Originally Posted by AI Nuggets3
individual rivalry---Lebron wins.
team rivalry---Melo wins.
Lebron is the better player but he would have no chance against Melo in a playoff series.
No chance, eh? I don't know if I would go that far. The Nuggets would be the favorites, probably, but it has more to do with the Nugs matching up extremely well against the Cavs than them being THAT much better.
There are several playoff teams in the West that the Cavs would be favored against in a playoff series. Denver isn't one of them. Styles win fights.
As for the OP...
A. LeBron has separated himself from nearly everyone else in the NBA. The only players on his level are Kobe and, arguably, Duncan (though I think Tim has aged this season).
B. It doesn't help that Melo NEVER would be matched up on LeBron, under any circumstances. For a real rivalry to occur, I feel like the two players have to defend each other, at least part-time.
C. There was never a rivalry to begin with. The media tried to manufacture one, but it just wasn't there. They seem like good friends who have fun playing against one another... That isn't a rivalry.
LeBron DOES have some real rivals. He and Kobe have begun a bit of a rivalry, though Kobe, at some point, is going to have to outplay LeBron when they matchup for it to reach its highest potential. So far, LeBron and the Cavs have pretty much owned Kobe and the Lakers (no offense Kobe/Laker fans).
Wade is a bit of a rivalry, but with the Heat being so down, it has made that rivalry somewhat lame. They do always play extremely well against each other, though (Wade had his best game of the season against the Cavs this year).
LeBron biggest rival is Paul Pierce and the Celtics. They have a general disdain for each other. As a matter of fact, the two teams just can't stand one another and it is obvious when they play. It always gets very chippy and there is always a ton of trash talk between both teams and usually between LeBron and PP. Unlike the others, this rivalry grew out of a true dislike for each other. It isn't manufactured by the media...
That is why a matchup in the playoffs is so appetizing.