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Ranking the five greatest NBA play-off rivalries of all-time

Editor's Pick

Ever since its inception in the year 1946, the NBA has revolutionized the game of basketball and for most people today, it symbolises the sport itself. The game has evolved from the time of Bob Cousy, and has transcended into a new dimension where dunks and throw-downs dominate the highlight reel. The visual of a towering and herculean superstar soaring into the air, and making us believe for one moment that even humans can fly, has become the signature image of the league.

However, the league isn’t all about towering centres dunking the ball, or allegro guards weaving their way through. The euphoria and the hysteria that one can identify with the NBA can be mostly derived from the storied rivalries that have left indelible marks on the minds and hearts of fans all over the globe.  Be it the Larry Bird v/s Magic Johnson or the Wilt Chamberlain v/s Bill Russell rivalry, these match-ups define the very spirit of the game and have formed the league’s identity. These rivalries had encapsulated the fans in a trance, transcending regional and national boundaries. Any player who would have ever played the sport can tell you that there is no better feeling that the adrenaline rush one experiences playing on a court surrounded by over 10,000 vociferous fans. The ever enthusiastic crowd infuse an infectious energy and adrenaline to the game, electrifying the arena with their chants of “MVP”,”Defense” etc.

The rivalries lend the very important emotional and passionate aspect to the game, and every rivalry is unique in its history and coveted by the fans. So, trying to decide between two rivalries isn’t exactly a direct affair and there is no binary way of deciding the same. This article is an attempt to list the greatest 5 team rivalries and analyze the factors that made these rivalries so important and special.

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