Ranking the NBA's Most Dangerous 1-2 Punches Under 25

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Ranking the NBA's Most Dangerous 1-2 Punches Under 25
USA TODAY Sports

There is no secret formula for guaranteeing NBA success—except, of course, putting Gregg Popovich in charge of a franchise and drafting Tim Duncan—but amassing young talent almost always helps.

Not only are budding ballers often more cost-effective thanks to the league's experienced-based contract scale, they are also ideally developing their skills. There are some tremendous talents on this list, but none has maxed out his abilities.

What these players also haven't done, and won't before the 2014-15 season-opener on Oct. 28, is celebrate their 25th birthdays. That's what held James Harden out of contention, as he'll hit the quarter-century mark on Aug. 26.

Other players couldn't crack the list simply because their franchise lacks the second half of an under-25, one-two punch. DeMarcus Cousins, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Kenneth Faried have all done their share of heavy lifting, but the knockout power they possess isn't enough to overcome the missing piece of the combination.

So, who's still standing after those exclusions? A number of young, talented twosomes ranked by a blend of statistics, stature and that infallible tool known as the eye test.

To simplify the number-crunching portion of the process, two numbers were put under the microscope: player efficiency ratings and PER allowed to opponents. That two-way glance helped separate the good two-man tandems from the great ones, leaving this digestible set of the NBA's best under-25 duos.

 

Player efficiency ratings used courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com. PER allowed statistic via 82games.com.

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