The Quarantine Movie Watch Guide for Each NBA Fanbase


It has now been over three weeks since the NBA season was suspended indefinitely. Stuck in quarantine with no sports to watch, fans like me can’t wait until basketball returns.

Luckily, though, we here at TLSM have got you covered.

Below you’ll find a movie that each NBA fanbase should watch in order to keep the season alive. Are you a Pelicans fan that misses your young core? A Pacers fan that misses your bevy of injuries every other game? Don’t worry – these movies should provide you with exactly what you’re missing. So, without further ado…

Atlanta Hawks: Good Will Hunting (1997)

Trae Young is a Will Hunting type in that he’s unbelievably talented, but raw and not ready to take full control just yet. Both of them need guidance.

Enter: the 42-year-old Vince Carter and Robin Williams’ Sean Maguire. Neither one was forced to help out, but they wanted to because they saw so much potential.

And even though the Hawks may have one of the worst records in the league, it certainly isn’t Trae’s fault…


Boston Celtics: Talladega Nights (2006)

Nobody thought Gordon Hayward would be able to come back after snapping his leg in half. Nobody thought Ricky Bobby would be able to compete in Talladega after a nasty car crash left him running around in his underwear thinking he was on fire.

But both of them recovered after a long time away from their respective sports. I don’t know if Hayward had to battle a puma to get back to the court, but it couldn’t have been easy.

Brooklyn Nets: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010)

In choosing to split the 7th Harry Potter book into two parts, we had to deal with 2 hours and 27 minutes of walking around in the woods. All just a giant set up for the final movie and battle with Lord Voldemort.

The Nets this season are kind of just hanging around. They’re still a playoff team, sure, but does it really matter? With Kevin Durant out for the year and Kyrie Irving battling injuries of his own, the only thing to do is just bide time until the two of them return fully healthy and ready to go next season.

Charlotte Hornets: Waterworld (1995)

Incredibly expensive for no reason. A little better than expected and kind of fun, but still really bad.

Chicago Bulls: Manchester by the Sea (2016)

This one works on two levels –

A) Both are equally depressing and will make you cry when you try to watch them.

B) Manchester by the Sea is a movie about a janitor longing for better times from his past. Is there any team in the league that misses their past more than the Bulls?

Cleveland Cavaliers: Road House (1989)

A ton of fun to watch, but, when you think too hard, doesn’t make any sense at all.

Just like I’m always down to watch Patrick Swayze rip out a man’s throat with his bare hand, you can always sign me up to see a little Collin Sexton and Kevin Porter Jr. – two of the more exciting young talents in the league.

But why do the Cavs have four starting centers? Why does a guy destroy a car dealership by driving a monster truck through it?! We may never get the answer to these questions, but we’re certainly not gonna stop watching.


Dallas Mavericks: Shrek 2 (2004)

Shrek is a great movie, but Shrek 2 – with the introduction of Puss in Boots – takes the franchise to a whole other level. That might be a hot take, but if you disagree, you need a rewatch of Shrek 2. Especially the ending. Trust me.

The Mavs are a playoff team this year not only because of Luka’s heroics, but also because they’ve brought in Kristaps Porzingis to help him. Luka and Shrek are still the stars of the show of course, but they both needed a little something extra to kick it up a gear.

Denver Nuggets: The Artist (2011)

Critically acclaimed but literally no one cares. Sorry Nuggets fans – you might have one of the best teams in the league, but don’t expect to be talked about in the media anytime soon.

Detroit Pistons: Geostorm (2017)

If you enjoy watching Pistons basketball this year, you might be a fan of watching senseless chaos that would be better off not existing. Might I suggest Geostorm?

Golden State Warriors: The Godfather Part III (1990)

The Godfather’s I and II are widely heralded as the best films of all time. Godfather III, though, kind of falls off a cliff. It’s long, it’s boring, and really bears little resemblance to the first two installments of the trilogy. That’s what you get when you lose guys like Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, and James Caan from the cast.

The Warriors this season have also dealt with a loss of star power. Durant left for Brooklyn, and Curry and Thompson have both been injured. Once an unstoppable dynasty ruling the NBA since 2015, the Warriors now find themselves at the bottom of the barrel. A shell of their former selves.

But just when we thought we were out, they pull us back in with Steph’s recent return…


Houston Rockets: Happy Gilmore (1996)

In Happy Gilmore, Happy threatens the sanctity of golf with his unconventional swing and outrageous antics. Golf purists like Shooter McGavin are furious and want him off the tour.

This season, the Rockets have called the pillars of how to play basketball into question with the introduction of mega small-ball. With no one in their rotation over 6’7″, the “Pocket Rockets” are unlike anything the sport has ever seen before. And basketball purists will be thrilled if the experiment fails.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Rockets will prove the critics wrong and get their own gold jacket by season’s end.

Indiana Pacers: Hot Rod (2007)

From Victor Oladipo to Jeremy Lamb to Malcolm Brogdon, the Pacers have been maybe the most injury-prone team in the league this season. At this point, they’ve gotten used to playing practically every single game without a full roster.

Rod (Andy Samberg) gets injured pretty badly in nearly every scene In Hot Rod. He’s a mess. But he doesn’t let it stop him – just like the Pacers have found a way to hang tough and stay locked into an Eastern Conference playoff spot despite everything.


Los Angeles Clippers: Dodgeball (2004)

Peter Lefleur’s Average Joe’s Gymnasium is nothing compared to Globo Gym. Across the street, Globo Gym gets all the clients, all the commercials, and all the glory. Sound familiar?

The Clippers have dodged a lot of wrenches (mainly thrown by Donald Sterling) to get here, but now they’re finally a formidable foe for their crosstown rival Lakers. Let’s see if Kawhi and company can take control of their gym once and for all.

Oh – and won’t they also be going up against a unibrowed opponent?


Los Angeles Lakers: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

I mean, come on. There’s star power in Clooney and Pitt, and a ragtag team of meme-able sidekicks. If that’s not the Lakers, then I don’t know what is.

Ocean and his crew did the impossible in robbing a Las Vegas casino. This Lakers squad that LeBron has assembled may be the group most capable of pulling off the ultimate heist of their own: winning an NBA championship.

Memphis Grizzlies: Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Napoleon Dynamite is a movie that shouldn’t work. Have you ever tried explaining the plot to someone who hasn’t seen it? It’s impossible to make it sound appealing. But, it exceeded all expectations, and is now considered a cult classic.

There’s no reason why the Grizzles should be the eight seed right now. They’re young and inexperienced, and there are a number of more expensive teams below them. If I told you before the season that a team led by rookie Ja Morant would be firmly lodged into a playoff spot out West, you would’ve thought I was crazy.

All we as NBA fans are left to do is sit back in awe of just how much the Grizzlies have blown us away this season; I think the kids at Napoleon’s Preston Senior High School know a little something about that…


Miami Heat: The Pacifier (2005)

Playing a Navy SEAL, Vin Diesel faces his toughest test yet when tasked with babysitting five kids and a duck. It doesn’t take long, though, for his strict leadership and persistence to help the kids grow as a family (and then battle some terrorists together in what can best be described as a disjointed 3rd act of the movie).

If there’s one guy in the NBA known for being capable of whipping anyone into shape, it’s Jimmy Butler. Quickly establishing a precedent, the hardest working player in the league has successfully turned a group of rookies and other young players into one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

Milwaukee Bucks: Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood is one of the most innovative movies ever created. Filming the same actors over a twelve year span, we literally saw all of them grow up before our eyes.

Currently, Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the longest tenured players in the league. When he was drafted by the Bucks back in 2013, he was talented, but all potential. We had no idea what he would become. Every season, though, we’ve seen him develop more and more, adding new skills and elements into his game. Just as Mason ends the movie ready to go off to college and take on the world, Giannis is finally ready to take control of the NBA.

(Or, according to the media, leave his small town and go to the Warriors)

Minnesota Timberwolves: Now You See Me (2013)

The Timberwolves started off unexpectedly strong this year, as emphasized by this now infamous tweet:

Following their great start, they went on a swift 12-41 stretch. This has led them to where they are now – 14th in the Western Conference at 19-45.

Now You See Me’s best scene occurs at the beginning, during their first magic showcase. It’s fun, exciting, and fresh. From there, though, we devolve into absolute nonsense. FBI agent Mark Ruffalo turns out to be an undercover magician, there’s a random merry-go-round that’s important for some reason, and a whole lot of Jesse Eisenberg smirking.

If the unnecessary sequel is a sign of things to come, the Timberwolves will be in even deeper trouble next season.

New Orleans Pelicans: Ladybird (2017)

Ladybird is a who’s who of the brightest young stars in Hollywood. The Pelicans, for their part, have established perhaps the best young core in the league, led by the likes of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

Ladybird as a whole wasn’t quite good enough to nab an Oscar win, but it was a promising sign of things to come for the Greta Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan, and Timothée Chalamet crew.

New York Knicks: Groundhog Day (1993)

Ever wonder what it’d be like to wake up and re-live the same day over and over again? What would you change? Well, for the Knicks, the answer is absolutely nothing.

Every season, the Knicks promise great things – splashy free agents, big trades, team success. But every season, it always ends the same. A new coach, overspending on marginal talent, and a disgruntled fanbase. It only took Bill Murray about 1000 tries to make his Groundhog Day perfect…maybe the Knicks will figure it out eventually? Or maybe they’ll sign eight power forwards again next summer.


Oklahoma City Thunder: The Intern (2015)

When Robert De Niro applies to be an intern at About The Fit, no one expects anything out of the 70-year-old retiree. However, he quickly establishes himself as a mentor and father figure, ultimately proving to be one of the most valuable members of the company.

When the Thunder traded for Chris Paul, everyone thought they were getting a washed up former star. How could he ever help the young and rebuilding Thunder team? Well, CP3 has made an equally strong transition into the next stage of his career, averaging 18 points and seven assists per game while leading the Thunder to the 5th seed in the Western Conference.  

Orlando Magic: Land of the Lost (2009)

Underrated and fun to watch, but kind of irrelevant.

Just like Chaka the neanderthal won’t be impacting any film studies courses in years to come, the Magic won’t be winning a playoff series any time soon.

Philadelphia 76ers: Gangs of New York (2002)

Gangs of New York is a movie that should be a classic. You’ve got an interesting story, an absolutely stacked cast led by an all-time performance from Daniel Day-Lewis, and one of the best directors of the last fifty years.

For some reason, though, it just doesn’t quite work. The love story chemistry between Leo and Cameron Diaz is one of the least believable things you’ll ever see, and the movie as a whole is kind of a triumphant meh.

The 76ers have, on paper, one of the best rosters in the NBA. With Ben Simmons’ complete inability to shoot, though, they have no spacing, which limits their ceiling. Chemistry issues and inconsistent play have negated their talent, ultimately leading to far fewer wins than expected at this point in the season.

Phoenix Suns: Pineapple Express (2008)

The Phoenix Suns have a promising young roster, but their season was pretty much doomed from the get-go when Deandre Ayton got suspended 25 games for drugs.

What better way to relive the aura of the Suns’ season than with a little Pineapple Express?

Portland Trail Blazers: Mr. 3000 (2004)

What’s been the biggest storyline for the Trail Blazers this season? The team itself has been a disappointment, but they made a huge splash in the free agency market with the surprise signing of Carmelo Anthony. Throughout his career, Melo has always had the offense revolve around him. He was certainly a star, but it never really translated to wins.

Mr. 3000’s Stan Ross (Bernie Mac) is similar. As a Milwaukee Brewer, Ross may have gotten 2,997 hits, but he did so at the expense of his own team. Eventually, he needs to shed his arrogant ways and beg his way back into the league. On his road to redemption, he ends up completely changing his attitude and the way he plays the game of baseball.

In order to keep his own career alive, Melo has had to take a step back and become more of a team player this season. Now, he’s thriving in his supporting role on the Trail Blazers as the younger guys get their chance in the spotlight.

Sacramento Kings: Horrible Bosses (2011)

Worst front office in the league. That Marvin Bagley over Luka Doncic pick will haunt them for a long time to come.

San Antonio Spurs: Catch Me If You Can (2002)

The Spurs have made the playoffs a ridiculous 22 years in a row. Even though they are written off pretty much every season, they always find a way to sneak back in there. It’s been one of the more impressive feats in NBA history.

Frank Abagnale Jr. (DiCaprio) is a brilliant forger who has spent his young adult life on the run from the FBI. Whenever it looks like he’s going to be caught, he manages to worm himself out of impossible situations to stay one step ahead. After all these years, though, it might just be time to turn himself in.

And with the departures of Kawhi, Duncan, Parker and Ginobili over the past few seasons, it looks like it’s finally time for the Spurs to hang it up and start rebuilding.

Or maybe they have one more con left in them…..


Toronto Raptors: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

Just like Jason Segal has to get over his breakup with Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), the Raptors have been faced with a big breakup of their own this season. With Kawhi leaving them for the bright lights of LA – like Sarah Marshall leaves for a famous singer – the Raptors have had to adjust to life without a superstar.

At 2nd in the Eastern Conference, though, they’re absolutely thriving. Segal didn’t miss too much of a beat either – quickly finding a spark with his new love interest, Mila Kunis.

Utah Jazz: Fight Club (1999)

The Jazz have consistently been one of the best teams in the clutch time this season, with a winning percentage of .694 in games that are within 5 points. They have also had multiple buzzer beaters from Bojan Bogdanovich to lead them to epic wins over some of the best teams in the league. Clearly, they’re at their best when it matters most.

Fight Club is a great movie, but it absolutely elevates to another level with the twist ending. Just like Bogdanovich, director David Fincher knows how to go out with a bang.

Washington Wizards: Cast Away (2000)

Bradley Beal has nineteen games scoring 35 or more points this year, but, with the rest of his roster, he may as well be stranded on a deserted island. I mean, let’s be honest – starting small forward Isaac Bonga is about as unhelpful as Wilson the Volleyball.

All Beal needs now is the beard.

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About Zach Zola

Zach Zola is a student at Brown University studying English. He grew up in New York, but has been a die-hard Rockets fan since the days of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. He believes that James Harden is the only King James in the NBA.

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