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Rivalry Week -- Poll 3 of 3 -- Eastern Conference

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Here is the third of our three polls about rivalries. Read my earlier post for some background on this process.

This one is about any possible Eastern Conference rivals of the Clippers, and honestly, I'm not sure I can think of any. Other than just teams that people tend to dislike (the Heat, the Celtics, etc.), what would be the justification for calling any East team a "rival"? The Clippers have never been to the NBA Finals, and therefore have never met any of these teams in the playoffs. If you go WAY back to the 70s, the Braves made the playoffs in three straight seasons, and were eliminated by the Celtics in two of those. So if you have a connection to that Braves team, then the Celtics could be a rival (of course it's the Celtics of Cowens and Havlicek and White, not Pierce and Rondo and Garnett). The Celtics and Braves also featured possibly the only owner trade in NBA history, so there's that.

If you're looking for a more current justification for a rivalry, I'm not sure I know what it might be. The 76ers for stealing Elton Brand? Well, Brand is gone now so that doesn't work. The Clippers have had some great wins over the Heat in recent years, but I'm not sure a couple of regular season wins makes a rivalry.

But maybe there's some angle I'm not thinking about. What do the citizens think?