Tonight will be the 20th installment in what has become one of the most entertaining rivalries in the NBA. At the very least, the most entertaining rivalry in Boston.
Tom Thibodeau vs Doc Rivers? Nope.
Paul Pierce vs. Luol Deng? Nope.
Rajon Rondo vs. Derrick Rose? Shut up that's not even funny.
Nate Robinson vs. a ball boy? Not bad. But still wrong.
The answer is Kevin Garnett and Joakim Noah.
It's Kevin Garnett vs. Joakim Noah.
It's gold, Jerry. Gold!
As I type, KG has the edge in team and individual numbers. His Celtics are 12-7 against Noah's Bulls, and in those 19 games, Garnett's averaged 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds, while Noah's posted 10.8 and 10.1. (There's also the matter of the 2009 Playoffs, and that certainly counts for something, but not as much as if Garnett had actually played.)
Either way, to this point, KG has definitely gotten the better of this rivalry. But lately, the tides have turned. Noah might be 7-12 lifetime, but he's won six of the last eight. And this year, even without Derrick Rose, the Bulls have been steady while the C's have been all over the place.
Noah was actually questionable for tonight's game with a sore foot, but announced at this morning's shootaround that he "wouldn't miss this for anything."
And by "this" you know that he means this . . .
KG rakes the face
Mouth open? OK, go
This might sting a little
Elbow to the chest coming in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .
Elbow to the face coming in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .
Noah dunk. NOAH MAAAAD!
Actually, maybe you shouldn't click on this one
Is this a prosthetic?
I'm not looking AT you but I'm talking TO you
He means his rivalry with Kevin Garnett.
So, why don't they get along?
Because they're too similar. Not in pure skill, but in the way they approach game. Deep down, you know they respect the hell out of the way the other one competes. But they're like two live cables; when their paths cross sparks are going to fly. Throw in the generational divide and the always high stakes, and you can see how we got here. You have to love that we did. And look forward to watching them face off on the parquet.