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Q: Ira, I saw the schedule, but I’m still not sure who the Heat’s rivals are. What say you? – Eddie.

A: Me says that because of the recent series deep in the playoffs that such a question starts and ends with the Celtics. There is both recent and distant history there. The rivalry with the Celtics is getting close to (if not having already surpassed) the all-time rivalry with the Knicks. I also would put Milwaukee up there, because of that recent playoff history, as well, including the Heat’s stunning 4-1 victory in last season’s first round. And since the Knicks don’t stink, they probably again can justifiably be cast as a current rival. Otherwise, I think it would be a stretch to call the Nuggets a rival because of a single NBA Finals. And so much time has passed that I’m not sure the games against LeBron James and the Lakers set up as rivalry games. So, in order, I’d probably go: 1. Celtics, 2. Bucks, 3. Knicks.

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