Celtics vs. Lakers
Although we’ve covered Bird and Magic, we didn’t want to shortchange the Celtics when it came to rematches. The Celtics’ postseason history has been littered with back-to-back postseason showdowns against the same team, and it hasn’t always been the Miami Heat, who have eliminated Boston from the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. And to prove that not every rematch turns into a rivalry, the Celtics beat the St. Louis Hawks in the NBA finals in 1960-61 after splitting with the Hawks in 1956-57. The Hawks eventually moved to Atlanta in 1968 and no one has really cared about them since. The Celtics and Lakers met in back-to-back NBA Finals four times overall, not to mention Boston’s nearly back-to-back clashes with the Lakers in 2008 and 2010 (that’s close enough for rematch purposes). The Celtics pretty much dominated all those matchups—winning back-to-back over the Lakers in 1962-63; 1965-66 and 1968-69 before they split in 1984-85. There’s little chance of another Celtics-Lakers finals reunion this year in the finals, but you can mainly thank Dwight Howard and the rest of the Lakers for that fact.