by Jake Appleman

So we’ve all seen the dance bracket on NBA.com. It’s a good idea in theory; sex sells, especially when the images captured tell us that said product is vibrantly oscillating and glistening. But how are we supposed to vote accurately? There isn’t enough information, and there aren’t enough photos provided. If you think I’m actually going to go beyond the given NBA.com photos to critique the dance teams, I’m sorry, but I was 12 once, and while it was incredible, I have no time machine.

How am I supposed to know whether or not Heather is a vegan? What if Jocelyn’s favorite color is orange? My favorite color is orange. That would make me want to vote for her. And how do I know that Crystal likes to party? All of these things are essential components to understanding the team.

Imagine if someone showed you two pictures side by side. One of Dirk Nowitzki missing a three and another of Ron Artest making a three. Imagine if you had never seen them play and knew no stats. And then they asked you who was a better long distance shooter. What would you say? What could you say? Probably that Artest appears to be a better shooter, but they both play in the NBA, so Dirk must be there for his defense.

All of this is why I am here to break down the unfairness of the dance bracket matchups.

So here we go with the issues:
— The Utah Jazz dancers get a bye. Um, excuse me? UTAH!?!?! By the way, there’s no reason for anyone to believe that Utah Jazz dance team can compete with the wives of their players. Memo Okur’s wife is a former Miss Turkey; Cece Boozer we remember from her role in her husband’s contract fiasco; and Kirlenko’s wife lets her husband eat pizza, while she goes behind his back and dates Little Caesar, at least that’s what I thought Omar was implying on SLAM Radio.

Denver vs. Houston: How was Denver supposed to beat Houston with that girl on the left looking like she had received some terrible news; perhaps news that NBA.com was going to run a picture of her looking like she had received some terrible news.

Dallas vs. Portland: Everyone knows this isn’t even a competition because Mark Cuban would never let his girls lose. (Have you seen a Mavs girls calendar?) How was Portland supposed to win? The Mavs girls look like what many men imagine heaven to be, while the Blazer girls look like they should be teaching cheerleading on Sesame Street. Okay, that was harsh, but you get the point.

Spurs vs. Suns: It’s the girl that looks a) well, it’s hard to tell we can only see half of her face and b) like she might kill you, going up against the girl you’d consider bringing home your parents (because your parents threw away all your childhood trophies). Hmm…

Warrior girls vs. Honeybees (Hornets): Okay, the Warrior girls obviously haven’t danced in the playoffs since Tim Hardaway had the nastiest crossover in the league. The picture indicates that they are completely out of sync with one another. Either that or they decided to get overly-complex, which doesn’t bode well in a competition where the majority of the men voting are basing their votes on looks, not confusion. Meanwhile, I don’t have my glasses on, but the Honeybee girl in the front appears to be either eating her hair accidentally or picking her nose with her hair. Awesome.

— T-Wolves vs. Clippers Spirit dance team: Another terrible job at the photo department that shows just how hastily this was put together. The Minnesota girls look like they don’t even care. Along the same line, how can the Clippers name their dance team “Spirit”? It seems to be a Congo line, something usually overflowing with spirit, not a Clippers game from the past. I’m presuming he doesn’t know about this “Spirit,” because if he did, Loy Vaught would probably call shenanigans and hurt someone. And who are they smiling at? Sam Cassell?

Lakers vs. Kings: Where are the Laker girls pointing? This is the most famous dance team ever! And they’re pointing? These girls used to be the talk of the league, now they point at something. Could be Jack Nicholson. Could be other Laker girls doing other things that are more worthy of our time. As for the girl representing Sacto? When did dressing up like Janet Jackson circa 1998 become cool? Her hair is extending to San Jose.

— The Raptor girls got a bye. NBA.com didn’t realize that they aren’t coached by Sam Mitchell.

Heat vs. Bobcats: Are you serious? The Heat girls do a good job reppin’ South Beach, not to mention showing some chorographical synchronicity. Meanwhile, the picture reppin’ the Bobcats is pathetic. Ninety-one percent of the people polled voted for Miami. You think the man who owns BET wants that picture to represent his dance team? This is the biggest travesty in Bobcat franchise history, slightly beating out the popularity decline of Primoz Brezec, whose numbers have actually remained pretty much the same.

Wizards Dance Team vs. Pacemates: This is actually a legit matchup.

Lovabulls vs. Automotion: How could NBA.com expect the Lovabulls to pull off the upset when they are basically fully clothed? Their outfits are actually sexier in the classic sense, but how could anyone expect this to be a fair matchup: Skin and pink hats against neither skin nor pink hats. Does this matchup serve the purpose of forcing us to think that Automotion is a bunch of Bad Girls who wouldn’t shake the hands of the Lovabulls after a playoff dance off?

Sixers vs. Nets: I think the NBA is promoting the idea of the one-on-one matchup here. Aren’t we supposed to vote for the team? Not that anybody should necessarily complain. What’s really interesting and very random here is that the biggest thing between Philly and the Jersey Swamp is Camden. Regardless, you gotta take Jersey and the spread.

Cavs vs. Magic: How are the Cav girls supposed to deal with all this kicking? It’s like entire Magic dance team is Uma Thurman in Kill Bill 2 without the blood. Orlando hasn’t seen this much kicking and screaming since Cuttino Mobley left Steve Francis for Sacramento.

Hawks vs. Bucks: The Atlanta A-Town dancers are leather-clad and moving, while the Milwaukee Energee looks to be straight from the ’50s.

–And the Knick City dancers get a bye. Channing Frye was actually recently traded to the NBA.com blogsquad.