Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Mascot Melee™: Round 2 of the NBA Bracket

The Raptors got by the Grizzlies, but can they take down [the] Magic?
By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin)

Earlier this week, Joe got a head start on Round 2 with his breakdowns of the MLB bracket and NFL bracket. All that's left for Round 2 are the NBA and NHL brackets, and that's what I'm here for. When I left off last week, here's what the NBA bracket looked like:

Click to enlarge.
Round 2 brings a lot of interesting matchups, so let's not waste any time.

1. Washington Wizards vs. 8. Chicago Bulls

The Bulls present the largest animal-based mascot remaining in the region, and while they lack the ingenuity of the 10th-seeded Raptors, they make up for it with rage and strength. However, Wizards have power that Bulls know not. The Bulls could charge and attempt to stab the Wizards with their horns, but the Wizards could simply create a shield around themselves, or perhaps transform the Bulls' horns into pillows, or even just stop the Bulls in their tracks with some type of temporary paralysis magic. There's a lot of different ways for the Wizards to defend themselves.

Winner: Wizards

4. Miami Heat vs. 5. Sacramento Kings

After taking out the 76ers in the first round, the Heat face a much tougher challenge against the Kings. The revolutionary army from Philadelphia couldn't protect themselves from unbearable heat, but they don't have the resources that Kings do. Kings could easily use their wealth, power, and influence to commission a temperature-controlled space in which they could conduct their business at a comfortable 68 degrees and not have to worry about melting to death. It would be rather inconvenient, as they'd never be able to leave (for fear that as soon as they were outside the four walls, the Heat would kill them), but this isn't a tournament of convenience, it's a tournament of survival. 

Winner: Kings

2. Orlando Magic vs. 10. Toronto Raptors

Raptors are generally considered to be smart, certainly the smartest dinosaur, and possibly the smartest predator the world has ever seen. But let's not make any mistakes - even the smartest animal ever is significantly dumber than the average human. That's the reason we have the powers of reason and logic and they don't. But going even further, even the smartest humans can't understand the concept of "Magic." We think it's a fairy tale explanation for real-life events.

But what if it's not? What if Magic *is* real? If humans can't even understand and harness that power, there's no way Raptors can. 

Winner: Magic

3. Phoenix Suns vs. 6. Houston Rockets 

This is certainly the closest call of this round. In Round 1, the Suns made quick work of the Timberwolves, for understandable reasons. The Sun is about 109 times larger and 330,000 times heavier than the Earth. There just isn't any way a pack of wolves can take down the Sun. A Rocket, however....

We currently don't have any Rockets capable of destroying the Sun. But don't you think a small reason for that is because, well, it would be a really bad idea to try to destroy the Sun? Without the Sun, everyone on Earth would die, pretty much instantly. But for a moment let's imagine that context is irrelevant. And imagine a future where (a) we have advanced hundreds-fold from a technology and weaponry standpoint, and (b) a scenario exists in which we can replace the Sun's energy, but need to destroy the existing Sun so that it doesn't go supernova and kill everything.

Do you think we could build a Rocket capable of destroying the Sun? I'd like to think so. I believe in humanity.

Winner: Rockets

With that, let's take a look at what the bracket now looks like:

Click to enlarge.

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