There are few good teams that fly under the radar quite as much as the Indiana Pacers. The team has been consistently solid for the past decade, but outside of a couple trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, they have not been seen as a serious threat come playoff time. With each of the Pacers' last five seasons ending in...
NBA Players Versus Zombies Part 4
By: Khaqan Khan
Boban begins to feel something in his stomach. The banging on the door gets louder and louder. All the players except Boban, begin to grab different objects in the locker room as weapons. Doncic grabs a chair. Kristaps Porzingis grabs a baseball bat but asks the bat for consent before grabbing it. Jalen Brunson grabs a burner (ayyye) and Seth Curry pulls out a slingshot. Dwight Powell grabs his crutches, while the rest of the players just grab the first thing they see. Everyone stands in close vicinity and anticipation, as the door gets closer and closer to busting open. Suddenly, we here a hardcore guitar riff as Boban finally stands up.
At 7ft-way-too-tall inches, wearing a brown jacket and holding a book, Boban towers over the rest of the players. His sudden quiet confidence weeds out the tension in the room. Something has clearly taken over Boban. He pushes past his teammates to get to the door as a Bengal tiger walks through tall grass.
"What happened to Boban?, Where that jacket come from?" asks Wright to which Barea responds, "I think he's in character".
The door busts wide open and a flood of zombies charge in, but Boban doesn't let not even one get through. One by one, Boban punches, chops, kicks with precision like a well-choreographed scene from a successful action movie franchise. The players all realize what their seeing now is Protocol 51 and without breaking a sweat, Boban downs the wave of zombies. He then gets on a motorcycle he pulled out of nowhere ready to ride off.
Doncic interrupts, "Wait! Where are you going?" Without making eye contact, Boban answers "I'm going to Disney World".
"What's at Disney world?" Boban turns his head to the players, "What isn't at Disney world?"
"But we need you!" Wright chimes in for a desperate cry for help. Boban reassures him, "No, you really don't." The Mavs watch in awe as Boban revs the motorcycle, accelerates, and ramps of the zombies to leave the American Airlines Center on his way to Disney World. On his way to save the world.
Sure, he's been a professional basketball player since 13. Sure, he led his team to a championship and won finals MVP in the Spanish league. Cool, he made the EuroLeague all decade team before the age of 20. What I want to know is if he can lead this team to survival at this level? The zombies are faster, and stronger here rather than overseas. But besides Luka, a supporting cast of Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardway Jr., and Maxi Kleber is better than you think, or is that what happens when you ignore dumb "draft experts" and trade up for a young, battle-tested, transcendent talent? Also, don't forget about Boban Marjanovic. The only thing that can slow down Boban is John Wick and doorways.
+ It's fun saying Maxi Kleber's (Klee-ba) name.
+ Jj Barea is still playing relevant minutes
- Seth Curry reminds me of Little Critter.
- The City edition jerseys
Protocol 51 is a huge difference maker here, Cuban's insight to Shark Tank's zombie specific products and a European style to zombie management makes this one of the favorites to survive. 9/10
The Nuggets are an interesting team. They probably have one of the more talented and sound rosters in the league. Their improbable Superstar has uncanny vision as well as an uncanny sense of humor. A year ago, I would have said that you cannot rely on an out of shape Jokic in a deep playoff run, but he proved me wrong fighting through fatigue and adversity. However, can he fight off hunger in time where more than ever it's important to ration? The supporting cast is comprised of all mature and focused players. Dynamic Will "the Thrill" Barton, defensive stud Gary "Garry Harris" Harris, and tall Devin booker, Michael Porter all give the Nuggets a fighting chance. Plus, we all know Jamal Murray is going to do whatever it takes to get back to home to his girlfriend (not going to hyperlink this one 😉).
+ Out of town zombies will have a hard time adjusting to the high altitudes
+ Nikola Jokic playing with Isaiah Thomas and his friends back when they were teammates
- I always thought Paul Millsap was a foreign player
- Mason Plumlee's face always gets red
The state of legal marijuana, zombies here are guaranteed to be more chill. 7/10
In the past, the Rocket's downfall has been some type of version of lack of focus and fatigue. Their solution to that? Acquire the human energizer bunny, Russell Westbrook, who always looks like Raphael when he goes rogue from the other Ninja Turtles. At the start of the season this was a confusing team, but since trading Clint Capela for Robert Covington in order to double down on small ball, this team has had a different intensity to it. Knowing they are undersized, they play scrappier and fight more for 50/50 balls. They are literally the feisty short dude with the napoleon complex and really broad shoulders. An interesting development to follow is, how James Harden will perform with the absence of his creative outlet.
+ Pj Tucker reminds me of Schoolboy Q
+ James Harden and Russell Westbrook's bromance
+ Mike and Dan D'Antoni Brothers
- Why couldn't it just be Daniel, and not Danuel.
Houston is a heavily populated city which means getting out will be hard, but Harden forsake knows all the secret spots and that's a difference maker. 8/10
If you could start a franchise with any player to get you out of a situation like zombies, the first player you would pick is the Giannis Greek Freak in the Sheets Alphabet Soup Antetokounmpo. A modern day version of Shaq without the sense of humor. On paper, this team may not seem impressive, but when you see this team in action, their continuity blows you away. Brook Lopez's versatility, Kris Middleton's consistency, and Eric Bledsoe's ability to escape out of any bad situation. This is a team with overqualified role players who all complement their transcendent superstar and like playing with each other.
+ Kris Middleton's confidence
- This Kris Middleton highlight video
The Lopez twins are Stanford educated and will for sure take the lead here, this is a force to be reckoned with. 9/10
Robert Sacre Bleu! The Jazz have intense internal conflict after Rudy Gobert French kissed a zombie to prove that everyone is overreacting to the situation. It was hard enough to avoid Gobert before, but now Mitchell and the rest of the Jazz must do it while fighting for their lives against zombies
+ Lol no one sent "thoughts and prayers" to Gobert
- Jazz? In Utah? In this political climate? In This economy?
- Mitchell and Gobert tension PLUS Last Dance Documentary PLUS reputation for racist fans = compelling case for most unlikable franchise in NBA
-Mitt Romney attends games
Ground zero for the zombie apocalypse, this could get bad fast and how soon will the team sacrifice Gobert for a Mormon shelter? 3/10