Ranking Jeremy Lin-James Harden with NBA's Smartest Backcourts

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Ranking Jeremy Lin-James Harden with NBA's Smartest Backcourts
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Are you looking at the NBA's smartest backcourt?

A great backcourt doesn't just play well. It plays smart. We as fans have often heard the phrase "basketball IQ." So is the combination of Jeremy Lin and James Harden the NBA equivalent of Mensa? And if not, who's smarter?

First off, let's get this out of the way: If you're judging by college attended, obviously Lin wins. He's the first NBA player from Harvard in over 55 years. And he's the first Ivy League NBA player in ten years. So if that's our only criterion, article over.

Let's dig deeper, shall we?

Bear in mind, an average IQ is 100. An IQ of 135 or higher is considered genius-level. And though a minute subsection of the population can actually score higher than 200 on an IQ test, let's use 200 as the gold standard for genius.

But instead of math and verbal tests, we'll grade our guards on criteria like their ability to find the open man, find and make the open shot, free throw accuracy, turnover ratio and most importantly, intangibles.

Also, bear in mind that we're only considering genius-level tandems. And finally, the duo has to have played together in this NBA season. So the Chicago Bulls backcourt, for example, will not appear (although with Kirk Hinrich as their starting point guard, even the great Derrick Rose could probably not elevate the pair into high-IQ society).

When it comes to backcourt partnerships, who are the NBA's Einsteins?

Stats used in this article were accurate as of 11/22/12.

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