The Next Great NBA Rivalry

01.07.08 10 years ago 17 Comments

I don’t think there’s an NBA fan out there who doesn’t wish we had rivalries in the League like we had back in the day. There are a few matchups that you know are going to be a little more intense than a random game, like Mavs/Warriors, Lakers/Suns and Suns/Spurs, but they’re all in the West and they’re nothing approaching classic rivalries such as Celtics/Lakers or Bulls/Knicks. That’s why I was more than happy to see that today’s Celtics got under the skin of the Pistons after winning in Detroit on Saturday night.

From today’s Detroit Free Press:

Next time the Celtics and Pistons meet, Detroit might do well to remember the way Boston walked off the floor after their 92-85 win at the Palace on Saturday.

It should serve as fine motivation.

The Celtics made quite a show of their win, with Paul Pierce yelling that the Celtics are the best team in the league, with several Celtics “popping” their jerseys, and, according to an report, with forward James Posey yelling to courtside fans, “Thanks for coming” and a mocking “Deeeee-troit basketball.”

In the Pistons’ locker room, that display was met with some smirks.

“They’re acting like they won the title,” forward Amir Johnson said.

Point guard Chauncey Billups took it one step further.

“They’re a little more happy than I know we were when we won our game out there,” Billups said. “It was just like a regular game for us with two good teams playing. They were kind of playing like it’s the Super Bowl, man.

“It’s just a regular game with two good teams playing. There was probably a little more at stake for them and their psyche than there was for us. But they won. It’s cool.”

If legit dislike between these two teams can really develop, we could be looking at a great rivalry for the next few years. And the fact that Billups – who the Celtics simply cannot stop – is in the center of it, makes it all the better.

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