First, it was Carmelo Anthony coming out to say he’s not forgot about the series with the Indiana Pacers. Now, there’s Derrick Rose saying that the Indiana Pacers are great, but they’re not a rival. Let’s take a look at the key quote that caught my attention, and I am sure will catch the attention of Pacer fans around here.
“People say that it’s a rivalry but I don’t really see it,” Rose said. “I say the team that is more like a rivalry is when Darren Collison was on the team. That one was more like a rivalry, but this team is a great team. They’ve already proven themselves last year by making it to the Eastern Conference finals.
“If anything, by probably in a year or two, it could become a rival. But right now, people say it’s a rival … I just don’t see it right now.”
Not that the Pacers will need any more fuel when playing the Chicago Bulls, but now for a fan’s perspective, I want the Pacers to absolutely HANDLE the Bulls. Beat them down, and march their way to a division title. Which in essence to me makes this a rivalry. Two teams vying for that top spot in the division, and two teams that have not had any love lost between the two.
Let’s face it most of the regular season, your team beats another team, and you’re fine with it. It’s not a big deal or a monumental celebration. To me, when the Pacers and Bulls play, there’s an extra intensity to it. There’s that bit of animosity that I believe has been gone from the NBA for a while. You had Danny Granger speak out when playing the Chicago Bulls just two years ago. Heck, I’ll even go back to when Michael Jordan was there playing, and I wanted the Pacers to get by the Bulls in that Conference Finals. How much more do you need for a rivalry?
You have two teams built upon the defense with two superstars in Paul George and Derrick Rose. You have role players that all complete the team. You have big men in Joakim Noah and Roy Hibbert that can definitely help things out in the post area. Two coaches that just seem to be the best fit for their teams. You have fans here in Indy that root for Chicago as evident a few years ago at playoff games, and even at some regular season games. To me, that’s rivalry talk. If Derrick Rose doesn’t want to believe that, it’s fine, but that will make me want the Pacers to beat down the Bulls and show that no matter what, the Pacers are better. And ultimately, that’s the goal of any NBA game.