Rivalries each old and new take center stage this week with the first-ever NBA Rivals Week. From Tuesday by way of Saturday, 11 nationally televised games will feature some of the league’s most basic duels and a few rising rivalries between groups and players.
Let’s take a better take a look at each of these matchups, digging into the numbers, the history and the present state of every rivalry.
Nets at 76ers (7:30 p.m. ET)
- All-Time Record (Regular Season): Sixers 120, Nets 88
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Sixers 8, Nets 4 (Last met in 2019 First Round, Sixers gained 4-1)
- All-Time Record (Combined): Sixers 128, Nets 92
- Last 10 Games (Combined): Sixers 6, Nets 4
- This Season (Sixers 1, Nets 0): Sixers 115-106 on Nov. 22
This has mostly been an everyday season rivalry because the Sixers and Nets have only met in the playoffs 3 times throughout their teams’ history, most just lately with Philadelphia eliminating Brooklyn within the first spherical of the 2019 Playoffs in five games.
The key to this rivalry is final season’s trade-deadline deal that despatched Ben Simmons to Brooklyn and James Harden to Philadelphia. This is the second meeting of the season (both in Philadelphia) for the Nets and Sixers, as they enter Week 15 ranked second and fourth, respectively, within the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers received the primary assembly again on Nov. 22 despite playing without their prime three gamers: Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. This was Simmons’ first sport again in Philly because the trade final season. He finished with 11 factors, 11 assists and 7 rebounds while being serenaded with a refrain of boos from the Philly crowd every time he touched the ball.
Grizzlies at Warriors (10 p.m. ET)
- All-Time Record (Regular Season): Warriors 52, Grizzlies 48
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Warriors 8, Grizzlies 5 (including 1 play-in game)
- All-Time Record (Combined): Warriors 60, Grizzlies 53
- Last 10 Games (Combined): Warriors 6, Grizzlies 4 (Warriors received 2022 West Semifinals 4-2)
- This Season (Warriors 1, Grizzlies 0): Warriors 123-109 on Dec. 25
Immediately following Golden State’s 117-116 win in Game 1 of the 2022 Western Conference semifinals, Stephen Curry approached Memphis’ Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. while the Grizzlies teammates lamented their loss whereas standing underneath the basket. “Fun as hell, fellas. Come on! Come on!” Curry yelled whereas dapping up each gamers. Jackson then asked Curry, “You love this, huh?” and Curry quickly responded, “Absolutely!”
Two days later, Memphis tied the sequence with a 106-101 win in Game 2 behind Morant’s 47-point master class – together with all of Memphis’ last 15 points within the final four-plus minutes of the game. After the ultimate buzzer, Curry and Morant crossed paths near midcourt whereas exiting the courtroom, and Morant returned the message to Curry: “We’re gonna have some enjoyable.”
Unfortunately, the fun was cut quick as Morant suffered a bone bruise in his knee during Game 3 and was ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs. The Warriors would go on to win the collection in six video games on their approach to successful their fourth NBA title in eight years.
After profitable the title, Klay Thompson called out Jackson for using Golden State’s catchphrase “strength in numbers” in a tweet following a Grizzlies regular-season win over the Warriors. Of course, Morant responded to that jab by saying the Grizzlies are taking on lots of actual property within the minds of the Warriors.
The groups met on Christmas Day, with Golden State winning 123-109 with out Curry as Jordan Poole (32) and Thompson (24) combined for 56 points to assist offset Morant’s game-high 36 factors. With matchups on Christmas Day and Rivals Week, this rising rivalry should be entertaining to follow.
Knicks at Celtics (7:30 p.m. ET)
- All-Time Record (Regular Season): Celtics 300, Knicks 186
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Celtics 36, Knicks 31 (last playoff matchup in 2013 First Round)
- All-Time Record (Combined): Celtics 336, Knicks 217
- Last 10 Games (Combine)d: Celtics 6, Knicks 4
- This Season (Celtics 1, Knicks 0): Celtics 133, Knicks 118 on Nov. 5
The New York Knicks and Boston Celtics rivalry dates again to the opening days of the NBA (then often identified as the BAA: Basketball Association of America) as they are two of the unique 11 groups. Between the common season and playoffs, the Knicks and Celtics have met 553 occasions getting into their Rivals Week matchup on Thursday with Boston holding a 336-217 all-time benefit over New York.
Thanks to a barrage of 3-pointers, the Celtics received the first assembly of the season 133-118 on Nov. 5. Boston made a franchise-record 27 3s within the game, including six apiece by Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who combined for 56 factors.
Boston’s scorching shooting helped maintain the Knicks at bay as New York got a mixed 78 factors from Julius Randle (29), RJ Barrett (27) and Jalen Brunson (22). The Celtics rank second in 3-pointers made on the season (15.6 per game on 37.2% shooting), while the Knicks allow the third-most 3-point attempts (38 per game), the sixth-most 3-pointers made (13.1 per game), however the fourth-lowest proportion (34.5%).
Suns at Mavericks (10 p.m. ET)
- All-Time Record (Regular Season): Suns 95, Mavericks 75
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Mavericks 10, Suns 9
- All-Time Record (Combined): Suns 104, Mavericks 85
- Last 10 Games (Combined): Suns 5, Mavericks 5 (Mavericks gained 2022 West Semifinals 4-3)
- This Season (Suns 1, Mavericks 1): Suns 107-105 on Oct. 19; Mavericks 130, Suns 111 on Dec. 5
Looking back on the historical past of this rivalry, the Suns had gained 11 straight video games over the Mavericks — a run that started on Jan. 28, 2020 and continued via May 4, 2022 when Phoenix took a 2-0 collection lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals. Staring at an 0-2 deficit, the Mavericks bounced again and received 4 of the subsequent 5 games — together with a rout in Game 7 that noticed Dallas lead by as many as 46 factors before ending with a 27-point win to close out the sequence and advance to the Western Conference finals.
The schedule makers wasted no time in getting these two teams again collectively following that seven-game collection because the Suns and Mavericks met on opening night time for each groups on Oct. 19. The Mavericks built a 22-point lead — bringing on emotions of déjà vu for followers in Phoenix, however the Suns rallied to earn a 107-105 win on Damion Lee’s jumper with beneath 10 seconds to play.
The groups met once more on Dec. 5, the place Dallas evened the season sequence 1-1 thanks to a 130-111 win behind Luka Doncic’s 33 points and 21 from Spencer Dinwiddie to snap a 10-game regular-season shedding streak to Phoenix.
Friday (NBA TV)
Grizzlies at Timberwolves (7:30 p.m. ET)
- All-Time Record (Regular Season: Timberwolves 52, Grizzlies 51
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Grizzlies 4, Timberwolves 2
- All-Time Record (Combined): Grizzlies 55, Timberwolves 54
- Last 10 Games (Combined): Grizzlies 6, Timberwolves 4 (Grizzlies received 2022 First Round 4-2)
- This Season (Grizzlies 1, Timberwolves 1): Grizzlies 114-103 on Nov. 11; Timberwolves 109, Grizzlies 101 on Nov. 30
This is another playoff rematch from final season because the Grizzlies eradicated the Timberwolves within the first round in six video games. The Wolves made a major transfer in the offseason as they aspire for a deeper playoff run by buying and selling for three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. The outcomes up to now have been combined as Minnesota sits one sport beneath .500 (24-25) and in ninth place in the West. All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns has been out since late November with a Grade 3 calf pressure.
Beyond the playoff rematch, this sport includes a clash of two of essentially the most exciting younger guards in the sport at present in Memphis’ Ja Morant and Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards. This might end up being a battle of the top two poster dunkers within the league right now. Need proof, check out these highlights from the past 10 days:
EVERY ANGLE OF JA MORANT’S UNBELIEVABLE DUNK OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE 😱📽️ pic.twitter.com/8u1j6ZNH3F
— NBA (@NBA) January 15, 2023
OH MY 🤯
📲 https://t.co/1pomQZMAZK pic.twitter.com/UtHCNxOMWp
— NBA (@NBA) January 22, 2023
Raptors at Warriors (10 p.m. ET)
- All-Time Record (Regular Season): Warriors 31, Raptors 20
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Raptors 4, Warriors 2 (2019 NBA Finals)
- All-Time Record (Combined): Warriors 33, Raptors 24
- Last 10 Games (Combined): Raptors 6, Warriors 4
- This Season (Warriors 1, Raptors 0): Warriors 126-100 on Dec. 18
This rivalry stems from the 2019 NBA Finals, when the Raptors defeated the Warriors in six video games to stop Golden State from posting the sixth three-peat in NBA historical past.
Game 5 of that series noticed the final look of Kevin Durant in a Warriors uniform as he suffered a torn Achilles tendon that may require him to miss a full season in recovery. An unrestricted free agent following the damage, Durant decided to play in Brooklyn alongside Kyrie Irving, with the Warriors and Nets executing a sign-and-trade deal in the summertime of 2019.
Game 6 of that collection saw the final appearance of Kawhi Leonard in a Raptors uniform as the Finals MVP would signal with the LA Clippers as a free agent in the summer of 2019 after only one season in Toronto. Game 6 also noticed Klay Thompson undergo a torn ACL, setting off a 941-day journey back to the court docket that included a torn Achilles during his rehab.
Since the 2019 Finals, the Raptors and Warriors have traded wins back and forth over the past three seasons, with the Warriors successful the first assembly this season on Dec. 18 behind a 43-point performance from Jordan Poole as Golden State was with out Stephen Curry.
Nuggets at 76ers (3 p.m. ET)
- All-Time Record (Regular Season): 76ers 52, Nuggets 42
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Have never met in postseason
- All-Time Record (Combined): 76ers 52, Nuggets 42
- Last 10 Games (Combined): 76ers 5, Nuggets 5 (Denver has received three of last 4 games dating again to 2021)
- This Season: This is the primary of two meetings this season
- Head-to-Head Record: Joel Embiid 4, Nikola Jokic 2
This sport is less about a group vs. team rivalry as the 76ers and Nuggets don’t have a storied historical past and have never met within the postseason, which must be a Finals matchup.
Rather, this could be a duel between two of the top big men within the sport today — Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid. These two have been the highest two finishers within the Kia MVP race in each of the previous two seasons, with Jokic getting the edge on Embiid each times. In 2020-21, Jokic received the MVP vote 971-586, but final season Embiid closed the gap as Jokic’s win was simply 875-706.
While Jokic is the two-time reigning MVP – and tops the newest Kia MVP Ladder – Embiid is the league’s reigning scoring champion as he became the first center since Shaquille O’Neal to win the scoring title with a career-best common of 30.6 factors per game. Embiid enters Rivals Week because the league’s main scorer once again, this time upping his scoring common to 33.6 ppg on a career-best 53.7% shooting.
On the other hand, Jokic’s scoring has dipped a bit this season because the Nuggets welcomed again Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. to the combination to take a variety of the scoring load off Jokic after the two players missed all (Murray) or most (Porter) of last season. Instead, Jokic has taken his playmaking expertise to new heights, averaging a career-best 9.9 assists per sport (second in the NBA as a center) to go with 25.1 points and 11 rebounds as he’s just shy of averaging a triple-double for the season. Speaking of triple-doubles, Jokic leads the league with 14 on the season and already ranks sixth all-time with 90 profession triple-doubles, which is probably the most ever by a middle.
In six head-to-head matchups, Embiid’s Sixers maintain a 4-2 edge over Jokic’s Nuggets. Embiid has averaged 22.2 points on 41.2% taking pictures, 10.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.2 blocks and 1.2 steals in six video games in opposition to Jokic. Meanwhile, Jokic has averaged 21.5 factors on 49% shooting, 9.0 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.zero blocks when dealing with Embiid and the Sixers.
Knicks at Nets (5:30 p.m. ET)
- All-Time Record (Regular Season: Nets 106, Knicks 101
- All-Time Record (Regular Season (Since Nets moved to Brooklyn in 2012-13): Nets 24, Knicks 16
- All-Time Record (Playoffs: Nets 5, Knicks 5 (last met in 2004)
- All-Time Record (Combined): Nets 111, Knicks 106
- Last 10 Games (Combined: Nets 8, Knicks 2 (Nets have gained eight in a row)
- This Season (Nets 1, Knicks 0): Nets 112, Knicks 85 on Nov. 9 (first game with Jacque Vaughn as head coach)
This intracity rival is much like that of the Lakers and Clippers in Los Angeles. While New York has all the time been a Knicks city, the Nets have gotten the better of the Knicks not solely since arriving in Brooklyn in 2012 (Nets 24, Knicks 16 over the previous decade), however the Nets maintain a 111-106 lead in the all-time sequence. The Nets enter Saturday’s recreation driving an eight-game win streak in the head-to-head matchup with the Knicks.
While the Nets and Knicks haven’t met in the playoffs since 2004, that risk exists in 2023 as the Nets (29-17) at present maintain fourth place in the East and the Knicks (25-23) at present hold seventh (and can be within the Play-In Tournament).
The Knicks enter Rivals Week driving a four-game dropping streak, whereas the Nets have received two in a row after dropping their first 4 games after Kevin Durant was lost to an MCL tear. Durant dropped a triple-double (29 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists) as the Nets beat the Knicks 112-85 on Nov. 9 in the debut game of Jacque Vaughn as head coach. Can the Knicks take advantage of a shorthanded Nets squad and at last end this eight-game dropping streak within the Battle of the Boroughs?
Lakers at Celtics (8:30 p.m. ET)
- All-Time Record (Regular Season): Celtics 164, Lakers 133
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Celtics 43, Lakers 31
- All-Time Record (Combined): Celtics 207, Lakers 164
- Head-to-Head NBA Finals: Boston 9, Lakers 3
- Last 10 Games (Combined): Celtics 5, Lakers 5 (Celtics have gained three of final 4 games)
- This Season (Celtics 1, Lakers 0): Boston 122-118 (OT) on Dec. 13
There isn’t an NBA Rivals Week and not utilizing a matchup between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers – the preeminent rivalry in NBA history, and one of many largest in the historical past of sports – as these longtime foes wrap up NBA Rivals Week with their 372 meeting on Sunday evening.
The Celtics and Lakers are tied for essentially the most championships in NBA historical past with 17 apiece — the Lakers tied the Celtics with their 2020 title in the bubble. The teams have met in the NBA Finals a record 12 times, with Boston holding a 9-3 edge in head-to-head series with the championship on the line.
Both groups entered this season in search of title No. 18 to take sole possession of first place in championships and hold the last word edge in this storied rivalry. Boston vs. Los Angeles instantly recalls memories of a number of the nice particular person rivalries as nicely: Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird, Bill Russell vs. Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant vs. Paul Pierce. Perhaps LeBron James vs. Jayson Tatum?
This is the second and ultimate meeting of the common season between Boston and Los Angeles, with the Celtics winning the primary matchup 122-118 in overtime on Dec. 13 behind a 44-point gem from Tatum and a 25-point game from Brown. The Lakers had been led by LeBron (33 points) and Anthony Davis, who completed with 37 points and 12 rebounds. Davis has been out of motion since Dec. 16 with a foot damage.
This past weekend, it was reported that Davis “looked phenomenal” during a full-contact scrimmage. While no return date has been introduced, the Lakers would like to get Davis back as this game in Boston marks the primary of a five-game highway trip for L.A.
Rivals Week Completed Games:
Update: Heat 98, Celtics 95
- All-Time Record (Regular Season): Celtics 80, Heat 52
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Heat 16, Celtics 14
- All-Time Record (Combined): Celtics 94, Heat 68
- Last 10 Games (Combined): Celtics 6, Heat 4 (Boston won 2022 East Finals 4-3)
- This Season (Celtics 2, Heat 1): Boston 111-104 on Oct. 21; Boston 134-121 on Nov. 30; Miami 120-116 (OT) on Dec. 2
This rivalry heated up (pun intended) within the early 2010s as Boston’s Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen clashed with Miami’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Celtics have been the final boss of the Eastern Conference that LeBron and Co. needed to knock off to have the ability to attain the Finals and contend for the title. Another layer was added to the rivalry when Allen switched groups in 2012 and received titles with each groups.
Fast forward a decade and a new technology of Heat and Celtics have revived this rivalry, with Boston being led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and Miami led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Playoff series act as gasoline to any simmering rivalry, and these two teams have met within the Eastern Conference finals twice prior to now three seasons – Miami winning in 2020 and Boston successful in 2022. So far this season, Boston leads the season series 2-1, with Miami choosing up the latest win on Dec. 2 in overtime with Adebayo leading four Heat gamers with 20+ points.
Update: Clippers 133, Lakers 115
- All-Time Record (Regular Season): Lakers 150, Clippers 83
- All-Time Record (Regular Season, since Clippers moved to L.A. in 1984-85 season): Lakers 104, Clippers 63
- All-Time Record (Playoffs): Have by no means met in postseason
- Last 10 Games (Combined): Clippers 9, Lakers 1 (Clippers on nine-game win streak)
- This Season (Clippers 2, Lakers 0): Clippers 103-97 on Oct. 20; Clippers 114-101 on Nov. 9
When we look at the history of the Battle of Los Angeles, we see that the Lakers have dominated the Clippers, leading the all-time sequence 150-83 and 104-63 because the Clippers relocated to Los Angeles in 1984. The Clippers have all the time been seen because the little brother to the mighty Lakers in L.A. While the Lakers thrived and hung championship banners in the course of the Showtime, Shaq and Kobe, and Kobe and Pau eras, the Clippers often struggled to make the playoffs.
However, recent historical past has favored the Clippers. Since the 2010-11 season, the Clippers maintain a 38-13 benefit over the Lakers in head-to-head meetings, and enter Tuesday’s matchup riding a nine-game win streak against their intracity rival, with the Lakers’ last win over the Clippers approaching July 30, 2020 in the bubble.
Both teams enter Tuesday having gained two straight games. Kawhi Leonard has appeared in seven of LA’s last eight games and is averaging 29.9 factors on 54/53/93 shooting splits during this stretch. The Lakers have gone 10-9 since shedding Anthony Davis to a foot harm on Dec. 16, with LeBron James averaging 33.9 factors on 54% shooting as he continues to march towards the NBA’s all-time scoring record (224 factors away).