Rip City-Bay Area Rivalry?
Even teams such as the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers have provided entertainment throughout the years, as they’ve gone back and fourth with the Blazers.
But while Portland has had a few rivals throughout its time in The Association, it’s been a long while since Rip City has had that one team that everybody loved to hate.
That is until now.
It took less than a month for the Blazers to encounter their first altercation of the season, and boy was it a memorable one.
Portland and Golden State haven’t been known as bitter rivals at any point of their respective franchises, but that may have changed when the two teams collided during a third-quarter altercation. The two squads were already on edge because of a questionable no call earlier in the period, so when Andrew Bogut gave Joel Freeland a strong forearm to the throat, needless to say, the battle was on.
Every rivalry needs bad blood. It’s not a “requirement” per se, but it helps when the fans are as emotionally invested as the players.
Basketball is a game of emotion, and when you see adrenaline, anger and passion combine on the court, you can’t help but remember that feeling the next time the two teams meet.
When Portland traveled down to the Bay Area during the 2012-13 season, we caught a glimpse of what Damian Lillard is truly capable of. He scored a career-high 37 points, and he put on an absolute show as the team came back in the second half (close contests can be another requirement of a true rivalry).
During the most recent meeting, LaMarcus Aldridge showed why he’s a two-time All-Star. He recorded 30 points and 21 rebounds, and he impacted the game both above the rim and in the mid range.
On the Golden State side, you can always count on a strong showing from Stephen Curry. He became one of the most fun players to watch in the NBA last season, and that’s not going to change any time soon.
If you want to judge a true NBA rivalry, you have to look at the wins column. Nobody wants to watch two losing teams take the court, and luckily for the Blazers and Warriors, their fans no longer have to.
In recent years, Golden State has drastically improved. As of this year, we can say the same thing about the Trail Blazers.
Every rivalry has meaning behind it, and that meaning is amplified when both teams are competing at a high level.