Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rival or not to Rival


With the recent discussion of the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks being a rivalry, I decided to do a little research to determine if this is a rivalry or not, at least in recent years.  We all know about the New York and Boston rivalry that stems from the Red Sox and Yankees, and more recently Jets and Patriots.  When talking about basketball though, that is a different story.

“It’s a rivalry?” Paul Pierce said. “You all are letting me in on all the new stuff. I didn’t know we had a rivalry going.”

“I don’t know what that is, the whole rivalry thing, because it really hasn’t been one,” Doc Rivers coach of the Celtics said. “We both were bad for a while, we’ve been good for a while. The two teams haven’t exactly matched for a long time.”

Both teams were pretty bad from 2001-2006, with the Knicks continuing to be bad until this season in which they have a 16-9 record. Having said this, bad teams don’t make for rivalries, as no one can remember any memorable games between the two, nor can anyone think of any high stake games such as playoff series. 

BostonNew York
SeasonWinsLossesWinsLosses
2010-2011194169
2009-201050322953
2008-200962203250
2007-200866162359
2006-200724583349
2005-200633492359
2004-200545373349
2003-200436463943
2002-200344383745
2001-200249333052
2000-200136464834
464379343502
55%41%

This is what Wiki had to say on the NBA Rivalry, as you can see, they don’t really state that it is a rivalry except for the basic location facts should imply it would be one.

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks

These are two of the only remaining teams from the original 1946 NBA (the other is the Golden State Warriors, who, while in Philadelphia, were also great rivals with both teams; both rivalries died down once the Warriors moved west).
This rivalry attributes and stems from the rivalry between New York City and Boston, as well as the bigger Yankees – Red Sox rivalry in Major League Baseball. The fact that Boston and New York City are only three and a half hours away also contributes to the Knicks-Celtics rivalry, which is also seen between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots in the National Football League and Boston Bruins-New York Rangers in the NHL.

Below is the head to head records with the points scored each season between these two ball clubs, as you can see the Celtics have won 30 out of the last 41 games verses the Knicks, and average almost 6 points per game more.  Granted that beat down of 104-59 (Boxscore) inflated the stats a little bit.


SeasonBostonPTSNew YorkPTS
2010-201111050101
2009-201034271412
2008-200934321406
2007-200844230348
2006-200733981403
2005-200634251398
2004-200534141383
2003-200413353359
2002-200344180372
2001-200244000366
2000-200113723384
304149113932
101.295.9

Clearly, Paul Pierce is right when he was confused as to why this was viewed as a Rivalry for the up coming game.  However, do not be surprised is this match up becomes a rivalry in the near future.

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