The NBA is experiencing a rise in rivalries, but which of these bitter matchups will be the best?
Most have the vitriol centered around a handful of title contenders, but that is to be expected. After all, the best teams will push each other hardest and produce the most dramatic games. But it takes more than that to create a truly great rivalry.
A history of animosity and great play between two teams helps. Proximity does, too, fostering more jawing between fans and raising the stakes across more meetings. After all, with more opportunities to clash, conference rivals have better odds of developing some real emotion behind their play.
Ultimately, you know the best rivalries when you see them, but we have a sense of what they will be based on what we have recently witnessed.