Ranking the NBA's Top 10 Rivalry Games to Watch This Season

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Ranking the NBA's Top 10 Rivalry Games to Watch This Season
LeBron James and Paul Pierce already have history. Now it will carry over to Pierce's new franchise.

Rivalry talk has been in the air of late among NBA players.

LeBron James said that there are no rivalries among Eastern Conference contenders. Yet, when asked about the Chicago Bulls specifically, he acknowledged that the two teams plain don't like each other.

Meanwhile, Derrick Rose brushed off the Indiana Pacers as a rival, claiming the Miami Heat as Chicago's biggest foe.

George Hill was quick to take exception to Rose's remarks.

And around and around we go.

Despite what James says, there are rivalries in the NBA, at least from the fans' perspective, and they will make for some very intriguing battles throughout the season.

What criteria establishes a particular matchup as a must-see rivalry game? There are a couple indicators to check off.

There needs to be some recent bad blood between opposing players. Quotes like the ones linked to above satisfy that requirement.

Teams that have a recent playoff history get a bonus, as true rivalries are born and bred in the postseason, when teams get intimate with each other over a two-week stretch in the most intense environment the sport has to offer.

Lastly, for the game to be a truly must-see event, it must be broadcast nationally to attract the maximum number of eyeballs (apologies to the budding rivalry between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies; there are no nationally televised games between the two squads this year).

Those are the games we're counting down here. These are the NBA's top 10 rivalry games to watch this season.

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