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The NBA playoffs have begun, and there's a very good chance your favorite team is one of the sixteen qualifying squads, But you've missed the bulk of the regular season, because you never go to your friend's house anymore to take advantage of his NBA TV package. And now the summer movie season is creeping up and you have no idea what's coming out. Damn that Nana for canceling your subscription to Entertainment Weekly. How are you going to plan your movie schedule? How will you know which teams have weaknesses, and how will you know which movies will be interesting, funny, or flat-out terrible?

Well, it's a good thing you asked, because we put the whole thing in one convenient place for you. We've handpicked sixteen big summer releases and matched them up with an NBA title contender. Some connect tenuously, superficially. Others have unusual similarities, borderline creepy. But at least it's all at your fingertips. Here, at last, is your one and ONLY NBA Playoffs/Summer Movie Combo Preview!

Transformers: Age Of Extinction
Michael Bay's toy-centric sequel focuses on a father-son duo who accidentally stumble upon the age-old battle between Autobots and Decepticons. You are...

The Miami Heat
When Mark Wahlberg called Transformers the "most iconic franchise," he sounded very much like a Heat fan praising the team's "legacy" when they've only been around since the eighties. The three Transformers films were dominant at the box office in the same manner as the Heat, who have now won two straight championships and are trying for a third. But, like the Heat's difficult championship run last year, which involved a handful of tough Game 7's, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon was a weaker performer stateside than its predecessor. None of those films were very well reviewed, so the reasoning is that even with Wahlberg on board, this Transformers is unlikely to repeat previous performances, just as the Heat might find themselves unable to pull off a threepeat.
The Expendables III
Sylvester Stallone unites a group of aging action stars for one last ride, even though they've been written off for years now. You are...

The San Antonio Spurs
You saw this one coming, didn't you? Tim Duncan has been everyone's favorite pick to run out of gas, but at 37 he's still leading the Spurs to the best record in the league. It's not a one-to-one comparison: the presence of guys like Mel Gibson reminds Spurs fans of that time Glenn Robinson signed with the team, played five minutes a game, and rode the bench to a championship. But these guys are no doubt aged past their primes. Tony Parker is not unlike the Jason Statham of the group, a relative spring chicken compared to the others but still racking up some serious mileage. And during last year's playoffs, Manu Ginobili was looking like modern day Arnold Schwarzenegger out there, which made it more surprising when he went and had a marvelous '13-'14 season. Age is nothing but a number.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Peter Parker must prepare for his most difficult challenge in facing off against Electro, the Rhino, and the Green Goblin. You are...

The Indiana Pacers
Like Indiana's season, everything about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 sounded pretty cool from the beginning. But something went wrong with the changing of the guard. Indiana felt comfortable passing the leadership mantle from Danny Granger to Paul George, but just like with Andrew Garfield and Spider-Man, the franchise suffered some growing pains. There's reason to believe the infighting that has fractured Indiana's clubhouse will be healed for the postseason, just as there's hope that Marc Webb's Spider-Man will find its footing with this entry. But the addition of Paul Giamatti as the Rhino to the series seemed a lot like the Pacers' acquisition of Evan Turner: a lot of talent and effort for only minor contributions to the finished product.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
The X-Men of the future must travel back in time to assist the mutants from the past in stopping a coming disaster. You are...

The Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant is like the NBA's version of Wolverine: absolutely unstoppable, unkillable, and endlessly exciting. But people continue to ask if Russell Westbrook has too much talent to be a second banana. Is this Durant's franchise, or Westbrook's? Is Hugh Jackman the real drawing card for the X-films, or is it (and should it be?) Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy? The Thunder surrendered James Harden for a few draft picks to build for the future, but those pieces, including Steven Adams and Jeremy Lamb, have generated as much heat as X-Men: First Class additions like Havok and Banshee. Can each of these franchises find their identity and win?
It's the working class versus the partying class when a suburban couple must contend with the rowdy fraternity living next door. You are...

The Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are, like Seth Rogen, the pride of Canada. You also have to wonder how both of these Canadian wonders got here. Rogen, an unassuming young comedic actor with a slacker temperament, here plays the responsible adult, the stick-in-the-mud that Zac Efron rebels against. And the Raptors, low on talent and with a history of failure, were looked at as one of the teams basically giving up on the season to attain a high draft pick. Neighbors comes out between blockbusters The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Godzilla, and it really seems like a longshot to match those films. And the inexperienced Raptors also seem like they don't belong: on paper, this might be the least talented of the playoff teams. Can either modest enterprise establish itself amongst the behemoths?
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Years after Caesar seized control of the ape hierarchy, humanity struggles to survive in the face of interspecies war. You are...

The Los Angeles Clippers
Like Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, people kind of couldn't believe the Clippers were for real the last couple of years. Their depth was suspect, Blake Griffin hadn't developed a full game yet, and their coaching situation was famously undistinguished. But this year has very much been a different chapter. Like the new Apes film, which pivots on a disastrous apocalyptic scenario, these Clippers are for real, with Doc Rivers at the helm bringing a great deal of dignity to a franchise about to experience its best days. Matt Reeves' (Let Me In) presence as the director suggests this is totally unexplored territory, something that tests everything you know about Planet Of The Apes. Clippers basketball, similarly, will never be the same.
Guardians Of The Galaxy
Marvel's next adventure centers on a group of space-faring heroes as they try to prevent a war between opposing alien races. You are...

The Chicago Bulls
Telling a kid that the Bulls are in the playoffs must be unusual. "Is MVP Derrick Rose going to be playing?" he'll ask. No, kid, he's hurt. "What about Luol Deng?" Sorry kid, traded. "... Do they still have Nate Robinson?" No kid, that was only for a brief, insane time. Now try telling that kid about the new Marvel movie. "Is Iron Man in it?" Not at all, young fella. "What about Cap? It's gotta have Cap..." Of course, Chicago is such a scrappy, tough team that even as they remain decimated, no one wants to play them, and no one will count them out. And people can talk about the box office uncertainty of Guardians, but would you be the one to bet against Marvel?
22 Jump Street
This comedy sequel finds Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum going undercover as college students to bust a drug ring. You are...

The Houston Rockets
Yeah, it's a dumb comedy based on a dumb premise: mocking an old television show that the target demographic most assuredly did not watch. And yes, the Rockets are led by Dwight Howard, a small-my-farts level juvenile in the locker room. But Howard is as much of a beast as 21 Jump Street was at the box office. Howard's silly theatrics played poorly in Los Angeles, when he clashed with the Lakers. But he's found a home in Houston, just as Channing Tatum might have found a home in the action-comedy realm, where he can be the attractive alpha male but also encouraged to be silly.
The ancient tale of the rise of a hero is told in this sprawling action epic. You are...

The Brooklyn Nets
Everything about Hercules makes sense on paper: Dwayne Johnson as the mythic figure in a sweeping action film? Sure, why not? And uniting Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams on the Nets? Gotta be a powerhouse, right? Except that Garnett is a broken-down shell, Williams and Pierce have appeared disinterested at times, and Joe Johnson has gone back and forth between useful and millstone for Brooklyn for first-time coach Jason Kidd. Under the leadership of director Brett Ratner, Hercules too looks like the sort of idea so dynamite on paper that it might crumble onscreen. Did the Nets get fat off the weak Eastern Conference to become winners like Hercules is sure to benefit from a skimpy late-July release schedule? Or are they for real?
Jupiter Ascending
The Wachowskis return with this deep space tale of a gifted woman and the bounty hunter tasked with hunting her, but who falls in love instead. You are...

The Portland Trail Blazers
Like the film where Channing Tatum plays some sort of elfin half-wolf, nobody knows what to expect from the Blazers. While Jupiter Ascending is banking heavily on the audience's like (not love) of Tatum and Mila Kunis, coach Terry Stotts has leaned heavily on his not-exactly-All-Star starting lineup, pushing them in order to avoid going to his bench. Are the Blazers' depth shortcomings going to let the team down just as the final leg of the Jupiter Ascending marketing campaign ultimately fails to stick the landing? Or will the Wachowskis' trilogy-ready story appear richer than it initially appears, just as the Blazers get unexpected contributions from the anonymous likes of Thomas Robinson, Mo Williams and Dorrell Wright?
Angelina Jolie is the fiendish witch of the Sleeping Beauty legend in this live-action parable about an immensely-powerful villain's quest for control of the kingdom. You are...

The Washington Wizards
Yes, there's magic in the air with both the Wizards and Maleficent. But with endless fantasy film options over the years, where's the demand for yet another fairy tale brought to life? Disney's banking on Jolie's visage to do the heavy lifting is a lot like Washington mortgaging their future to bank on a team led by John Wall, Bradley Beal, and the contract-year ruffians that dot this roster. Beal is also very much the Elle Fanning to Wall's Jolie: an up-and-comer who might deserve more of the spotlight than their co-star is willing to handle. And these big fantasies keep getting handed to first-timers with no experience: it's very much like trusting the under-equipped Randy Wittman to lead a team to postseason success.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The heroes in a half shell battle with Shredder for the soul of New York City. You are...

The Golden State Warriors
There's something mercenary about this squad, as if the team could trade away all their pieces at a moment's notice. Golden State's ditching of assistant coaches also calls to mind the Ninja Turtles production replacing the actors who played the leads with celebrity voices at the eleventh hour. And should these enterprises stumble, it's likely the people taking the blame with be coach Mark Jackson and director Jonathan Liebesman, respectively, and not the bosses in charge (Joe Lacob, Michael Bay). On paper both have winning formulas, but there's something just a little overly aggressive and obnoxious about them, like a misplaced chip on peoples' shoulders.
A Fault In Our Stars
A terminally-ill teen played by Shailene Woodley faces down her last days with strength. You are... bobcats
The Charlotte Bobcats
Like Miss Woodley, the Bobcats are also ending their existence, prepared to head into a brave new world next year as the Hornets. Like Ansel Elgort, who plays the gentleman lover who gives Woodley solace in her final days, Al Jefferson came aboard this team to provide the greatest star power they'd ever boast in their history, ending this year as possibly the greatest Bobcat of all time. Also, "fault in our stars" is the best way to describe how it is the Bobcats ended up in the postseason.
Edge Of Tomorrow
Tom Cruise is a soldier in a post-apocalyptic world who finds himself constantly dying in battle and returning to the past with memories intact. You are...

The Dallas Mavericks
Dirk Nowitizki is 35 years old, playing a much younger man's game. Like Cruise, taking on a role originally written for a twentysomething, Nowitzki is attempting to turn back the clock and keep extending a career of unparalleled success. Just as Cruise keeps resurrecting with new weapons and battle styles, so too have the Mavericks recharged, adding younger pieces in Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon to beef up their back court. Ultimately, the enemy is time: Nowitzki bats it back like an eager gnat, but Cruise seems to transcend it. Perhaps Dirk could learn a thing or two.
The Purge: Anarchy
During the annual Purge, a couple's car breaks down as curfew hits, and they must survive a night in the asphalt wilderness. You are... hawks
The Atlanta Hawks
Man, what happened in that Eastern Conference this year? In a sea of terrible teams attempting to get that final 8th seed, it didn't seem to be about victory as much it was survival. Perhaps the East needed a Purge of its own, since the terrible Hawks barely squeaked into the playoffs despite getting to beat up on the hapless Knicks, Sixers and Bucks all season. They're really just happy to be here: you get the sense that if Atlanta had a choice, they'd hide in their maximum security house and watch the other teams cannibalize each other. Instead, the playoffs have become the Purge, and good folks like Paul Millsap and Lou Williams have been left amidst the carcasses with no way home, just waiting to fall prey to whomever is lurking around the corner.
The legendary beast has re-emerged from the ocean to terrify a global population that was completely unaware of his nuclear existence. You are...

The Memphis Grizzlies
Facing off against Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the paint seems just as dangerous as coming face to face with Japan's most ferocious export: heck, Randolph might as well have TOHO stamped on his bicep. Godzilla seemed like just another reboot just as the Grizzlies were looking at a lost season in the first half of the year. Then, those trailers hit, and everything turned: like the Grizzlies, something about this Godzilla movie looks amazing, but not at all fun. Even with all the world's joy of playing a game for a living, no team wants to face off against the Grizzlies, as it would be a slow, violent, brutal game filled with hard fouls and chippy attitudes. If it achieves what it intends to, Godzilla will be a similar grueling experience as a hypothetical 89-87 overtime Grizzlies win, a game so tense and upsetting you don't cheer as much as nap afterwards.

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