With all that today’s basketball coaches go through before the NBA Playoffs — all the painstaking prep, the Xs and Os — it must really ruffle their feathers (and sport coats) to know it’s all for naught.

Because in the end, it only takes one thing to find hardwood harmony: insurance savvy.

I know what you’re thinking: Insurance and basketball? What do a bunch of squares in neckties know about hoops? Gee, let’s ask James Naismith … or John Wooden … or Craig Sager. Do these icons of the game look like jocks to you? Or do they resemble, dare I say, all-star insurers?  

With that airtight evidence in mind, and just in time for the 2014 NBA Playoffs, here are 5 helpful insurance tips that double as a foolproof primer on getting your team to the promised land.

1.  Drive cautiously

For your insurance: It’s no secret that driving responsibly helps keep you safe, but it can also save you money. Obeying traffic rules, staying under the speed limit, and even limiting time behind the wheel are all ways to keep your rates low and help you score perks like our Claim-Free discount.

Not to mention, with Esurance DriveSense® the safer you drive, the more you could save!

For the NBA Playoffs: As injuries to stars like Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook have shown, nothing derails your team’s championship dreams faster than injuries. And that’s exactly why the reckless dribble-drives and wild dunk attempts of the regular season won’t fly in the playoffs. Instead, implement a more restrained driving style — built on careful dribbling, smart passing, and expert spacing — you know, something to make Bobby Knight giggle. Your boys’ ACLs and hamstrings will thank you. (And just for safe measure, avoid the T-shirt cannon too.)

2.  Dress appropriately

For your insurance: Riding a motorcycle, snowmobile, or ATV is a blast — with the right safety gear. Designated helmets, pads, and jackets can help reduce your injury risk. And staying claim-free can help keep your insurance rates from increasing,

For the NBA Playoffs: A simple jersey with shorts was fine for Larry Bird. But success in today’s NBA is all about accessorizing.

  • Tasteful arm sleeves and headbands are good beginner options.
  • Stylish goggles and neon leggings show serious commitment to winning.
  • Nothing says “Hello, finals!” like a paisley ascot.
  • Skipping the games entirely to attend the Versace show in Milan is exactly the chess move your championship opponent will never see coming. Just ask Dwyane Wade and his capris! NBA dynasties are forged not with sweat, but fine designer silk.

3.  Go green

For your insurance: Esurance values the environment more than Michael Jordan values tongue-wagging. (You’re right … impossible. But we value it a lot.) That’s why we provide plenty of tips about greening your home, reducing your car’s carbon footprint, and lots of other planet-friendly propositions. Carpooling, for example, is an easy way to go green and could even qualify you for a low-mileage discount if you’re driving less.

For the NBA Playoffs: “Green” happens to be one of the NBA’s most popular last names. The Golden State Warriors have a Green, and so do the San Antonio Spurs and the L.A. Clippers. Could it be that every contender’s first priority, before drawing up plays or scheduling a single practice, is making sure their roster’s surname game is strong?

To play it safe, make sure your squad has a Green of its own. Even if he’s just the towel boy or locker room decorator, your title hopes likely hinge on him.

4.  Utilize technology

For your insurance: You’d be amazed how current technology can improve your insurance experience — and life. For instance, with Fuelcaster™, our gas price predictor, you can know whether to buy gas today or wait for cheaper prices tomorrow.  And Esurance DriveSafe® uses Bluetooth technology to monitor your teen’s driving habits and limit their cell phone use behind the wheel. (Whoa.)

For the NBA Playoffs: Pro hoops has come a long way from its humble, peach-basket beginnings. It’s now a hotbed for tech innovations, from advanced stats to medical equipment to arena light shows.

Of course, that all pales in comparison to the only tech marvel that matters: the Kiss-Cam. You want to energize the crowd and galvanize your team? Then flash the glorious spectacle of 2 acquaintances begrudgingly pecking on your Jumbo-Tron. “The NBA: It’s FANtastic!”

5.  Avoid the heat

For your insurance: As temperatures rise this spring, staying cool pays off. Parking your car in the shade or installing sun visors can keep your interior comfy, which means you’re not busy fanning yourself or burning your arm on hot seatbelt buckles when you should be watching the road. Plus, regularly monitoring your tire pressure is wise when dealing with hot pavement to help prevent cracks in your tires, blowouts, and costly accident claims.    

For the NBA Playoffs: Seriously, I hear this ragtag Miami Heat bunch is pretty good. Probably best to steer clear.

Oh, and Go Warriors!

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about Alex

As copywriter for Esurance, Alex had professional experience in everything from film to literature to (thanklessly!) correcting the grammar in friends' emails. As a fervent Minnesota sports fan, he spends most of his non-writing time gently weeping into cereal bowls.