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Renaming the Warriors’ ‘Death Ball’ Lineup

David Richard/USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors’ as of yet unsolvable lineup that features Draymond Green at center has been just as difficult to nickname as it’s been to defeat on the court. The moniker that’s caught on thus far is “the Death Lineup” or “Death Ball,” neither of which fits them any better than “Slim Reaper” fit Kevin Durant (who, a decade into his career, looks like he’ll never get a fitting nickname). Here are some attempts at a more apt nickname for the lineup that’s taken the NBA by storm:

Shrink Wrap

Via good old Wikipedia: “When heat is applied, it shrinks tightly over whatever it is covering.” Considering opponents can’t even throw an entry pass against this lineup, that sounds fitting (pun not intended). This one gets bonus points for being easy to understand and Twitter-character friendly: “Tied with six minutes left, Luke Walton is unleashing Shrink Wrap.”

The Atom

Shrinking superheroes didn’t bear much fruit. Ray Palmer’s alter-ego (apologies in advance for offending comics fans who are partial to other Atoms I’m unaware of) gets the nod over Ant-Man since the latter can’t be contorted into anything broader than one person. Also “The Atom” just sounds cooler.

Chain Reaction

When I floated “The Atom” on Twitter, fellow writer Jeff Feyerer (@jfey5) one-upped it:


The Terrier Group

“The Toy Group” alludes to their lack of size, but “The Terrier Group” infers that as well, plus it adds needed respect for their tenacious defense. While probably a bit too belittling, the terrier group does dominate Westminster.


Star Wars coverage is dominating the internet in advance of “The Force Awakens,” so why not take advantage of a #branding opportunity? They beat up on bigger enemies by coming at you in droves, and the Clippers are about as well-liked as Stormtroopers. (By the way, Steph is Wicket, feisty but friendly, and Draymond is the Ewok who’s crazy and confident enough to steal the speeder bike.)


Other teams still think they can try to outmuscle this lineup, and then all of a sudden there’s been a 16-point barrage in five minutes with three-pointers from four different players.

Yellow Swish Road

Some nice synergy with the color yellow and a “brick” being the exact opposite of a “swish.”

Minions/Fast and the Furious

Bonus points for being the most era-specific handles. Minions is shorter, and fits with the team color and size of the lineup, and though Fast and the Furious chews up characters, it’s more mature and captures the familial bold the Warriors have developed with one another.

Napoleon Suplex

An upper-tier candidate. While old school analysts like Charles Barkley complain about too many jump shots, how the league is soft nowadays and that you have to pound the ball into the paint against them, the Warriors are too busy slamming the opposition into the ground to care.

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