Have the Trail Blazers found their new NBA rival?

Rip City-Bay Area Rivalry?

The Portland Trail Blazers have lacked an NBA rival for years. Once upon a time the Seattle Supersonics fit the bill, but their move to Oklahoma City eliminated the one-time I-5 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.

Bad Blood

Have the Portland Trail Blazers found their newest rival? (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Have the Portland Trail Blazers found their newest rival? (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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.

Star Performances

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.

Throw in players such as Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, Andrew Iguodala, David Lee and Klay Thompson into the mix, and you’ve got two of the most exciting teams to watch in the NBA.

Team Success

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.


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About Bryant Knox

NWSB Editor. Portland native and Oregon graduate, On a non-stop mission to consume as much Ducks+Trail Blazers content as humanly possible. His love of sports is what attracts him to the game, passion for writing drives him to uncover the stories. Connect w/ Bryant today!
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  • Brian Newell

    The Blazers have always had a rivalry with the Lakers.

    • Bryant Knox

      A rivalry is a two-way street. Fans in L.A. don’t view the Blazers as a rival at this stage in the rebuilds.

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