Throughout more than 70 seasons, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has had many intense rivalries. This article lists some of the famous rivalries in the NBA. Rivalries are classified into three primary groups; intradivisional, interdivisional, and interconference.
Interconference rivalries comprise games between opponents in different conferences. A team plays each opponent from the other conference in one home game and one away game.
Intradivisional rivalries comprise games between opponents in the same division. Since the 2004–05 NBA season, there are 30 teams in six divisions of 5 teams each. Each team plays each division opponent 4 times during the regular season (twice at home, twice away) for a total of 16 games out of 82 total regular season games.
Interdivisional rivalries comprise games between opponents in different divisions but within the same conference. A team plays against each team from the other two divisions in its conference either three or four times. The total interdivisional games an NBA team plays is 36. Conference games are often important, as a team's record in common games, as well as its overall record against its conference, are sometimes used as tiebreakers for playoff seeding at the end of the regular season. Also, many regular season opponents have met again in the playoffs, and the result of a regular season game can affect where the playoff game will be played.
The Cavaliers–Warriors rivalry is a National Basketball Association (NBA) rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. While the two teams have played each other since the Cavaliers joined the league in 1970, their rivalry began to develop in the 2014–15 season, when they met in the first of four consecutive NBA Finals, from 2015 to 2018. Prior to the streak beginning, no pair of teams had faced each other in more than two consecutive Finals. Of these four series, the Warriors won three championships (2015, 2017, and 2018) and the Cavaliers, one (2016). The Finals streak ended in the 2018-19 season, during which the Cavaliers missed the playoffs following LeBron James' move to the Los Angeles Lakers.Magic–Heat rivalry
The Magic–Heat rivalry is an NBA rivalry between the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat. It is also known as the Sunshine State Rivalry since both the Magic and the Heat are based in the state of Florida.
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National Basketball Association rivalries