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Syracuse fans guide to the NBA Playoffs: who should you root for?

Don’t have a team, let’s help you pick one

Charlotte Hornets v Detroit Pistons Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The NBA Playoffs are starting tonight and we don’t anticipate any Syracuse Orange alumni seeing action.

So what does a casual fan do in these times? We’re here to help you out team by team.

First up, the Eastern Conference:

Milwaukee Bucks

The Antetokounmpo Brothers brought the Orange a nice blowout win over Wake Forest last season, but the Bucks still play Grayson Allen which negates pretty much everything.

Verdict: Nope

Boston Celtics

One one hand Malachi Richardson torched Malcolm Brogdon in that incredible Elite Eight game, on the other hand Brad Stevens’ Butler team knocked out the 2009-10 Orange squad.

Verdict: Nope

Philadelphia 76ers

Tobias Harris spurned the real Orange for that fake Tennessee Yellow-Orange. Sixers also let Michael Carter-Williams and Jerami Grant leave town. Even the memory of the time Syracuse shut down pre-beard James Harden in the NCAA Tournament isn’t enough to overcome those slights.

Verdict: Nope

Cleveland Cavaliers

The city of Cleveland was pretty good to Jim Brown and they haven’t really wronged any of our basketball alums.

Verdict: Fine to support

Los Angeles Clippers v New York Knicks Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

New York Knicks

John won’t like this but the Knicks didn’t appreciate Melo during his tenure so we wish them as much pain as possible. Not even Syracuse native Rick Brunson’s presence on the staff can sway us here...especially since Rick sent Jalen to Nova, not Cuse.

Verdict: Nope

Brooklyn Nets

The Nets did take Derrick Coleman 1st overall. At the very least, we should root for them over Philly in the 1st round

Verdict: Sure, why not.

Miami Heat

Two Kentucky alums plus a former Georgetown player. Pass

Verdict: Nope

Atlanta Hawks

Have you looked at this roster? Well don’t unless you want to be sick.

Verdict: Pass

Toronto Raptors

Should we root for the one Canadian team left in the NBA? Seems like we should, shouldn’t it? And least we forget about Leo Rautins, Raptors broadcaster!

Verdict: We the North

2022 NBA Playoffs - Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images
2022 NBA Playoffs - Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Chicago Bulls

Andre Drummond is really the only negative and he’s pretty harmless. Compared to the rest of the East, the Bulls are a far lesser evil. Not to mention the Orange had a nice March run through Chicago in 2016

Verdict: Sure

Western Conference

Denver Nuggets

Drafted Melo. Traded Melo

Verdict: Bet you wish you had Melo

Anthony NBA Rookie Shoot Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Memphis Grizzlies

Jaren Jackson Jr. played a big role in Syracuse’s 2018 run to the Elite Eight, but with Steven Adams’ injury and the presence of Dillon Brooks and Luke Kennard?

Verdict: Nope

Sacramento Kings

Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk spurned Syracuse offers. We’re stuffing them like Tyler Lydon stuffed Domantas Sabonis.

Verdict: Turn off the Beam

Phoenix Suns

Darius Bazley joined New Balance over the Orange. Never forget.

Verdict: Nope

Los Angeles Clippers

Could been a clear favorite but then they traded for a Plumlee.

Verdict: Nope

Golden State Warriors

We will only root for a dynasty that plays their games in the 315

Verdict: Nope

Los Angeles Lakers

Not pleased with how they treated Melo, but if they win Cole Swider gets a ring.

Verdict: Doesn’t matter how you feel about them, get Cole some bling

NBA: Preseason-Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolvesc

Haven’t forgotten what they did to Jonny Flynn.

Verdict: Nope

New Orleans Pelicans

Zion ran over Dolezaj. Need we say more

Verdict: Can’t hurt Dolezaj and expect us to forget

Oklahoma City Thunder

Blamed Melo too much for our taste.

Verdict: Nope

Indiana Pacers v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

When you break it down based on science (not emotion), you see that it’s Lakers. It’s time someone else joined Dion in the Champions Club.