Three-Day NBA Playoffs Warning: Ranking the Eastern Conference Playoff Teams by Shirseys

The NBA Playoffs start in three days (!!!!!!!!) so each day until then we’ll be taking a look at some of the most important storylines leading up to the best two months of the year.


Although there is one more night of FANtastic regular season action taking place tonight, all the playoff teams are set. Over the next few days there will be endless analysis and breakdowns, looking at which teams will advance, who will surprise and who will disappoint. This is important and interesting, sure, and here at the Skyhook we’ll have our own first round previews dropping soon. But today is time for the most important analysis of all—which playoff teams have the best shirseys.

Shirseys, if you aren’t aware, are jersey shirts—t-shirts that feature a player’s name and number on the back. They’re important of course, because while NBA jersyes are awesome, they’re also difficult to wear. There aren’t a ton of situations in which you can wear them, and even then you have to throw on a t-shirt underneath. But shirseys, now those are just t-shirts. You can wear them pretty much anywhere and don’t have to run the risk of looking like a frat boy tool that’s wearing the jersey ironically. Shirseys are awesome. Shirseys are important. Shirseys are for the people.


8. Indiana Pacers 



First of all, points off for not even having a navy blue option available. Their main colors are navy blue and yellow. It’s unacceptable that you aren’t able to purchase a navy blue shirsey from their official team store. The designers of these shirseys made a classic mistake of trying to do too much. They have “Indiana Basketball” plus a little mini logo on the front of the shirt. We don’t need all that. There’s too much going on with these. There’s so much potential with a navy blue shirt with the big “P” logo on the front, but alas.


7. Charlotte Bobcats



The Bobcats are handicapped by their nickname and logo here. Unlike the Pacers, we have two options here. One features “Charlotte” in block letters with a number underneath it on the front, while one features “Charlotte Bobcats” in block letters with the Bobcat underneath. Both of these are only available in navy blue. The options with just “Charlotte” on the front are okay, but the number offset to the right is awkward. Either get rid of the number or move it to the middle. As for the options with the logo on the front, once again we have too much going on. Just the logo would have been fine without the words. Unfortunately, the logo is awful, but nothing the shirsey designers can do about that. You can’t make a good cake when you’re given awful ingredients right? Right. Next year when they’re the Hornets they should move to the top of the list.


6. Brooklyn Nets



Meh. That’s how I feel looking at these shirseys. They’re fine, but very forgettable. We get a ton of options from the Nets, ranging from the black shirt with “Brooklyn” and a number on the front, to a black shirt with a grey basketball and block “B” on the front. Plus they have shirts with player twitter handles on the back and nickname shirseys—which, you know, whatever. Gotta do it for the #brand. No complaints really, but these are pretty boring.


5. Washington Wizards



These are pretty solid, but could have been so much better. I like having the two options for the front with one featuring “Washington” in all lower case letters and a number below, while one features the big Wizards logo. What I don’t like is there’s no color option besides red. The red shirt with just “Washington” on it is nice, but the Wizards logo has too much red on it for a red shirt and so it blends in. Put that Wizards logo on a navy blue shirt and it would pop. Note to NBA teams: let me design your shirseys for you. All I would require in payment is two free ones from each team. Not too much to ask, in my opinion.


4. Toronto Raptors



Again, soooo much potential. Why can I only get a Raptors shirsey in red? Who is making these decisions? Think about all the potential color and logo schemes the Raptors have! The two options are solid, one featuring “Raptors” with a number underneath on the front, while the other has just the big Raptors logo on the front. Imagine everything you could do with Drake and Canada tie-ins. These are nice, but could be so much better. Like, on the back of the “Raptors” style shirt, there’s a maple leaf up near the neck. This is a great idea, but it’s all red! The shirt is ALREADY red. Now this perfect touch is essentially irrelevant because you can barely tell it’s there. I’m disappointed in you, Toronto.


3. Chicago Bulls



These are classics—simple “Bulls” block lettering with a number underneath on the front. The red shirts with black lettering really pop and look crisp. The white shirts with red lettering look nice as well, and the little Bulls logo on the top of the back really stands out and is a nice touch. The Bulls have rolled out the same shirsey designs for years, and why wouldn’t they? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.


2. Miami Heat



Only the Nets rival the Heat for shirsey options. There are four different color options: black, white, red, and gray. Then we get the classic, “Miami” in block lettering front with a number underneath and the classic “Heat” in block lettering with the flame trailing off the “T” with a number underneath front. The latter—in white with red lettering—are my favorite shirsey option the Heat offer. From there, you can get nickname shirseys, white on white, red on red and even shirts with championship trophies on the front. They have a lot of solid picks, but there’s just too much going on here. Having options is always nice, but sometimes having too much to choose from makes it harder. For this reason, the Heat fall short of the vaunted Eastern Conference playoff teams shirsey rankings.


1. Atlanta Hawks



Number eight in the standings, but number one in the shirsey rankings. The Hawks took the number one spot by staying simple, offering the perfect amount of choices and having a good mascot and color scheme to work with. They offer four options for the front, either “ATL,” “Hawks,” or “Atlanta” in block lettering, with numbers underneath. Also, you can get one with the Hawks logo on the front, featuring the Hawk, wings spread, gripping a basketball. On the back, there’s a mini Hawks logo on the top that stands out and looks nice. As for colors, there’s red, white or navy blue, covering the team’s whole color scheme. The red Al Horford shirsey with “ATL” on the front is perfection. Well done Atlanta, this is a master’s class in how to do shirseys.

With #ATLShawty taking home the top spot in the East, check back tomorrow to see which team stakes claim to the best shirseys in the West.