Saturday, May 25, 2013

NBA Gryffindor

Ahh Gryffindor, the house we all envision ourselves being sorted into, before reality kicks in and gently reminds us that Hufflepuff is probably our absolute best case scenario. As it stands, NBA Gryffindor deftly mixes raw athleticism with grit and veteran leadership to make them a very tough matchup for any of their rival houses.

CHASERS: Derrick Rose, Monta Ellis (MIL), Paul Pierce (BOS)

Rose- I'm sick of all the negativity, especially coming from Chicago Bulls fans, regarding Rose's decision to sit out the entire season following the cursed ACL that he suffered last April. People seriously think it would have been worth it to risk his career just to jump into the Miami series completely rusty and probably lose in 5 games anyway? If the guy said he didn't feel ready, I have to take his word for it. He was criticized for making what Bulls fans/management seemed to imply was a cowardly decision, but he never wavered in conviction despite pressure from the organization and the city. I'll let Albus Dumbledore take it from here. "There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." I therefore award ten points to Mr. Derrick Rose.

Ellis- Say what you will about Monta, but the defining characteristics of this undersized scorer are his fearless drives to the basket, often while taking hits from much larger players in the process. For me, this courage overrules whatever negative feelings one might have about his arguably selfish style of play. On the opening disclaimer, I admitted that certain players were sorted in their respective houses for no other reason than "just because", and Monta just seems like a Gryffindor to me. For this team, his attacking style will bring more to the table than it takes away.

Pierce- It is common practice for Hogwarts students to spend seven years in the same House they were originally sorted into. However, it is an increasingly rare feat for an NBA player to do the same thing. With that in mind, the fact that Pierce has remained in Boston for twice that long is certainly worthy of mention. As the loyal elder statesman of Gryffindor, Paul Pierce stuck with the historically elite team during one of their darker periods, and then led the way during their return to glory a decade later, forever endearing himself to supporters of the club. Now reaching the twilight of his career, it's unclear just how long Pierce's old Shooting Star broomstick will be able to hold out. However, once he finally decides to hang it up, it is certain that his #34 robes will be raised in honor to the common room rafters, and Paul George of the Pacers seems poised to take his spot as the next great Gryffindor Chaser.

BEATERS: Kenneth Faried (DEN), Blake Griffin (LAC)

Faried and Griffin- The lazy answer here would have been to put Brook and Robin Lopez as the Beaters for Gryffindor, and try to pretend that just by being twins, they are in any way similar to Fred and George Weasley. I just can't see it, and the Stanford-educated Lopez twins would be in Ravenclaw anyway, which leads to a much, much, much better solution for the Winged Lions.

Just as Oliver Wood once described the Weasley twins, Faried and Griffin are "like a pair of human bludgers themselves." In putting together this lineup, I cracked a smile every time this scene was conjured in my mind:
Kenneth Faried, on a Comet 260, with dreadlocks that would make Lee Jordan jealous flowing in the breeze; Faried ferociously winds up his bat to smack a high-arcing bludger in the general direction of the Ravenclaw chasers. Meanwhile, on his custom KIA Cleensweep, extra long red robes stamped with that #32, Blake Griffin powerfully rises up to meet the heavy bludger at its peak, wooden bat extended , the unsuspecting Ravenclaw chaser just below...
BAM!!! Welcome to Bludge City!!!

I don't think you can find a more entertaining combo than "the Manimal" and "the Hippogriffin" at this position.  

GOALKEEPER: Tyson Chandler (NYK)

Chandler- This guy is completely defensive minded, and the quiet toughness he's become known for in helping the Mavs win the title in 2011 and return the Knicks to some level of prominence has gone somewhat underappreciated. Operating mainly behind the scenes seems to be how Chandler likes things, which provides a nice contrast to the egotistical antics of former Keeper Cormac McLaggen and the mental toughness of a teaspoon shown time and again from Ronald Weasley. We all know that the Goalkeeper position really doesn't have much impact on the result of a quidditch match anyway, so the veteran leadership and intangible team chemistry that Chandler provides will probably have a bigger effect than anything he actually on the field.

SEEKER: Rajon Rondo (BOS)

Rondo is the clear cut choice to be named All-Hogwarts First Team at Seeker, which means that he would almost certainly be named league MVP.  With long arms, huge hands, and a wispy but strong frame, Rondo was born to play seeker. As for the pre-requisite courage to get into Gryffindor, look no further than his gritty performance against Miami in the 2011 playoffs, when renowned cheapshot artist Dwyane Wade performed his rogue bludger act yet again. As far as seemingly effortless agility goes, Rondo is a Firebolt among Cleansweeps, and his extraordinary court vision ensures that his eyes will likely find the snitch first. He differs from Potter in this regard, who more than once had to rely on blind luck and superior equipment to catch it during his vastly overrated career at Hogwarts.

Just like almost every year, I see this being a two horse race between Gryffindor and Slytherin, with some wildly entertaining games featuring Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff mixed in. Rumor has it that Dumbledore has been practically begging Nitch to set up a Play On Sports account for Hogwarts, just  to get some of these must-see quidditch matches streamed online. I'd imagine that Nitch then pointed out that wizards don't even have internet and politely declined.

That's it for the NBA Hogwarts series, unless I go soft and throw out a feature on Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. For now, I want to hear any opinions and predictions that Bromolytes have for this hypothetical and completely irrelevant quidditch season. Who is bringing home the Larry O'Brien Quidditch Cup this year?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NBA Ravenclaw

It's really a shame that Ravenclaw gets so little mention throughout the entire Potter series. Yes, we know they're the house with most of the smart kids, and that their famous founder had a lost diadem (though we're still not entirely sure about what a diadem even is), but other than that, Ravenclaw's many accomplishments are either brushed aside or ignored completely. For example, Ravenclaw gave us the one and only Roger Davies, Hogwarts's leading ladies man. In addition to hooking up with Fleur Delacour in the bushes at the Yule Ball, making out with unnamed hotties at Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop, and keeping Cho Chang back after quidditch practice to "discuss tactics" on numerous occasions (I'm making the last one up, but it doesn't take a very large leap of faith to assume that this happened), Davies also captained a fine quidditch side and being a Ravenclaw, would probably have also earned 10+ passing O.W.L. marks. I can only think: Why doesn't this guy get more ink?? For all of Cedric Diggory's accolades, Diggory is really nothing more than a poor man's Roger Davies when you really give it some thought. In retrospect, it wouldn't be too difficult to sell me on the theory that when rigging the Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch Jr. also fudged the ballots to ensure that Diggory would be chosen, sparing Roger Davies in the end.

As for quidditch, I'm also pretty sure that Ravenclaw won the Quidditch Cup in Book 1, a result that was completely ignored. We know that Slytherin was set to win the House Cup until Dumbledore went all David Stern on them, but it doesn't it make sense that a 2-1 Ravenclaw team who absolutely demolished Gryffindor (when Oliver Wood made the puzzling decision to play no Seeker 6v7 rather than find a replacement for the injured Harry) would finish with a higher aggregate score than a 2-1 Slytherin? The end result is still in dispute (Wikipedia says it was Ravenclaw, HP Lexicon says it was Slytherin), but my gut tells me that the Ravens pulled a surprising upset and JK didn't feel like telling us about it because she was too busy trying to get us to like Hagrid.

Sorting students into your house based solely on intelligence might help you achieve higher O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. scores, but it generally isn't considered the best way to put together a powerhouse quidditch team.  However, Ravenclaw's steady display of strong defense, and methodical and intelligent style allows them to perennially overachieve on the pitch and sometimes even find themselves in contention for that coveted Cup. I think there's a certain Roger Davies swagger that must come with the territory of playing ball for Ravenclaw too.

CHASERS: Danny Granger (IND), Jeremy Lin (HOU), James Harden (HOU)

Granger- There are very few people in this world who are smart enough to get accepted into Yale. There are fewer who get accepted into Yale but turn down the offer. There are even far fewer who are good enough at basketball to get accepted into the NBA. As for people who fall into all three categories? To my knowledge, I'm pretty sure we're just left with Danny Granger. Choosing the prestigious academic reputation of the University of New Mexico rather than you know, YALE, Granger forever forfeited a shot at getting into Skulls and Bones, but hindsight being 20/20, I think it's safe to say he made the right call. As for being one of the smartest players in the NBA, let's just say he wouldn't be the first Granger to be referred to as "an insufferable know-it-all".

Lin- Speaking of the Ivy League, New Mexico must have waitlisted Linsanity just like the New York Knicks did, so he had to settle for safety school Harvard. Seeing as Ravenclaw is essentially the Harvard of Hogwarts, do I even really need to give a further explanation as to why he might be sorted there? Put in the idea of the most overlooked basketball player of our generation being placed into the most overlooked of the 4 houses, the decision becomes a no-brainer Although, based on his very poor performance during Houston's first round playoff exit this spring, Ravenclaw might want to think about going back to Cho Chang to fill their diversity quota. 

Harden- James Harden is another guy that the Sorting Hat had a hard time time with, and quidditch Captain Shane Battier had an even harder time deciding whether Harden's patented "Old Man Game" style of play would successfully transfer to the pitch. It's common knowledge that Harden is, kinda weird, but it's even commoner knowledge that he's both an athletic and crafty player that can flat out score the quaffle, and he'll be at the top of the league in penalty shots almost every year. 

BEATERS: Kevin Love (MIN), Luol Deng (CHI)

Love and Deng- With this pairing, I see a more calculated and refined physicality than what Slytherin brings to the table. Both of these players are known for their strong work ethic and high basketball IQ (Love with rebounding/passing and Deng on the defensive end). This is a pair of Beaters that will be able to match Slytherin's toughness without losing their heads, and will likely be able to simply outwork and outsmart Hufflepuff. Growing up in South London, I can only imagine how many glorious journeys to Diagon Alley that Luol Deng must have made in his youth.

GOALKEEPER: Shane Battier (MIA) *Captain

Battier- Generally regarded as 'the smartest player in the NBA', Battier also has the distinction of being one of the few players in league history who have been able to sustain a 12 year career based almost entirely on getting in other people's way and then falling down. This knack for playing the angles and finding ways to disrupt things will pay off big at the Keeper position. While most of his saves will likely come from taking charges on opposing Chasers rather than actually blocking the quaffle, I suppose you have to prevent goals any way you can. Given his intelligence and Hermione's undeniable penchant for quidditch-playing men, would having an emotional range anywhere higher than "a teaspoon" give Battier a chance?

SEEKER: Mike Conley Jr. (MEM)

Conley- A year or two ago, this spot is filled by Steve Nash, whose exceptional coordination and court vision would have given him a stranglehold on the position for the past decade. And also because Bromolyte Nitch would be very upset to go through four of these posts without a single Nash mention. He still might be a little upset that Nash is over the hill and probably only hanging around Hogwarts as gamekeeper at this point, so if you see Nitch on the street, just to be safe you might tell him that you think Clay Aiken is a great singer, and stuff. 

As for Mike Conley, the Sorting Hat looked past the pure-bloodness of having an Olympian triple jumper for a father and instead saw the incredibly high quidditch IQ that he possesses and the ability to rise to the challenge as somewhat of an underdog. Thanks in large part to his strong play in the playoffs so far, Conley has the Grizzlies inching closer and closer to the franchise's first ever Finals appearance. And don't worry about Steve Nash--I'm sure he'll soon be promoted to a Care of Magical Creatures teaching position that would be just as undeserved as his two MVP awards.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

NBA Slytherin

Introducing...that OTHER team in green that we all love to hate!

CHASERS: Stephen Curry (GS), Brandon Jennings (MIL), Kobe Bryant (LAL)

Jennings: In perhaps the most controversial decision in Slytherin since former captain Marcus Flint was granted an 8th year of eligibility (he's a 6th year in Book 1, yet still around in Book 3), Brandon Jennings chose to go play at Durmstrang for a year, rather than submit to the "first years can't have brooms" (unless you're the once and future savior of wizarding kind) rule at Hogwarts. That sort of audacity landed him an immediate spot in Slytherin when he returned to the UK, and he quickly established himself as a chaser's chaser, scoring 55 points in one of his first career matches (to keep the basketball/quidditch parallel from falling apart here, I'll let you determine how he was credited for 5 1/2 goals). On a team that's loaded with talented gunners, it remains to be seen whether Slytherin is indeed where Jennings "makes his real friends", as the old Sorting song goes.

Kobe: If the Chamber of Secrets were opened today, one could make a pretty solid case that Kobe is the Heir of Slytherin. As far as ambition (Salazar's favorite personality trait) goes, has the NBA ever had a more shamelessly ambitious player in its history? No. How about pureblood status? His father, Joe "Every Flavor Bean" Bryant had a long and prosperous career back when Armando Dippet was Headmaster at Hogwarts. The guy's nickname is "the Black Mamba", so I think we can pretty much guarantee that he's a Parselmouth, Sal Slytherin's claim to fame. Imagine the look on Pau Gasol's face the first time he was harshly bitched out in Pareseltongue after yet another dropped quaffle. As for potential Death Eater ties, one can look no further than that weird knee operation he had over in Germany last year to rejuvenate his knees to their younger form. Exactly how much unicorn blood is mixed in during this Regenokine procedure? Add this together, and Kobe playing chaser for Slytherin is the absolute best fit on the entire list.

Curry: Is Stephen Curry a "bad" guy? No, it doesn't seem like it, so then why would I put him in Slytherin?  I'll start off by making a quick note of his status as a pureblood (his pops Dell had a long and productive NBA career in the 90s) before moving on to what I feel is a basic misconception about Slytherins that JK Rowling doesn't do much to dissuade us from. Just because all Dark Wizards (whatever that even means) supposedly have come from Slytherin, that doesn't necessarily mean that all Slytherins are Dark Wizards. And as it's Hagrid who first lets Harry know that "there's not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin", I'll point out that Hagrid is an idiot, and this statement is incorrect anyway. For instance, Grindelwald "went bad", and became an infamous Dark Wizard. Grindelwald went to Durmstrang and could therefore not have been in Slytherin. Now, if Hagrid was specifically referring to just the Hogwarts wizards, he needs to clarify this point, to avoid making yet another of his prejudiced and insensitive comments that he always seems to get a free pass for just because he's Hagrid. 

Back to Stephen Curry. The trait that solidifies him in my mind as a clear-cut Slytherin is his annoying tendency to get 'cooled up' too much when playing basketball.  To those unfamiliar with the term, 'getting cooled up' can best be defined as "a noticeable difference in behavior or mannerisms as a direct result of doing something unexpectedly awesome".  If this doesn't quite make it clear,  feel free to check out the greatest and most accurate film depiction of what it means to be getting cooled up, from Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character during the scene right after he has sex for the first time in "500 Days of Summer". That should clear up any confusion you might have about the term.

Make no mistake, Curry is an incredible player, and watching him completely take over for an entire quarter or half at Oracle Arena is absolutely thrilling. However, for someone with his skill level, every time he hits 2 or 3 shots in a row, he doesn't need to get that amused/pretending to be shocked smile on his face, start clapping his hands slower and more precisely, or hop around all over the court. Michael Jordan put on one of the greatest shooting streaks in NBA history when he hit 6 threes in a row against Portland in the Finals (and remember, Jordan was not a good three point shooter)--and yet he only got cooled up ONE time (the shoulder shrug towards press row) during all of this. With that as the standard, it becomes clear that Stephen Curry might be overdoing it a little. James Potter was the same way when he spotted the snitch and knew that it was just a short time until he caught it and ended the game. Snape hated this, but couldn't quite verbalize it to Harry decades later, saying that James used to "strut around the castle" in his day. Harry was deeply offended. "My father didn't strut. He got cooled up". And so does Stephen Curry. 

BEATERS: Reggie Evans (BKN), Omer Asik (HOU)

Evans and Asik: Slytherin has long been notorious for having sheer brawn and intimidating physicality as their only criteria at this position (rather than, you know, any skill at all), leading to some famously goonish beater combinations. However, not even Bole and Derrick, or Crabbe and Goyle (I always suspected that JK just threw those guys on the team so she wouldn't have to make up two new meaningless characters) could hold a candle to the brutish front-court that NBA Slytherin has put together. Neither can make a free throw to save their lives, but I'm pretty sure that Evans and Asik have by now stumbled upon most, if not all, of the possible ways to commit a foul in basketball, though the number is considerably less than the 700 possible quidditch infractions.

GOALKEEPER: Kevin Garnett (BOS) *Captain

Garnett: This legendary trash talker brings a fierce mean streak and competitiveness to the lineup. In describing Slytherin, the Sorting Hat was not kidding around when he mentioned that "those cunning folk use any means/To achieve their ends". Even if those means require researching your opponents' insecurities and creating as derogatory of insults as possible to exploit said insecurities. Can you imagine the riot that would break out in the Great Hall on game day when Garnett starts barking obscenities about Harry's deceased parents across the breakfast table? 
"Hey Potter, your mom tastes like Chocolate Frogs!!! At least, She USED TO!!"

One of these days, Garnett is going to get a Sectumsempra, and it's going to be completely justified.

SEEKER: Chris Paul (LAC) *Prefect

Paul: Undeniably talented, ambitious, with a squeaky clean PR image to go along with countless ministry donations and sports-potion commercials, Chris Paul is the man around the Slytherin dungeons. With Paul's superb snitch-handling skills, Slytherin is immediately a threat to win every game he plays in. However, despite pressure by Snape to promote this prefect to Head Boy, Dumbledore hesitates. He seems to see a more sinister side to this pupil, a side that the glowing Daily Prophet headlines don't quite catch. Looking beneath the surface, is Chris Paul's "never say die" competitiveness on the quidditch pitch a not-so-subtle indication of Death Eater activity once his playing career is finished?

They're arrogant, they're mean, and they're thuggish, but let's face it, this Slytherin team is flat out loaded. At this point, they're heavy favorites to take home the Larry O'Brien Quidditch Cup and add to the Slytherin dynasty. 

Ravenclaw's intelligent but ultimately pedestrian lineup will be released next.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What if NBA players went to Hogwarts instead?

The first time Oliver Wood explained the game of quidditch to Harry Potter, Harry remarked, "so--that's sort of like basketball on broomsticks with six hoops, isn't it?"

Now, Wood figured that he was a little too Wizard to admit that he knew what Harry was talking about, but I like to think that a small lumos clicked in Wood's brain that day, because it certainly did in mine. Despite knowing nothing about quidditch at the time, Harry was on to something; quidditch is  sort of like basketball on broomsticks with six hoops, and there are no athletes better suited to filling the various positions on a quidditch team than basketball players. You have long and athletic shot-blockers to play Goalkeeper,  bulky power forwards are your natural Beaters, small forwards and shooting guards become Chasers. That leaves you with the point guards whose fast hands, agility while weaving through traffic at high speeds, and preternatural ability to see the entire court at once make them the ideal Seeker in a quidditch match.

Taking this concept and fleshing it out a little bit, I decided to craft a hypothetical scenario where all NBA players are wizards, many of them attend Hogwarts, and the best and brightest get chosen to represent their houses in a quest to bring home the Larry O'Brien Quidditch Cup at the end of the season. All I ask is everyone sets their time-turners back to about 5 years ago when Hogwarts was still relevant and pretend that the window for this type of topic didn't close a long time ago.

Before I get rolling with this, I want to make a few clarifications regarding the Sorting process:

- The Sorting Hat will place players into each of the four Hogwarts houses, based on the attributes that the school's founders valued the most. Duh.
- Anyone looking for a cheap, "The Miami Heat is Slytherin. Hee hee hee!" might as well stop reading right here. This isn't the right blog for you.
- This is not a list of who I think are the best 28 players in the NBA. Style of play, personality, and transfer of basketball skills to quidditch are my criteria here, as well as the occasional "just because". For example, Monta Ellis just seems like a Gryffindor to me, even though others might say Slytherin. Remember, "It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
- I mentioned transfer of skills. This is big for a guy like Dirk Nowitzki, who just doesn't seem to have the skill set to succeed in quidditch. He'd be just as slow and clumsy on broomstick as on a bball court, and his high-arcing shot would have a predictable trajectory for any goalkeeper worth his salt to track and save. Nitch once tried to convince me that the same is true of LeBron, but I disagree. LeBron could dominate at every position, just like in basketball. The only one where he might conceivably struggle is at seeker; even then, Cedric Diggory was oversized for a seeker too, and he was still able to hand Potter the first loss of his career. I chose not to include LeBron in this list, but not because he isn't a capable player. Think of his omission as something in the vein of Charlie Weasley, who likely could have played on England's national team if he hadn't decided to take his talents to Romania.
- Ironically enough, no player from either the Magic or the Wizards made the cut (but great for Washington, getting Albus Dumbledore to be their logo).

With that, I'll let the sorting begin. I've chosen to unveil Team Hufflepuff first, with the other rosters being released at a later time.

CHASERS: Russell Westbrook (OKC), Kevin Durant (OKC), *Captain/Prefect Kyrie Irving (CLE)

Durant- You can draw a lot of Cedric Diggory parallels with Kevin Durant. In any other era, he's a once-in-a-generation superstar who is showered with post-season awards and wins multiple championships. However, he's a player who seems to be entering his prime at the worst possible time, competing against another once-in-a-generation superstar who is better than him, has better teammates than him, and will likely steal away many possible championships from him. Diggory had the misfortune of having 2 full years of his quidditch career cancelled (Books 2 & 4) right when he seemed to finally be in position to finally deliver Hufflepuff their first Cup in ages. He then missed what would have been his 7th year at Hogwarts due to death, and the one year that he had a fair chance at a championship (Book 3) happened to be the most competitive top-to-bottom that the Hogwarts league had been in decades. Even after pulling a big upset against Potter and Gryffindor, there was still a stacked Slytherin team standing in the way. Once again, this year Durant is having yet another fantastic season that would win him the MVP award in most seasons, but with LeBron performing at an otherworldly rate, at this point poor KD evokes Diggory at the Little Hangleton graveyard. Wrong place, wrong time.

Westbrook- As with Seamus Finnigan, the Sorting Hat sat on Russell's head for an exceptionally long time before making a final decision. There was a thirst to prove himself that Slytherin would have admired and definite courage that he could put to good use in Gryffindor (though his questionable quidditch IQ may disqualify him from a Ravenclaw placement). However beneath the surface there lies a loyalty to his team and the hint of an inferiority complex in his style of play that make Hufflepuff a best fit in this case. 

Irving- I don't know whose shoes would be harder to fill: Lebron's when he left Cleveland, or Diggory's when he was tragically taken from Hufflepuff. In either case, Kyrie Irving is the second coming, both for the Cavs and Hufflepuffs. He has inherited a trampled and heartbroken franchise who questions whether it can ever love again after losing their one shining beacon of hope. He has incredible talent, and is given the honors of quidditch Captain and house Prefect at a young age. An impossible battle to fight, he must instinctively know that the only way out of this fallen hero's shadow is by delivering a championship, one that seems harder to come by with each passing year. All hope isn't necessarily lost though; Durant and Westbrook alone would give Hufflepuff a chaser corps as good as anyone, and adding Kyrie Irving to the mix only magnifies the impact that this unit can have on a match. 

BEATERS: Josh Smith (ATL), Andre Iguodala (DEN)

Hufflepuff takes athleticism and temperament over sheer brawn at Beater, a position where Smith and Iguodala will thrive. However, for all their athleticism, these players are not exactly known around the league as being enforcers. Against Slytherin's thug tactics, their main role is likely to be serving as bodyguards for their Seeker, and with everything on the line, the main question is whether these "nice guys" have the toughness to stand up to Salazar's Brutes with a Quidditch Cup on the line.

GOALKEEPER: Dwight Howard (LAL)

As a quidditch keeper, the best policy is usually to try and avoid comparisons to Ronald Weasley at all costs. Weasley somehow managed to get the keeper position for Gryffindor, but mega-talent Dwight Howard is not so lucky and has slipped through to Hufflepuff. In life, lack of a killer instinct is actually a pretty admirable trait to have, and I would have loved to see his impression of Kobe Bryant in the all-stars locker room this year. On the quidditch pitch, however, these traits are instead indicative of a second rate club that will always struggle to win when the stakes are highest.

SEEKER: Darren Collison (DAL)

Collison has the prototypical Seeker's build; small, lightning-fast, and with quick hands. I would imagine his broomstick of choice to be Firebolt, and he certainly has the agility to wield it properly. However, he doesn't quite have the skill level that many of his contemporaries possess, and overall he'll struggle when matched up against the juggernauts. 

Perhaps the defining trait of this Hufflepuff squad is the total number of NBA Championship rings that they have as a group: Zero. They're loaded with talent at most positions, but seeker remains a critical weak link that, combined with a perceived lack of toughness, will cause them to struggle against the elite sides that Gryffindor and Slytherin have put together.

Stay tuned for Team Slytherin, to be released in my next post.