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Culture Shock


As the great Abraham Lincoln once said, “I’m just gonna go with my wife to this play tonight and let’s make sure to watch some NBA Playoffs tomorrow.” Now, Lincoln didn’t accomplish this dream, however I will make sure to watch the playoffs for him.

With the NBA Playoffs getting set to tip-off, I’m sure we’re all going to come across quite a few articles, columns and blog posts predicting what’s going to happen, so what’s the fun in me posting another one of those? I mean, at the end of the day, we all know that Steph Curry will be hoisting the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award, thus let’s just talk about the teams.

To break down each team, I’m going to use the never-before-utilized approach of comparing each playoff team to a Disney channel show. The reason for this is that Disney owns ABC and ESPN, thus we’re going to do some vertical integration. Actually, that’s not true. I just like talking about Disney and I might as well utilize my unfathomable knowledge of the topic in my NBA preview.


Eastern Conference


8. Brooklyn Nets


This may seem like an odd start, however the now defunct Shake It Up is the perfect comparison to the Brooklyn Nets. None of the pieces really seem to make sense. Both the show and team definitely have talent and star power, however the parts are definitively better than the sum of the members. Also, like Shake It Up, the Nets are somehow always around. You turn on the Disney Channel and bam, Shake It Up is somehow always on; I’ve heard this from sources, I don’t do this. The Nets, on the other hand, were out of the playoff picture for a majority of the season, yet somehow found a way to slide in. Finally, both just aren’t that good. They stuck around past their prime and eventually Shake It Up was put out of its misery, just like the Nets will be very very soon.


7. Boston Celtics


Yup… The Emperor’s New School for the Boston Celtics. Just like the Celtics, this show was a retread of a previously great product. The Emperor’s New Groove is perhaps the most underrated Disney movie, in the same way that the Garnett-Pierce-Rondo Celtics will be criminally undervalued due to the fact they only won one championship. Both, the current Celtics and the Emperor’s New School, will never be as good as their predecessors, but they still have their moments. Also, Isaiah Thomas is far and away the best and most entertaining player on the team, in the same way that Kronk is the best character in this show by a mile.


6. Milwaukee Bucks


You may have never heard of Jessie and that’s okay because most people couldn’t name a player on the Milwaukee Bucks. Jason Kidd leads the Bucks in the same way that Debby Ryan spearheads the cavalcade of characters on this “hit” Disney show. They both are coming off illustrious pasts. Jessie rose to stardom through The Suite Life on Deck in the same way that Jason Kidd became a hall-of-fame player during his playing career. There is potential for both as Kidd has made the playoffs two straight years with two different teams and Ryan jumped ship (pun definitely intended) to a new show immediately after her old one was cancelled.


5. Washington Wizards


In case you didn’t know, there’s an actual show on Disney called Dog with a Blog. Your confusion is the same as all Wizards fans wondering how Randy Wittman can still be the head coach after such a disastrous season. The team has quit on Wittman in the same way that Disney channel fans quit on Dog with a Blog. Both will be forgotten and ultimately will amount to nothing.


4. Toronto Raptors


Hey! Remember Cory from That’s So Raven. What if he just lived in the White House? This million-dollar idea not only led to pay-raises for everyone working for the Disney Channel but also created one of the dumber and more confusing shows in Disney history. Why the White House? What’s the point? The same can be said for the Toronto Raptors who have fallen off a cliff since they realized that they are nothing more than two very good players and a bunch of mediocre bench guys. This team doesn’t really make sense yet somehow they’re still alive in the East.


3. Chicago Bulls


When running on all cylinders, Kim Possible is perhaps the best Disney Channel show of all time; yeah, I said it. This spy thriller always brought the laughs and action, yet, near the end of its run, it seemed to just be a little off. The same can be said for the Chicago Bulls who are probably at the end of the Tom Thibodeau era. There’s a lot of talent but just not enough, especially with a wobbling Derrick Rose. Both showed glimpses but I’m just not sure either expected to end their respective runs petering out.


2. Cleveland Cavaliers


Was there ever a doubt about what show would be matched up with the Cavaliers? The Miley Cyrus vehicle, Hannah Montana, was a cultural phenomenon unlike any other; in the same way that LeBron James brings the star power to every stadium that he goes to. People love to hate James, especially with this Cavs team, even though theya re always going to bring the highlights. Hannah Montana was also chockfull of highpoints. Remember that episode when she had to tell Oliver that she was actually a pop star…I mean, that’s what my sister told me about the show, I never actually watched it (hides cd of Hannah Montana’s greatest hits).


1. Atlanta Hawks


Here’s a great show, Even Stevens. Lost in the Hannah Montanas, Waverly Places and Suite Life, Even Stevens was one of the original greats. Like the Hawks, it is about the team, the characters are great individually but combined you have a once-in-a-lifetime type program. The main problem is how the Hawks will fare with the brighter lights. Even Stevens also had this problem when the movie, aptly titled The Even Stevens Movie, arrived. It seemed out of place and not sure what it wanted to do. Will the Hawks follow in this show’s footsteps? Only time will tell.



Western Conference

8. New Orleans Pelicans


Just like how the students in the show Recess are happy to be outside, instead of learning in school, the Pelicans are just glad to be here. Definitively, the best part of Recess is the movie, which came years after the program’s initial run. This is comparable to how we’re a few years away from the Pelicans really making a dent in the playoffs. Give New Orleans a few years and they’ll be a top team in the league.


7. Dallas Mavericks


The Dallas Mavericks are the always forgotten squad. They have enough talent to make a run, with Dirk Nowitzki, Rajon Rondo and a deep bench, yet they are expected to lose in the first round. Likewise, Phil of the Future was an extremely well done show yet it never garnered as much attention as the rest of the programs. Finally, Phil of the Future never really made sense. If they were from 2121, why would Phil’s family not invest in stocks or bet sporting events in which they knew the outcome? This confusion spreads to the Mavericks as there is a lot of talent but the pieces don’t always connect.


6. San Antonio Spurs


Lizzie McGuire, possibly the best show in Disney history, is the perfect comparison to the Spurs. Both were impossible to contend with during their respective primes and kept on pumping out great content for years. Even the Lizzie McGuire Movie resonated with audiences and was popular. What other show was really able to do that? Under Coach Popovich’s leadership, the Spurs will make the playoffs and compete for a title until the end of days.


5. Memphis Grizzlies


Phineas and Ferb’s dynamic duo is able to invent create and thrive even in pressure-packed situations. The Memphis Grizzlies pack the same punch under their own tenacious twosome, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. These twin towers are Memphis’s hope to making a title and whether they take over the tri-state area remains to be seen.


4. Portland Trail Blazers


The Proud Family’s charm and watchability was due to the entire family. Every character played a pivotal role in garnering popularity for the program. The same can be said for the Trail Blazers who come into the playoffs missing their X-Factor, Wes Matthews. He was the glue that held the team together and his absence is a crucial reason to their impending demise. What would the Proud family be without Penny or Oscar or Suga Mama. The premise only works with the whole family and unfortunately; the Blazers are going into the playoffs missing a member.


3. Los Angeles Clippers


Both the Clippers and Wizards of Waverly Place premise are grounded in dysfunction. Every episode of the show incorporated a pivotal problem due to magic and the Clippers find their way into their own mess of troubles. Time and time again, Chris Paul and Doc Rivers yell at referees and trashtalk opponents as Blake Griffin finds a way to get under the other team’s skin. Other teams hate the Clippers yet they keep on thriving due to their talent.


2. Houston Rockets


That’s So Raven and the Houston Rockets are built around a star and everyone else is just there for show. Raven Symone and James Harden both carry their respective teams through thick and think. Raven’s charm and comedic timing is the perfect link to Harden’s shooting and ability to draw fouls.


1. Golden State Warriors


The Golden State Warriors are spearheaded by two unstoppable stars, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Suite Life has the same gameplan, give Zack and Cody the ball and no one will stop them. Like the Warriors, this show goes deep in its cast of characters. Not only did it have the Sprouse twins but there are also Brenda Song, Ashley Tisdale and guest appearances like Chris Brown. This show was a monster at its peak and the Warriors have that same tenacity and fire as they get set for the playoffs.


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