Game Of Hoops: Road To The Throne

Power resides where men believe it resides… and this week the power resides inside the DraftKings Playbook. Each day, courtesy of Commissioner Littlefinger, we will bring you exclusive coverage from the greatest tournament Westeros has ever seen, THE GAME OF HOOPS!

Who will dominate the Road to the Throne and claim their rightful spot at the top of this war-torn basketball world? With these 6 Houses involved, any amount of deceit, technical fouls, and questionable box-outs could occur. Be sure to check the DK Playbook every day for the latest scores, injury updates and the crowning of a new King on Friday.

The Bracket

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The Teams

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1-Seed

There’s not a lot of mystery when it comes to the White Walkers. Give the ball to the Night’s King ($11,200) AND GET OUT OF THE WAY! Although, they arguably have the worst team chemistry (zero career assists for the Night’s King) of any team in the land. Their “next man up” mentality is truly astounding, maybe even borderline contagious. Because of that vast depth, they are heavy favorites in this tournament, especially after their recent thrashing of Hardhome. Also, DO NOT bring your kids to the stadium if they are playing, it’ll be bad for everybody.{font-size:12pt}


GoTLogos_Targaryen

2-Seed

Despite having plenty of success in foreign leagues over her career, Daenerys Targaryen ($10,600) has yet to deliver on the big stage in Westeros. Many blame this on the absence of Team MVP Drogon ($13,200), but that’s simply a hot take without any fire. A 2-seed should do wonders to keep the Targaryens in it till the end, but their thin bench may come back to bite them, especially if the Dothraki keep running isolations every single play. It will likely take a small miracle for the Dragons to own this Throne.


GoTLogos_Lannister

3-Seed

A Lannister may always pay their debts, but they rarely make their free throws. It’s a narrative that has plagued them for ages, and their team captain Cersei Lannister ($9,800) getting ejected for public shame in their regular season finale is just another problem on the list. On the bright side, they have hired a new team nutritionist, so they can’t use the “But our Gatorade was poisoned” excuse this year. Rumblings from Commissioner Littlefinger’s office seem to indicate Cersei will be reinstated for the playoffs, which is truly a shame for all of us.


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4-Seed

Somehow the Starks have the best ball movement of any team despite logging the least amount of minutes on the court with each other. After sending out a rag-tag squad for much of the regular season, the Starks have a lot to look forward to with former Lord Commander Jon Snow ($10,400) (possibly) returning to give the Direwolves a boost. Some have argued he will make no impact whatsoever due to fatigue/death, but it’s important to remember that literally anyone would be better running point guard than Bran Stark ($3,000).


GoTLogos_greyjoy

5-Seed

There was never a doubt that the Greyjoys would be in this tournament, it’s more-so a matter of who will actually play for them when the bell tolls. To say they’ve been hit by the injury bug would be a MASSIVE understatement. In fact, my little birds tell me the greatest sport psychologists in all the lands have been brought in to get things right in the Iron Islands. If Theon Greyjoy ($7,200) can’t snap out of whatever has his mind twisted, the Krakens will be cut down in no time.


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6-Seed

Could this be the Cinderella story of the Game of Hoops?! Probably not… but the Golden Roses do have more firepower than small folk give them credit for. Everyone knows it’s just about impossible to win a game in Highgarden with that insanely large crowd, but, unfortunately, the Tyrells will be hitting the road the old fashioned way… by marching through King’s Landing. It’s unknown whether Margaery Tyrell ($9,300) will suit up at all, and there are whispers that someone on the Lions may have something to do with that. If Margaery does end up being active, the pressure on her shoulders (and her head) may be too much to bear.

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Chapter 1: Round 1

Matchup Breakdown

Who will come out on top in the deadliest first round of basketball the world has ever seen? Tweet your answer to @DraftKings and check the Playbook tomorrow morning for the scores and recap. The White Walkers and Targaryen Dragons are waiting…

Rejoice my lords and small folk from all lands! The Game has begun and the Road to the Throne is about to be littered with the souls and backboards of those who are not worthy. We have 2 matchups on the slate today, both with plenty of juice and tension. Will there be mischief afoot today? Oh, but certainly…


Game 1

GJStark

Played at Winterfell Stadium

This is a matchup fraught with excitement and riddled in tension due to the vast history between these two houses. It’s no secret that the availability of Jon Snow ($10,400) will likely decide this outcome, but it may be the Krakens that have the real story here. Since reappearing in the Iron Islands, Theon Greyjoy ($7,200) has shown flashes of his former self and completely dominated to close out the regular season.

He was once the surest player in the league, and while it’s unknown what rattled that baller confidence, as of right now everything seems to be coming up Greyjoy. If the Krakens can keep Hodor ($4,700) off the boards, the Direwolves will certainly be staring down dire straits. One lone bright spot for the Starks is Lady Sansa ($6,200) has confirmed she will be in attendance, which should rile up that home crowd into a frenzy. Her decision surprised many, including one very interested season ticket holder in The Dreadfort.

Key Matchup

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Chase or Fade: Cersei Lannister


Game 2

LannTyrell

Played at King’s Landing Court

Although it’s technically an “away” game for Margaery Tyrell ($9,300), there’s no doubt that there is an advantage for her playing in her (new) backyard. The Lions meanwhile, started off this year with their usual dominance and looked like a lock for another 60 win season. However, somewhere along the way something went horribly wrong, and the Lions ended their season on a 24 game losing streak. Some point to the ludicrous head-shaving actions of Cersei Lannister ($9,800), others say Tyrion Lannister ($6,900) and his bottomless flask are to blame, while everyone universally agrees that Jaime Lannister ($5,200) should ABSOLUTELY stop trying to shoot the ball.

Despite doing enough to earn a higher seed for this tournament, things look grim for the Lannisters today. They have internal discord that would make the Dothraki blush, and they still haven’t proven they can hit their free throws when it counts. The Golden Roses have shown superior teamwork and resolve all season, and they’ve shown they can get dirty in the paint when it counts. My little birds tell me this matchup will likely be decided off the court anyway, so keep your “SHAME” chants ready.

Key Matchup

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The Westeros Weather Report


Round 1 Results & Recap

Do not mourn the fallen, my friends, there is still plenty of Hoops to be had! For the Krakens and Golden Roses, however, their time in this realm has drawn nigh. Let’s dive into the recaps of Round 1 action as the Greyjoys and Tyrells fade ever so slowly into the Hall of Faces…


GJStark-Result

Things looked grim for the Direwolves from the tip-off with Jon Snow ($10,400) unable to play in the first half due to severe cramping. Although her eligibility was heavily disputed in the pre-game warmups, Meera Reed ($4,900) was allowed to suit up for the Wolves after a closed door hearing with Commissioner Littlefinger. Despite the solid play of Reed and an absolutely dominant performance on the glass by Hodor ($4,700), the Wolves still found themselves down 45-52 at halftime.

Theon Greyjoy ($7,200) was slicing through the lane like his old self and getting buckets seemingly at will. He was also two rebounds shy of a triple-double when the halftime buzzer sounded, but unfortunately for Theon and the Krakens, nothing in Westeros is decided that quickly. When the second half begun, Theon immediately drew a shooting foul and went to the line… and that’s where it all went bad. After swishing the first shot, Theon seemed to gaze past the basket in a frightened state. He began trembling, whimpering, crying out strange requests and absolutely refusing to move. It ended up being the only point the Krakens scored in the 2nd half due to a complete mental breakdown by every Greyjoy on the court. Once the hashtag #REEKYOUREEK started trending on ravens everywhere after the game, it was clear what had occured… Ramsey Bolton ($11,700) had finally shown up to his courtside seats. He wanted to watch.

Next Game: (4) Stark Direwolves at (1) White Walkers


LannTyrell-Result

The Golden Rose’s team motto may be “Growing Stronger,” but perhaps they should be looking to plant some younger seeds for next season. It’s never easy to win in Westeros but especially when your top two players, Lady Olenna ($3,700) and Mace Tyrell ($3,100), are older than the catacombs beneath the court. Their age and fatigue showed, but they did get a boost from Loras Tyrell ($5,200) who got every hustle point possible. The real MVP of course was Margaery Tyrell ($9,300) who took it to Cersei Lannister ($9,800) on every drive she could. Her 44 points were a new first round record, but, unfortunately, Queen Tyrell needed 46.

With the game tied in the final minute, things looked bleak for the Lions. The Golden Roses had roared back from a 13 point deficit and seemed destined for an upset victory. Everyone inside King’s Landing Court expected mischief, but what they actually got was a legitimate go ahead bucket from Jaime Lannister ($5,200) who finished 1-26 on the day. With 5 seconds to go Margaery blew past Cersei and drew a controversial foul against Tyrion Lannister ($6,900). His stumbling feet couldn’t stay outside the restricted circle, so there was no offensive charge to be had. With Margaery at the line (a career 91 percent FT shooter) overtime seemed all but a guarantee. However, when the first shot clanked off the back rim, the stadium erupted like they had just won the Iron Throne, and the “SHAME” chants rained down from the bleachers. Margaery couldn’t bear to even attempt the second shot and the Golden Roses fell 85-87 to the Lions. When asked about the Queen Tyrell’s failure after the game, Cersei said this to the scribes:

“And that is why little doves are little doves my good lords. When you play the Game of Hoops you win or you lose, there is no middle ground. Also I’d like to make it clear once again that she is NOT my sister, never will be, and I think her hair is quite tacky.”

Next Game: (3) Lannister Lions at (2) Targaryen Dragons

Rd1-Scoreboard



Chapter 2: Round 2

Matchup Breakdown

Who will come out on top in the deadliest second round of basketball the world has ever seen? Tweet your answer to @DraftKings and check the Playbook tomorrow morning for scores and second round recap.

My dear friends of the realm, our tournament is nearly complete! With the Tyrells and Greyjoys dispatched we have only four teams remaining. The White Walkers have been absolutely dominant all season, and despite being dragon-less the Targaryens still have some serious firepower. Will we see any upsets in the second round? Let’s dive in and find out!


Game 1

WWStark

Played at Beyond The Wall Fieldhouse

What can be said about the Night’s King ($11,200) that hasn’t been said already? He is simply a FORCE in the paint and one of the hardest players in the league to guard in transition. A lot of this stems from his legendary shiftiness and also his ability to not be touched by any living creature without horrible consequence. It will be a tall task to keep him off the boards and any extra attention spent on him will surely leave open looks for Wight #8 ($3,000), Wight #568 ($3,000) and Wight #44 ($3,000) who have shown they can step up if the time (or horn) calls for it.

On the flip side for the Direwolves, things could not look more bleak. After sending out a raven declaring he was “coming home” to Winterfell, Jon Snow ($10,400) didn’t look like he showed up at all. If he can’t give them a lift in Round 2 it may just be curtains for the Starks at BTW Fieldhouse tonight. However, despite their injuries AND Lady Sansa ($6,200) jumping off another castle into oblivion (thanks a lot Lord Bolton), the Direwolves do have something the White Walkers do not… HEART. The North remembers, and they will certainly remember the regular season road loss against the White Walkers, in which their crowd chanted “NO HEAD NED” for the entire duration.

Key Matchup

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Chase or Fade: White Walkers


Game 2

LannTarg

Played at Great Pit of Daznak

It was a thriller against the Golden Roses in Round 1 for the Lannister Lions, but now they face a test even larger than their egos. Cersei Lannister ($9,800) held her own against the Tyrells, but she will need to really score in bunches to keep up with Daenerys Targaryen ($10,600) and her long list of recent free agent signings. There’s no doubt the Dragons have serious depth, but, unfortunately, have no actual dragons at the moment. After receiving a flock of sheep and children not quite to his liking, Drogon ($13,200) stormed off into the sky with no return in sight.

Without their Team MVP, the Dragons will look to lean on Grey Worm ($7,100) and Daario Naharis ($7,600) to pick up the scoring slack. However, the outcome of this match will likely be decided by those we see the least. I have my eye on the matchup between the two outcasts. If Jorah Mormont ($3,500) can somehow bundle up Tyrion Lannister ($6,900) and take him out of the game, the Dragons might not need Drogon to ever come back.

Key Matchup

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Round 2 Recap

Only two Houses remain, and the Finals are now set. We are nearly at the end of the Road to the Throne, but there is still one more game to go. While we wait for our new champion and exalted ruler to reveal themselves tonight, let’s reflect on the Round 2 results which saw an incredibly impressive upset and some serious liquid courage from a very little man.


WWStark-Result

DO YOU BELIEVE MIRACLES?!? No, but I do believe in magic, and that is sure to be the talk of the realm after the Starks pulled off the impossible and defeated the White Walkers on their home floor at Beyond The Wall Fieldhouse. As everyone expected the Night’s King ($11,200) came out looking for blood and was scoring seemingly at will in the post. Things looked bleak for the Direwolves heading into halftime, who were down by 12 despite fouling out the White Walkers two best rim protectors, Wight #568 ($3,000) and Wight #44 ($3,000). Team Coach/Captain/Manager/Waterboy, Jon Snow ($10,400) didn’t have his jumper going in the first half, but he did show some signs of life. Most importantly, Captain Snow decided they should switch up the uniforms after the first half, so the Direwolves came out in their signature alternate uniform, laced in Valyrian Steel.

With the much maligned Wight #359 ($3,000) now patrolling the paint and a newfound confidence thanks to their fully breathing leader, the Starks took it to the White Walkers every possession in the second half. The Night’s King was still getting his buckets, but the lack of chemistry between the Walker’s allowed the Starks to surge back by the end.

The game was tied at 99 with 3 seconds on the clock and the Starks inbounding at center court. Jon Snow took two dribbles and pump faked on the three point line, but the Night’s King just didn’t bite. This forced Snow to hesitate, and many in the stadium would tell you he got it off, after the buzzer. Thankfully all final results are verified/decided by Commissioner Littlefinger, so of course, the Starks advanced! No one is quite sure how Snow could even get that shot off with the Night’s King in his face, let alone see the basket, but my little birds may have the answer. There were many that saw Bran Stark ($3,000) deeply focused on the bench during that final possession. Was there treacherous magic afoot during that Round 2 match? We can only hope!


LannTarg-Result

Ah the Lannister and the Targaryens ripping each other apart, a tale as old as time! This matchup had the outcome everyone expected, but it was a nice change of pace from the recent history we’ve all had to live with. The Dragons looked strong from the start with Daenerys Targaryen ($10,600) sinking every shot she took, likely drawing that aggression from the Lannisters repeated attempts to poison her Gatorade every season they play. It wasn’t enough to take the lead by halftime, however, and by some amount of dumb luck the Lions lead 61-59 at the break.

Then, the incredible happened. In an absolutely unprecedented move, Tyrion Lannister ($6,900) walked across the Great Halls at halftime and joined the other side, he became a Targaryen Dragon! IT WAS BEDLUM AT DAZNAK’S PIT, MY GOOD LORDS!!! When asked about his “betrayal” after the game, Tyrion had this to say:

“Refill this glass”

The Dragons truly looked like a force to be reckoned with in that second half and eventually blew the doors off the ill-fated Lannisters 120-94. Even if Drogon ($13,200) doesn’t return for the Finals, there’s no team hotter than the Dragons right now.

Rd2-Scoreboard



Chapter 3: Championship

Who will come out on top in the deadliest Championship of basketball the world has ever seen? Tweet your answer to @DraftKings and check the Playbook for final results of the Road to the Throne

THE FINALS ARE UPON US, REJOICE! It has been a truly incredible tournament and quite the deadly road to our most illustrious Throne. We can all be thankful that the White Walkers and Lannisters have been vanquished, for Westeros under the hand of those miscreants would have been a land wrought with sorrow. Let’s take a look at the Finals breakdown, where our new champion will be crowned.


Championship Breakdown

TargStark

Played at The Iron Throne

Like any finale in Westeros, this matchup will likely be decided by pure will and determination. And maybe a backstabbing or two? Make no mistake about it, if the Direwolves are going to stay in this game they are going to need hustle and mischief, and lots of it. With the recent addition of Tyrion Lannister ($6,900), foul tricks are something the Dragons now have an abundance of. There’s no doubt Tyrion played inspired ball in Round 2 against his former family, but can he really reach that level of passion again against the team of his former wife?

Regardless, all eyes remain on whether League MVP Drogon ($13,200) will show up for the final game, and while the Targaryens have a fair chance without him, history has shown us it’s pretty beneficial to have a giant flame-breathing dragon on your side. If Drogon is a no-show again, and Daario Naharis ($7,600) and Jorah Mormont ($3,500) can’t work out their chemistry issues, a Winterfell championship may be coming. Mormont has looked slower every round so far, and his stone hands in the low post surely aren’t helping things either.

One possible wildcard for this match, though? The return of Arya Stark ($9,200). Stark had been playing overseas the past couple seasons but was signed before the free agent moratorium in the regular season finale. An unfortunate eye injury prevented her from ever stepping on the floor for the Direwolves, but it appears in a game of this magnitude, she is willing to give it a go. If she guards no one, and puts up nothing, the Starks may face a winter unlike anything they have seen before.

Key Matchup

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Chase or Fade: Tyrion Lannister


The Road to the Throne has come to a close my fair lords and ladies of the realm. It was a road paved with hard fought buckets, questionable foul calls, and a level of deceit not seen in Westeros since Commissioner Stern was in charge. One last time let us review the battle that was, and let us praise our champion DT3 aka the former Khaleesi aka THE NEW RULER OF WESTEROS!!!


TargStark-Result

Don’t let the score fool you, this one wasn’t even close. Had Daenerys Targaryen ($10,600) chose to play her starters in the second half instead of opening up her bench, this game may have been 220-94. It was nice to see lesser known players like Illyrio Mopatis ($3,200) get their time in the spotlight, and proof that DT3 could be the coach and ruler we all desperately need. I myself was utterly shocked when she beckoned me to enter the match, what use would she have for a useless man like me, Lord Varys ($3,100). It was a joy to do more than just provide information and stats, and it certainly helped that the Stark Direwolves were already completely exhausted from their historic upset against the White Walkers.

How did we attain such a large halftime lead my little birds? Well, I may not believe in saviors, but I certainly believe in unguardable beasts of talent. The ones that have a HUGE part to play on the team, and specifically the ones who can turn opponents into ashes and quite literally score at will. Of course I am speaking of Drogon ($13,200) who returned in the most glorious of ways. I credit the Starks for their bravery, despite its insane foolishness, and wish them a warm winter. Thank you to all the Houses for their vast wealth of entertainment and for making my Road to the Throne so very easy. Now excuse me my lords, I have some wine to chug with a very small man on a very uncomfortable throne. Spider OUT.


The new ruler of the Iron Throne

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