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For years, the greatest rivalries in basketball included, for the most part, the same teams, however over the last few years, things have been changing and in 2014/2015, the times have officially turned.
The Lakers, Celtics, Bulls and Knicks, who all dominated the 90's and early 21th century are not the powerhouses they once were (3 of those 4 are well under .500 and only Chicago is going to make the playoffs). The truth is there are new rivalries in the NBA and at last, we can finally look at new team colors and star players in prime time NBA games.
Some of the newest NBA rivalries are still in their infancy, some have been growing and some are fully developed. Regardless of their stage, when some of these team match up and clash, everyone gets pumped to see the outcome.
To avoid being redundant, we only used each team only once. The rivalries are ranked in order of fierceness:
This is the newest NBA rivalry that could blossom into the one of the best over the next 3 years. Granted this is the first year it has existed (since Lebron James decided to leave Miami and head back to Cleveland), we believe that every time these two teams hit the court, there will be some added intensity. I their first matchup this season, the heat had no problem with King James and company winning by 10 (101-91). This was the first of 4 meetings this season. We look forward to the next 3!
Next meeting is: in Cleveland, Wednesday February 11, 2015 on ESPN.
When these two teams battle, it has everything you want in a serious NBA rivalry: resentment and superstars like Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin. This rivalry also has the added intensity due to the in-state and in-division participants. Whenever these two California team go up against each other, it truly is must-watch TV.
Next meeting is: in Golden State, Sunday March 12, 2015 on ABC.
The Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder might be one of the greatest understated rivalries in the NBA right now. Since 2010-11, the 2 Western Conference squads have squared off over 20 times (including the postseason). During that time, 17 of those games were decided by less than 10 points, and 13 were decided by 6 or less. Finally, 4 of those tilts were decided by one possession. Lastly, and most impressive, 4 times, the games went into overtime.
in 2011, the Mavericks ousted the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals but had their revenge in 2012, when the Thunder swept in the following year. This rivalry also features two of the most lethal players in the game today, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant.
So, if you’re looking for a fantastic game, right to the buzzer, make sure you circle their games on the calendar.
Next meeting is: in Oklahoma City, Thursday February 19, 2015 on TNT.