After the Splash Brothers combined for 75 points in a win over Miami on Thursday and further staked their claim as the best backcourt in the NBA, we decided to pick our top 10 in the league. The positions were decided on a number of factors including performance this season at both ends, team record, potential, past season performances and how well the two players complement each other. It’s a lot harder than it seems..
10. Tony Parker (12.7pts, 52% FG, 42% 3PT, 5.1asts, 0.8stls) & Danny Green (7.6pts, 38% FG, 36% 3PT, 4rebs, 1.8asts)
The numbers may be a little underwhelming but that is the system that are working in. Tony Parker is ageing but has been extremely efficient this season and is still capable of brilliant games where he can score 20+ points with ease. Danny Green has been a little disappointing this season but is still very dangerous from outside (Remember the Finals a few years back?) whilst being a very underrated perimeter defender. Both these players make up the perfect Spurs backcourt- unselfish, defensively minded and good from outside.
9. James Harden (28.3pts, 42% FG, 34% 3PT, 6.4rebs, 7asts) & Patrick Beverley (9.2pts, 42% FG, 40% 3PT, 2.8asts, 1.2stls)
The Rockets season hasn’t gone to plan and the team finds themselves outside the playoff picture as it stands. Despite this James Harden is still one of the premier scorers in the NBA and has the ability to create off the dribble plus draw plenty of fouls. Beverley has assumed the starting role ahead of Ty Lawson and has been consistent from three along with his always solid defense. The pair work well together as Beverley can play predominately off the ball, allowing Harden to do what he does but he can also play some serious defense which makes up for Harden’s lack of.
8. Kyrie Irving (18.9pts, 46% FG, 29% 3PT, 4.4asts, 1stl) & J.R Smith (12.7pts, 41% FG, 40% 3PT, 1.6asts, 1.1stls)
After missing the majority of the first half of the season, Kyrie Irving has found his rhythm of late as the Cavs make a charge towards an elusive championship. When up and going Irving can be one of, if not the most deadly player in the league with speed, crazy handles and great jump-shot. Whilst a streaky shooter, J.R Smith has been able to shoot 40% from beyond the arc this season and has also been able to average 12.7 points in a team that is usually dominated by the big 3. Smith has always been an interesting player and will need to find some more consistency if the Cavaliers are to take down the all conquering Warriors.
7. Goran Dragic (12.8pts, 47% FG, 32% 3PT, 5.4asts, 3.5rebs, 1stl) & Dwyane Wade (18.9pts, 45% FG, 20% 3PT, 4.7asts, 4rebs, 1stl)
After a slow start, Goran Dragic has started to produce for the Heat of late and combined with perennial All-Star and Heat legend Dwyane Wade have made a productive backcourt. Wade seems healthy and is playing some outstanding basketball on either end, despite a poor 3PT% but that has never been his game. The Heat should make the playoffs and these two will cause headaches for the opposition in the post-season.
6. Derrick Rose (16.5pts, 42% FG, 27% 3PT, 4.8asts, 3.7rebs) & Jimmy Butler (22.4pts, 46% FG, 33% 3PT, 5.2rebs, 4.3asts, 1.7stls)
If Derrick Rose was 2011 Derrick Rose then these two would be challenging for the No.1 spot on this list. However recently Rose has started to look like the Rose of old in the absence of his running buddy, Jimmy Butler. Butler himself has had a stellar season at both ends of the floor. If both players can get healthy then they can be the most dangerous backcourt duo in the league, but that is a big ‘if’. I’m not sure whether we will see what Rose is fully capable of but on the other hand Butler is set for great things following two improved seasons.
5. Chris Paul (19.5pts, 46% FG, 38% 3PT, 9.5asts, 3.9rebs, 2.1stls) & J.J Redick (16.6pts, 48% FG, 48% 3PT, 1.4asts, 1.8rebs)
The drama surrounding Blake Griffin and the Clippers has failed to worry this backcourt who continue to be as consistent as ever. Paul is still in the top 10 for both assists and steals whilst Redick is one of the most deadly shooters from beyond the arc in the NBA. Together they form a dynamite duo that provide plenty of the Clippers offense in the absence of Blake Griffin and the under performance of the bench. Could potentially be placed higher on the list, with not much separating positions 2 through 5.
4. Damian Lillard (25.1pts, 43% FG, 37% 3PT, 7.2asts, 4.2rebs, 1.1stls) & C.J. McCollum (21.1pts, 45% FG, 40% 3PT, 4.3asts, 3.6rebs, 1.2stls)
These two have been lighting it up of late! Since the All-Star break, Damian Lillard has recorded 5 straight 30+ point games whilst C.J McCollum looks to be the favourite for Most Improved Player. They are both averaging in excess of 20 points per game each and have been very efficient doing so. Following the departures of key players at the end of last season, the Trailblazers were expected to have a poor season but behind their backcourt they are in playoff contention. Currently the youngest backcourt in the league, it’s going to be very exciting watching these two develop in the coming years.
3. John Wall (19.7pts, 42% FG, 35% 3PT, 9.8asts, 4.7rebs, 2.1stls) & Bradley Beal (18.3pts, 46% FG, 39% 3PT, 2.9asts, 3.5rebs, 0.9stls)
The Wizards have struggled for the most part of this season largely due to the absence of Bradley Beal, having missed 21 games through injury along with a minutes restriction once he returned. In the meantime John Wall has carried the team and has put up impressive numbers with an increased 3PT% along with being 3rd in the league for assists and top 10 in steals. Since Beal has returned to the line-up the Wizards look way more promising and their playoff run relies on this talented backcourt. They get the nod over the Trailblazer guards mainly due to the promise they have when both healthy and their ability to defend better, especially Wall.
2. Kyle Lowry (21pts, 43% FG, 39% 3PT, 6.4asts, 4.9rebs,2.1stls) & DeMar DeRozan (23.5pts, 45% FG, 35% 3PT, 4asts, 4.3rebs, 1.1stls)
Both have had big seasons, which lead them both to be named All-Stars recently and has also meant that their team sits 2nd behind Cleveland in the East. Very much an underrated duo, Lowry and DeRozan’s stats speak for themselves this season. They are yet to prove themselves in the playoffs but will get more than enough chance this post-season.
1. Steph Curry (30pts, 51% FG, 46% 3PT, 6.6asts, 5.3rebs, 2.1stls) & Klay Thompson (21.8pts, 47% FG, 42% 3PT, 2.2asts, 3.7rebs, 0.7stls)
The reigning champs currently have a 51-5 record and these two are massive reasons why they have such an impressive record. Let’s be honest, there was never a question as to who would be No.1 on this list as the Splash Brothers have proven time and again that they are the best. Curry has improved on his MVP season from last year and is poised to claim another one. this year. Whilst Thompson continues to play Robin to Curry’s Batman with a sweet stroke from the outside and the ability to guard some of the best players in the league at the other end.