10 Best NBA Rivalries For the 2013-14 Season
The Best NBA Rivalries for 2013-14
There have been many rivalries in the history of the NBA. Some of them stand the test of time, while others fade in and out as the years go on. It's always great to see when they get rekindled with new groups of players in different generations. But it's very rare when you see two teams maintain a rivalry constantly in the NBA. There are just so many players that come and go and it's difficult for both sides to stay relevant.
When you think about the all-time great rivalries, there are a few that come to mind right away. Lakers vs. Celtics, Bulls vs. Pistons, Knicks vs. Bulls, but in the year 2013, none of those are very relevant. You can make a case that Knicks vs. Bulls is on the way back, but it really hasn't had an luster behind it since the 1990's.
The thing that chaps me these days is the concept of 'friendly' rivalries. Screw that. I want my rivals to hate each other's guts. Dirty play doesn't have to be involved, but it's a bonus. There's nothing like a good cheap shot to get players off the bench.
Who can forget the classic brawl between the Heat and Knicks back in the late 90's. Jeff Van Gundy was wrapped around Alonzo Mourning's leg for crying out loud. Now that's a rivalry. Hate between the two sides and a strong will to be the best, that's a recipe for entertainment.
So it's with all that in mind that we'll take a look at the best rivalries in the NBA today. Not all of these are proven and established rivalries, but based on what we know, these teams should be in heated battles together throughout the 2013-14 season:
Bulls vs. Nets
This should be a great Eastern Conference rivalry in 2013-14. The Bulls eliminated the Nets from the playoffs last spring, but both teams will look different this season. Derrick Rose is back in Chicago and the Nets went out and acquired two thirds of Boston's big-three. Both squads figure to be right there when it's all said and done in this year's Eastern Conference.
Lakers vs. Clippers
The Lakers aren't projected to do a whole lot this season, but it won't stop the battle of Los Angeles from being great. It's still the Lakers' town, but the Clippers finally seem to have a better overall team. We'll see how things shake out, but there will be some good battles at the Staples Center this season.
Warriors vs. Cliippers
This is another battle of California teams that should be great in 2013-14. The Warriors showed everyone that they belong in the 'best in the west' conversation last season and they have to be eager to take the next step this season. But you know the Clippers feel the same way. These contests should be up tempo and entertaining as all get out.
Pacers vs. Heat
The Pacers nearly knocked off the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals last spring and they did it without their best player. But it was Roy Hibbert that gave the Heat fits with his size. Ultimately, the talent on the Miami roster was too much for Indiana, but this rivalry is far from over.
Rockets vs. Spurs
This really hasn't been a relevant Texas rivalry in a long time, but that should change now that Dwight Howard resides in Houston. The Rockets were a playoff team a year ago without a ton of talent on the roster and the Spurs of course won the West once again. One team is rising, one team is falling, which always makes for great television.
Spurs vs. Grizzlies
This is another battle of old school vs. new school. After it seemed like the Grizzlies were going to stroll into the Finals last season, the aging Spurs rose up once again and swept them out in convincing fashion. Don't think Memphis has forgotten it. This rivalry has definitely been taken up a notch.
Heat vs. Nets
This is an up and coming rivalry that could get real interesting this season. With Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce now residing in Brooklyn, part of the old Celtics/Heat rivalry will be a part of this one. The NBA sees potential too, as they are likely to allow both teams to wear nickname jerseys for each one of their four matchups.
Nets vs. Knicks
The battle of New York could get very interesting in 2013-14. These two teams have already stated their dislike for each other and that's what you want to hear if you're a fan of basketball. David Stern has asked them to play nice, but hopefully things get real chippy as they fight to be the best team in New York.
Thunder vs. Grizzlies
The Thunder were eliminated by the Grizzlies in last year's playoffs, but that was partially due to Russell Westbrook's absence. He'll be back and ready to go this season, so look for this rivalry to get taken up a notch.
Bulls vs. Heat
When you talk about rivalries for the upcoming season, it doesn't get much better than Bulls/Heat. With Derrick Rose back in action and several Bulls' players getting ready to enter their primes, the time is now for Chicago to knock off Miami. But there's still no denying that the Heat have the best player in the world. Every time these two teams go at it in 2013-14, it's going to be must-watch basketball. But the odds are, the biggest matchups will come in the playoffs next spring.