolton, S3E6
Last year, The Process took a huge step in the right direction as the 76ers made the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The years of tanking and 10 win seasons was over as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid started to live up to their potential. This season, the Sixers strengthened The Process by adding Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. All of this looks good on paper, but as Game 1 versus the Nets taught us anything, it’s that you can’t trust Philadelphia to win it all especially in the final moments of a game. The Process is far from complete.
Portland Trail Blazers: “I don’t plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me. I might be small, Lord Glover. And I might be a girl. But I am every bit as much a Northerner as you. And I don’t need your permission to defend the North.” – Lyanna Mormont, S7E1
Lyanna Mormont is tiny in stature, but she makes up for it with a giant heart and no-fear attitude. The Northerners doubt her, but when push comes to shove, she will be on the front line with a sword in her hand. The Trail Blazers have a team full of Lyanna Mormonts. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are a top backcourt in the NBA, but the rest of the league continues to doubt them because of their lack of success in the playoffs. Portland might as well be the Bear Island of the NBA because of how North it is. However, no one can question Portland’s heart and when critics continue to doubt them, the Blazers find a way to not only compete, but win.
Boston Celtics: “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love – illusions. Only the ladder is real…the climb is all there is.” – Lord Baelish, S3E6
Playing the role of Littlefinger will be the Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge. The quest for a championship started in 2013. While teams were going crazy while trying to figure out ways to assemble a Big Three in order to beat the Heat, Ainge used this to his advantage by trading fan favorites and aging legends such as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for five players and four draft picks. Later, Ainge didn’t give into the mob who wanted to pay Isaiah Thomas and instead, included Thomas in a trade for Kyrie Irving. While teams try to sign big name free agents, Ainge and the Celtics decided to groom young talent as Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown. Now, the Celtics are rumored to be in the running in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. Will the Celtics sit on the Iron Throne one day? I’m not sure, but they will continue to climb the ladder or they will die trying.
Houston Rockets: “I learned that I’ll never win. Not that way. That’s their game, their rules. I’m not going to fight them, I’m going to fuck them. That’s what I know, that’s what I am. And only by admitting what we are can we get what we want” Lord Baelish, S1E7
The Rockets bring a unique approach to the game of basketball, especially on the offensive side. The NBA is becoming a shooters’ league, but the Rockets take that sentiment and multiply it by 10. The Rockets typically have four guys on the floor who can shoot the three and one guy who can finish alley-oops like Clint Capela. The Rockets space the floor, leave the middle open for isolation, and shoot A LOT of 3-pointers. For the second consecutive season, the Rockets set the single-season record for most 3 pointers made with 1,323. The Rockets want to play fast and get up and down the court. This is not the way most teams play, but for the Rockets, it works. Had it not been for a Chris Paul injury last season, the Rockets might have represented the West in the NBA finals. James Harden and the boys know who they are, and that’s their biggest strength.
Indiana Pacers: “There is only one god, and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: not today.” – Syrio Forel, S1E6
When the Pacers lost Victor Oladipo, most critics and fans including me believed their season was a lost cause. Could you blame them? The Pacers not only lost their best player but their team leader. However, the Pacers did not submit or die for the rest of the season. Indiana fought valiantly to make the playoffs. Had it not been for a 31-12 fourth quarter from the Celtics, this series would have been tied 1-1 going back to Indiana.
Utah Jazz: “As long as I’m standing the war is not over.” – Brynden Tully, S6E7
The Rockets have come out with guns blazing these first two games. As bad as the Jazz have looked, they are not dead. This is a team that has won their first-round series the past two seasons. Donovan Mitchell is capable of rallying Gobert, Ingles, and the rest of the troops to make this a competitive series. As long as Mitchell is standing, don’t count him out just yet.
Brooklyn Nets: “He’s the toughest man with no balls I ever met.” – Daario Naharis, S5E10
About two months ago, I made a bet with my friend that the Nets would not make the playoffs. I believed that the Nets would falter and their lack of superstar talent would cost them a playoff berth. Clearly, I was wrong. Credit to Kenny Atkinson, D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, and the rest of the team for coming together and exceeding expectations. The Nets are a fun team with a bright future thanks to their young talent and cap space this summer, which includes the ability to sign two players to max contracts. However, this team may be fun, but it’s not a championship team. The Nets still need a superstar or two to put them into the conversation for the best team in the East.
Oklahoma City Thunder: “No, of that I’m innocent. I’m guilty of a far more monstrous crime. I’m guilty of being a dwarf. Oh, yes I am. I’ve been on trial for that my entire life.” – Tyrion Lannister, S4E6
Tyrion Lannister is one of the smartest minds in all of Westeros. Tyrion is a master in strategy and tends to have a pulse on the city and their needs. Tyrion is a valuable asset to anyone’s court. Tyrion could be on the Iron Thrones, but no matter what he does for the rest of his life, some people will always see him as a dwarf and that’s something they can’t look past. Russell Westbrook is the most athletic point guard to ever play in the NBA. Russ has averaged a triple-double for the past three seasons and even won the MVP in 2016-2017. However, until he wins a championship, certain members of the media and NBA fanbase will always see him as the guy who pushed Kevin Durant out of town. Whether that’s fair or unfair is up to you to decide.
Orlando Magic: “I’ve known a great many clever men. I’ve outlived them all. You know why? I ignored them. The lords of Westeros are sheep. Are you a sheep? No. You’re a dragon. Be a dragon.” – Lady Olenna, S7E2
Hand up, I did not see the Orlando Magic winning a game in this series versus the Toronto Raptors. Hand up again, I can’t name the starting five of the Magic. Maybe the Magic are for real. I believe the Raptors will eventually prevail, but crazier things have happened. The Magic should continue to not listen to fans like myself and play their game because if they steal Game 3 at home, look out.
San Antonio Spurs: “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you” – Tyrion, S1E1
The Spurs are the Spurs. Their lineup is not going to jump off the paper and strike fear into opponents’ hearts every night. They’re not going to get in a track meet and run up and down all night. However, they’re consistent, efficient, and well-coached by Gregg Popovich. The Spurs don’t have Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green anymore and yet continue to put a successful product on the floor as they haven’t missed the playoffs since 1996-1997. The Spurs know who they are and never change their identity.
Detroit Pistons: “You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.” – Sansa Stark, S6E9
You’re going to die in four games, Detroit Pistons. Sleep well. There’s really nothing more to say. Without a healthy Blake Griffin, the Pistons don’t stand a chance.
Los Angeles Clippers:“The long night is coming, and the dead come with it. No clan can stop them, the free-folk can’t stop them, the Night’s Watch can’t stop them, and all the southern kings can’t stop them! Only together, all of us – and even then it may not be enough but at least we’ll give the fuckers a fight.” – Jon Snow, S5E8
If there is one thing the Clippers have shown so far this series, it’s that they are not going to back down to the Army of the Dead aka the Golden State Warriors. Throw Game 3 aside because the Clippers stood no chance. However, this series could easily be 3-0 had it not been for a 31 point comeback in Game 2. The Clippers are a young, exciting team that has a bright future thanks to their cap space this summer. Do not be surprised if they steal at least one more game against the Warriors.
What quotes from Game of Thrones would you use to describe the teams in the NBA Playoffs? Share your thoughts below or tweet us @unafraidshow.