The Philadelphia 76ers have had their fair share of rivalries throughout the history of the NBA.
These rivalries have fueled exciting games and memorable playoff battles, adding depth and intrigue to the storylines surrounding the team.
In this article, we will discuss some of the Philadelphia 76ers’ fiercest rivals, who have challenged the team and forged unforgettable moments in basketball history.
One notable rivalry has been with the Boston Celtics, a team that has remained a division rival, leading to tense and heated matchups. The Sixers and Celtics have faced off in numerous playoff series, further intensifying their rivalry.
Another important rivalry is with the Los Angeles Lakers, which gained momentum in 2001 when Allen Iverson’s Sixers faced off against the powerhouse duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant during the finals.
We will delve deeper into these rivalries, as well as others that have shaped the course of the Philadelphia 76ers’ legacy over the years.
Get ready to explore the narratives, key moments, and iconic players that have defined the rivalries surrounding this storied NBA franchise.
The Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics have one of the most intense rivalries in NBA history.
These two teams have faced each other in 21 playoff series, making it the most frequent matchup in NBA postseason history.
The Celtics have the upper hand, winning 14 of these series. Their clashes throughout the years have provided fans with remarkable moments and unforgettable games.
Los Angeles Lakers
Another prominent rival of the Philadelphia 76ers is the Los Angeles Lakers. Their rivalry began during the 1980s when the 76ers, led by Julius Erving, faced the star-studded Lakers with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
This riveting competition was reignited during the early 2000s when Allen Iverson’s 76ers took on Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant’s Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Though the 76ers lost that series, the passionate battles between these two teams are etched into basketball history.
New York Knicks
The Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks have had multiple encounters in the playoffs, and their proximity has contributed to an intense rivalry.
As two of the oldest franchises in the NBA, both teams have storied histories and strong fan bases, fueling the animosity between them.
From the hard-nosed defense of the 1990s Knicks to the high-flying antics of the Allen Iverson-led 76ers, this longtime rivalry has generated electrifying moments and hard-fought battles between these Eastern Conference foes.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets have developed a compelling rivalry in the Eastern Conference, with both teams showcasing their prowess on the court.
This friendly rivalry is fueled by their skillful rosters and their competitive matchups. As both teams strive for supremacy within their division, each showdown becomes more intense.
Another divisional rival of the 76ers are the powerful Toronto Raptors. Over the years, the Raptors and Sixers have showcased electrifying duels with one common goal – domination in the Atlantic Division.
As two of the top teams in the East, their games are intriguing for basketball fans who enjoy high-energy competition between well-matched rivals.
Though not as intense as the other mentioned matchups, the rivalry between the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards is still noteworthy. Both teams have storied histories with their ups and downs but continue to push the limits of their potential.
Their head-to-head encounters captivate fans as they vie for bragging rights in this evolving Eastern Conference rivalry.
Recent Playoff Rivals
The Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat have a history of rivalry in the playoffs. Most recently, these two teams squared off in the 2018 NBA playoffs, where the Sixers emerged victorious in their Eastern Conference First Round series.
As both franchises feature young and talented rosters, many expect this rivalry to intensify in the coming years. With players like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons leading the Sixers against Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo on the Heat, the stage is set for some exciting playoff clashes in the future.
I’m Another team that has surfaced as a recent playoff rival for the Philadelphia 76ers is the Atlanta Hawks. Led by the young and dynamic point guard Trae Young, the Hawks have quickly become a formidable opponent in the Eastern Conference.
You The most notable head-to-head playoff matchup between these two teams happened in 2021 when the Hawks upset the heavily favored Sixers in a thrilling seven-game series. This has undoubtedly sparked some competitive tension between the organizations, and fans can look forward to more exciting playoff battles as these two star-studded teams continue to grow and develop.
James is a big time NBA Golden State follower, who makes sure to catch games when he's in the area. He likes to follow International Soccer, with an interest in small town soccer club, Blackburn Rovers located in the North on the UK.