Triple Threat: A Countdown of the Best Trios in the NBA

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Triple Threat: A Countdown of the Best Trios in the NBA
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Before I start with my rankings, I just wanted to warn you all that this is a fairly long read and I am sorry for its length. I hope that you all will give it a read and comment on it anyways.

With that said, let's get into the rankings of the best trios in the NBA.

 

30. New York Knicks: Al Harrington, Wilson Chandler, and Nate Robinson

Al Harrington is a dangerous offensive player and coming off a 20 point per game season, but you have to question whether or not he truly is a winning player. He gets his points, but he doesn't really do anything to help his team win. He is a horrific defender, a poor rebounder, and has an absolutely terrible attitude.  

Nate Robinson has become a spark plug off of the bench for the New York Knicks, but his lack of size and point guard skills leave him as a limited player. He does not bring anything to the table aside from scoring and energy off of the bench though.

Wilson Chandler is one of the lone bright spots on the Knicks roster. He is an intriguing prospect and showed a lot of promise last season and with an increased role on the team he looks to take his game to the next level.

While there is no denying that the Knicks have a talented Big Three, the simple fact of the matter is that aside from Chandler, none of these players are conclusive to winning and seem to be content with nothing more than getting their own.

 

29. Sacramento Kings: Kevin Martin, Tyreke Evans, and Spencer Hawes

Kevin Martin has become one of the best scoring shooting guards in the NBA over the past few seasons and looks to have a very bright future ahead of him. He is one of the best scorers in the game but does not give you much else aside from that scoring.

Tyreke Evans is a huge question mark heading into the season. He will most likely be given the starting point guard spot and look to lead the Kings. He is a dynamic athlete and has loads of potential but will he be able to step in immediately?

Spencer Hawes is a versatile big man that can step outside and hit the jumper. He is going to have to improve his defense and all-around game to be more than an average center, though.

The Sacramento Kings have some good young talent in Martin, Hawes, and Evans, but aside from Martin, none of them are proven players. How will these youngsters perform next season? That is up in the air.

 

28. Houston Rockets: Aaron Brooks, Trevor Ariza, and Luis Scola

The Rockets have been decimated by injuries. They are without Yao Ming for the entire season and who knows how long Tracy McGrady will be out for, or if he will ever become the player that he once was. So as a result of injuries to their star players, the Rockets are going to have to get some production elsewhere.

Aaron Brooks had a coming out party during last year's playoffs and showed that he can be a legit NBA point guard. He is lightening-quick and is very adapt at getting to the hoop. He is going to have to improve his decision-making and add more to his game to continue to stay effective though.

Ariza joins the Rockets from the defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. He was a vital piece to the Lakers championship run and was a key contributor.

However, you can't help but wonder whether or not Ariza looked better than he truly was alongside great players like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. I guess time will tell.

Luis Scola is also going to have to take a more prominent role on the team and become a focal point on offense. He is one of the best role players in the game and a fantastic energy player, but can this role player step his game up and become a major contributor offensively?

Without Yao and T-Mac, this trio is looking a little wack.

 

27. Minnesota Timberwolves: Al Jefferson, Jonny Flynn, and Kevin Love

Al Jefferson is one of the best young big men in the game today. A fantastic offensive option down low and a great rebounder. He is a limited defender and passer, but he has all of the tools to be a multiple-time All-Star. A concern about Jefferson is how well will he bounce back from his season-ending knee injury last year?

Jonny Flynn is the most NBA-ready point guard that came out of this year's draft. He is an explosive athlete and a great leader on the floor. He is going to need to improve his jumper to keep the defense honest to get full use of his blazing speed. He my be small in stature, but this young point guard has a huge heart.

Kevin Love is a terrific rebounder and a fundamentally sound player. He doesn't have any particular area of his game that he stands out in aside from rebounding, but he is just an all-around smart player. He isn't an ideal compliment to Jefferson however, and didn't look great playing alongside Big Al last season so that is something to keep in mind.

The T'Wolves trio is full of potential, but aside from Jefferson, none of them have shown much more than just potential.

 

26. Indiana Pacers: Danny Granger, T.J. Ford, and Troy Murphy

Danny Granger had a breakthrough 2008-09 season in which he was named to the All-Star team for the first time and also won the NBA's Most Improved Player award. He is a dynamic offensive threat capable of going off at any time and showed last season that he is a viable number one option.

When T.J. Ford is focused in on playing team basketball, he can be a very lethal point guard with his incredible speed and playmaking ability. Sadly for Pacer fans, Ford tends to get caught up in individual battles too often and doesn't have the greatest of attitudes. When he is in the right mindset though, he is a good player and point guard.

Troy Murphy is one of the league's better rebounder and was among the league leaders in double-doubles last season. He is a smooth shooting big man that stretches the defense and has the potential to be a matchup nightmare. He doesn't give much aside from rebounding and shooting though, as he is a pretty poor defender.

Danny Granger is one of the NBA's bright young stars, but aside from Granger, this trio just doesn't shine.

 

25. Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut, and Brandon Jennings

Michael Redd has been hit hard by injuries over the last couple of years, but when Redd is on his game there are not many better pure scorers in the NBA. He is a lethal shooter and an all-around great scorer but he does not bring too much to the table. The biggest knock on Redd over the past few years has been his inability to stay on the court.

Andrew Bogut was taken with the first overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft and has not developed into the player that the Bucks had originally hoped for him, but he is still a very good center. He is one of the best passing big men in the NBA and when given an opportunity, he has proven that he can be a viable offensive option.

Brandon Jennings is the brash and cocky rookie point guard that the Bucks are looking to lead them into the future. He has all of the physical tools and gifts in the world, but you have to question his mind frame. He is a very good player on the court, but his mouth may get him in trouble off of the court. You can't deny his talent though.

With Redd's injury problems and question marks surrounding Jennings, I simply can't put them any higher than 25 so here they are.

 

24. Charlotte Bobcats: Gerald Wallace, Tyson Chandler, and Raymond Felton

Gerald Wallace is one of the most energetic players in the NBA and is the definition of a guy leaving it all on the floor. He may not be the most talented guy out there, but you know that he will give you 110 percent every time he steps on the floor. Sadly for Bobcat fans, this pedal-to-the-metal playing style often ends up with Wallace on the injured list.

Tyson Chandler is the newest member of the Bobcats and he brings them an ultra-athletic, long, defensive big man. He makes his living on the defensive end of the floor and is known as one of the premier defensive centers in the game. However, he is very limited offensively and without a point guard like Chris Paul spoon-feeding him easy baskets he is not going to give the Cats much offensively.

As of right now Felton is not technically a part of the Bobcats as he is still a restricted free agent, but I decided to include him anyway. Felton is a good floor general and a tough defender. He is not going to wow you with his play but he will go out there and give you a consistent effort night in and night out on both ends of the floor.

This trio is very potent defensively, but do they have the offensive firepower to warrant a higher ranking? Not in my mind, so they come in at 24.

 

23. New Jersey Nets: Devin Harris, Brook Lopez, and Courtney Lee

Devin Harris broke out last season in his first full year with the Nets and made his first All-Star appearance. Without Vince Carter in the lineup, look for Harris to improve on his terrific season last year as he is the undisputed No. 1 offensive option and franchise player in New Jersey. He established himself as a top-10 point guard last season and is looking to make the jump to top-five this year.

Brook Lopez just may have been the steal of the 2008 NBA Draft. He was definitely the best big man selected and had a very good rookie campaign last year. He showed great skill down on the low block and with another year of experience under his belt, look for him to come into the season as a much improved player.

Being the Nets second best player and having an increased role on the team is only going to benefit him as well.

Courtney Lee was the centerpiece in the Vince Carter deal this past season, and he has the potential to become a very dangerous two-way player in the NBA. He was the Magic's best perimeter defender in their run to the Finals last season and proved that he is no slouch on the offensive end of the floor, either.

This trio may be young and somewhat unproven, but do not count out their abilities as they are very good players.

 

22. Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Jeff Green

Last season Kevin Durant gave us a glimpse into his future as an elite scorer. He absolutely tore it up after being moved to his natural position of small forward. He is already one of the NBA's elite scorers and will just get better as he gains more experience.

Durant is going to have to round out his game and become a better playmaker to take the next step though, but I fully expect him to do that.

Russell Westbrook is coming off of an impressive rookie season. He showed his surreal athleticism and versatile skill set. With a full season under his belt and being more accustomed to the league, look for his defense to become a staple of his game.

He is going to have to develop more point guard skills and play within himself more often to become a true point guard, though.

When Jeff Green was drafted he was predicted to be the Scottie Pippen to Kevin Durant's Michael Jordan and Green has the skill set to become a poor man's Pippen. He is a versatile forward with good playmaking instincts. With Durant missing some time last season he was able to showcase all of his talent and he looked good.

With another year of experience under his belt, look for him to come out guns blazing.

The only thing holding this trio back is experience, but they are undoubtedly going to be a force to be reckoned with within in the next couple of years.

 

21. Los Angeles Clippers: Baron Davis, Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon

Baron Davis is coming off of an absolutely terrible season in which he shot 37 percent from the field and averaged 14.9 points per game, which is his lowest point output since his sophomore season. He clashed with his coach and played uninspired basketball for the entire season. Still, there is no denying this man's talent and when he is on his game physically and mentally, there aren't many better point guards.

Blake Griffin was the first pick in this year's draft and the Clippers showed their commitment to him by trading Zach Randolph and opening up the starting power forward spot for him. Many people believe that Griffin is possibly the most NBA-ready big man prospect to come into the league since Tim Duncan and he looks to be leading candidate for Rookie of the Year.

One of the lone bright spots for the Clippers last season was the play of Eric Gordon. He was a dynamic shooter and showcased all of his offensive abilities. With another year of experience on his belt, look for him to come out guns blazing and improve on his stellar rookie season.

If Davis focuses on the game and Griffin plays like he's expected to, this trio could very well deserve to be ranked higher.

 

20. Memphis Grizzlies: O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, and Zach Randolph

O.J. Mayo is a terrific scorer and shooter. He was the leading scorer for the Grizzlies as a rookie and looks to elevate his game to the next level in his sophomore season. He has already proven that he can score the rock, but in order to become a better player he is going to have to round out his game.

Rudy Gay is an athletic specimen and if the reports about him adding 20 pounds of muscle are true, he is going to be a lethal slasher this season. He has shown the ability to score the rock, but much like Mayo, this youngster needs to develop the other areas of his game—his passing in particular. If he is able to become a better creator for his teammates, he could really become something special.

The Grizzlies acquired talented, but cancerous Zach Randolph in the offseason in hopes that he can solve their power forward woes and lack of interior scoring. Nobody can deny the talent that Randolph has, but you have to question his work ethic and whether or not he is a player that will bring you wins.

He has a history of putting up hollow, empty stats on losing teams. Will Randolph be able to turn it around and become a piece to a larger puzzle?

This trio is very talented, but with the inexperience of Mayo and Gay, as well as the questionable attitude of Randolph, Grizzly fans could be in for a roller coaster of a season.

 

19. Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, and John Salmons

The Bulls lost Ben Gordon to the Pistons, but are hoping that Luol Deng is back and healthy. Deng has shown signs of being a very efficient scorer and playing alongside a point guard like Rose is going to help his game out tremendously. Before he was hit by the injury bug, Deng was considered to be one of the brightest young stars in the game and if he can stay healthy he will show why.

John Salmons was a trade deadline pickup for the Bulls last season and was a huge reason why they gave the Celtics so much trouble in the playoffs. He is a smooth player that doesn't blow you away, but will methodically pick you apart. Having an entire training camp to work with will do wonders for his game, and with Gordon gone, expect to see an increase in his role as well.

Last, but certainly not least, is the reigning Rookie of the Year and first overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Derrick Rose. Rose showed a tremendous amount of potential and the sky truly is the limit for him. The Bulls are going to lean heavily on this explosive point guard this season and if last season was any indication, Rose is up for the task.

The Bulls are a team on the rise, and this trio will be relied on heavily to improve on their successful season last year.

 

18. Golden State Warriors: Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, and Andris Biedrins

Monta Ellis had a tumultuous season last year. He was injured in the offseason in a moped accident which caused him to miss a significant amount of time.

This season, he is looking to put that all behind him and prove why he was given a large contract extension. Ellis is a dynamic scorer that is one of the fastest in the game today.

Stephen Jackson brings a fire and tenacity to the game like no other. He is a passionate player that plays with his heart on his sleeve, which can be his biggest strength and biggest weakness at the same time.

He is the leader of this team and a very versatile player. When his head is on straight, he is a very good player and this young Warriors team is going to be looking to Captain Jack for leadership.

One of the most important parts of a Run N' Gun system is being able to rebound the ball. After all, if you can't rebound the ball you can't get out and run, and this is exactly where Andris Biedrins comes in.

He is a terrific rebounder and defensive player and is usually the one to ignite the Warriors fast break. Defense is his role and he plays it very well.

The Warriors have always been an exciting team, and this trio should be very fun to watch next season as they start running towards the postseason.

 

17. Detroit Pistons: Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Gordon

Rip Hamilton has been the Pistons leading scorer for the past seven seasons and looks to continue that trend. Hamilton is one of the best players in the NBA at moving without the ball and utilizing off-the-ball screens to get himself open looks. He possesses one of the best midrange jump shots in the game.

Tayshaun Prince is the player that gets the least recognition out of the members of those elite Piston teams, but with Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace gone, Prince will be under the microscope.

Prince is a lengthy defender that is among the best in the NBA. He also has a good jumper and his length is causes mismatches in the post.

The Pistons biggest move this offseason was to sign former Chicago Bull Ben Gordon to a long-term deal. Gordon is most likely going to come off of the bench next season and if that is the case, he will be among the leading candidates for the Sixth Man of the Year award, an award in which he has already won. His role will be instant offense off the bench, and this role fits him perfectly.

The Pistons had a horrible season last year as it was the first time in six years that the did not make it to the Eastern Conference Finals and if they hope to make it back to the top of the mountain in the East, it will be up to these three players.

 

16. Miami Heat: Dwyane Wade, Michael Beasley, and Jermaine O'Neal

Dwyane Wade is a top-three player in the NBA and an elite player in every sense of the word. He is a dangerous offensive player and one of the best guards in the league at playing passing lanes and blocking shots. Wade is a superstar, what else needs to be said?

Michael Beasley had a somewhat disappointing rookie season considering the hype he had going into it, but with a larger role on the team and a season under his belt, he could become a force alongside D-Wade next year. His combination of size, strength, quickness, and athleticism allows him to score in a variety of ways. As long as he puts in the work on both ends of the floor, he can be a star.

Jermaine O'Neal was acquired just before the deadline last season and took time to adjust to the team. He is a fallen superstar and has troubled knees, and although he is not what he used to be, he is still a great defensive presence that can have a scoring outburst on any given night.

Although this trio isn't fantastic in terms of depth, I can't bring myself to drop them any further down the list considering how good Dwyane Wade is, so they come in at 16.

 

15. Philadelphia 76ers: Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, and Thaddeus Young

Elton Brand has been hit hard by injuries and missed the better part of two seasons now. The Sixers signed him to a fat contract last offseason and with the loss of Andre Miller, they are going to need him to show why they gave him that contract. When he is healthy, Brand is a consistent 20-10 player that plays solid defense as well. He will be relied on heavily to give the Sixers a much needed interior presence on offense.

Andre Iguodala is one of the most exciting players in the league and proven to be a very good player. He has been the best player for the Sixers during their last two trips into the postseason and a healthy Brand may help give him some more room to operate. Last year he struggled with Brand in the lineup, but hopefully these two can develop some chemistry during camp and become a potent inside-outside duo.

Thaddeus Young is an energetic, versatile forward that can do a bit of everything. He was fairly raw coming out of college and looks to be putting it all together. With Miller leaving the team, Young is going to have an increased role on the team and they will need him to step it up and become the third best player on the team.

The Sixers have a talented trio, but chemistry issues as well as possible injuries have them stuck in the middle of my rankings.

 

14. Atlanta Hawks: Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby, and Josh Smith

Joe Johnson has thrived since coming to the Hawks and they have had great success with him leading the way. He is a great scorer and a very good playmaker from the shooting guard spot.

He is a versatile player that does a little bit of everything on the court. Johnson is arguably a top-five shooting guard in the game today and the straw the stirs the Hawks pot.

Mike Bibby was the player that many people consider to have pushed the Hawks over the top and made them a playoff team. He is a very good shooter and a great leader on the floor. He is a very clutch player and loves the big moments.

He isn't a great playmaker from the point guard spot and not your typical point guard, but he is just a very good basketball player.

Josh Smith is one of the most athletic players in the game today and he makes great use of that athleticism by getting out in transition and finishing on the break or by protecting the hoop with blocked shots. He is not a great man-to-man defender, but his length and leaping ability make him one of the premier help defenders in the game today.

The Hawks have a very talented young squad, and have made some noise in the East these last two years, and if they are going to make some more noise this year, it will be these three players that lead the charge.

 

13. Utah Jazz: Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Mehmet Okur

Deron Williams is a top-two point guard in the NBA and the best player currently playing to not have been named to an All-Star team. He has great size for the point guard spot, and that, along with his excellent playmaking skills, shooting ability and screen usage, make him a terror for opposing point guards. Deron has become a complete player since entering the league and an absolutely fantastic floor general.

Carlos Boozer has had a very interesting offseason to say the least as his name was swirled around in trade rumors and speculation. As of right now though, he is the starting power forward for the Utah Jazz and he is a damn good one.

He is a physical banger down low with some good post moves and he also works very well with Deron Williams in screen and roll situations. He is a very good rebounder as well. His defense simply sucks and he is a fairly selfish player, but he is definitely a good one.

Mehmet Okur is really a key piece to the Utah Jazz and I don't think that he gets the recognition that he deserves. His perimeter shooting ability gives the Jazz tremendous spacing and opens up the entire lane for Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams to work with. He is an excellent offensive big man that has a major impact on the Jazz.

The Jazz have experienced success with this trio, and they look to get back to where they were just two seasons ago when they were a Western Conference finalist.

 

12. Toronto Raptors: Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jose Calderon

Chris Bosh is one of the best offensive big men in the game today. He has an excellent jumper and is very good at getting to the line. He has a great first step which he uses very well and allows him to get to the rim. Offensively he is just a tremendous talent.

He has shown in the past that when he is given a respectable supporting cast around him, he has the ability to lead them into the playoffs and this year, he has a good cast around him.

Hedo Turkoglu was one of the biggest free agents to hit the market this offseason and he ended up in Toronto. He is a walking mismatch with his 6'10" frame and ball-handling abilities. He is a very good playmaker for his size and a dangerous shooter.

Perhaps the best part of Turkoglu's game is his ability to come through in the clutch and in pressure situations, which is going to be a huge asset to the Raptors.

Jose Calderon is one of the best pure point guards in the NBA. He truly gets what it means to run an offense and play unselfish team basketball. He is a tremendous shooter and is great using screens. He is a good playmaker and all around offensive player.

His defense is a concern as he is a lousy defender, but you definitely can't deny his talents on the offensive end of the floor.

This Raptor trio possess a lot of talent on the offensive end of the floor, but they really don't give you much in the way of defense, which prevents them from making it into the top 10.

 

11. Phoenix Suns: Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Jason Richardson

Steve Nash is one of the best point guards in the NBA, and possibly one of the best of All-Time at running a fast paced team. He is a fantastic passer and playmaker and a master at utilizing screen situations. He has a dead-eye jumpshot from the perimeter which forces teams to play him tight coming off of screens. He is getting up there in age, but he is still good for another year or two.

Amare Stoudemire is an ideal power forward in an uptempo system. He runs the floor better than any big man in the game and is one of the most ferocious finishers in the paint. He is also very effective in screen situations as he has developed a very nice midrange jumper.

A motivated Amare is a top-five power forward in the game.

Jason Richardson was acquired in December and didn't have the season he hoped for. He is a dangerous shooter from deep and an athletic finisher around the rim. He will be a very nice target out in transition for Nash and thrives in the fast-paced game.

These three players may be the most offensively talented trio in the game today, but with their lack of defense, they slide down to No. 11.

 

10. Portland Trailblazers: Brandon Roy, Andre Miller and LaMarcus Aldridge

Roy is one of the NBA's rising young stars. He is widely recognized as a top-five, possibly even top-three shooting guard in the NBA. This youngster plays the game with the poise of a seasoned veteran.

Roy is a jack of all trades as he really does not have a glaring weakness in his game. He has developed into quite the player and, perhaps more importantly, leader.

Andre Miller is the Blazers' prized offseason acquisition. This savvy floor general will be the elder statesman for the Blazers and brings valuable experience to the table.

Miller is a very good pass-first point guard that looks to get everybody involved. During his time with the Sixers he showed himself capable of being a solid leader, and that is something that the Blazers will love about Miller.

Rounding out the trio is power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge is a smooth shooting big man that loves to step outside and shoot the midrange jumper. He is an excellent pick and pop player. He needs to develop more of a back to the basket game and to learn how to fully utilize his exceptional length though.

The young Blazers had a nibble of the postseason cake this past season, and they are hungry for me. This trio will dictate whether it will be feast or famine for the Blazers.

 

9. New Orleans Hornets: Chris Paul, David West, and Emeka Okafor

Chris Paul is coming off of back-to-back MVP-caliber seasons and leading the Hornets to the playoffs for the second straight year.

Paul is one of the best playmakers in the NBA and is an expert at setting up his teammates for easy baskets. He is perhaps the best point guard in the NBA at throwing lob passes. He is the player that many consider to be the best point guard in the NBA.

David West is a great shooting big man. He and Paul are quite possibly the best pick-and-pop tandem in the entire NBA. West is coming off a second consecutive All-Star appearance and looks to help lead the Hornets back to the Western Conference elite.

The newly-acquired Okafor gives the Hornets a different outlook. He does not posses the athleticism that Tyson Chandler has nor is he as energetic, but what he does bring to the table is a more polished offensive game along with some very sound positional, as well as help, defense. Playing alongside a point guard like Paul is going to possibly open a lot of things up for this former No. 2 pick.

A lot will hinge on how well Okafor adjusts to his new team, but with a point guard like Paul, I think that adjustment will go very smoothly.

 

8. Denver Nuggets: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and Nene

Carmelo Anthony is one of the most complete scorers in the game today. When it comes to putting the ball in the hoop, there are few players that can do it as effectively and in as many ways as Melo. He has also become one of the best rebounding small forwards in the entire NBA and has begun to round out his game since the arrival of Chauncey Billups.

Chauncey Billups is a top-five point guard in the NBA. He might be your prototypical, pass-first point guard, but you can not deny his impact on the game.

He's one of the best leaders in the NBA today and a great, veteran floor general. His arrival in Denver last season completely changed the culture of the franchise and helped lead them to the Western Conference Finals.

Nene had a breakout season last year as he was finally able to stay healthy and produced as a result. He experienced career-highs in points, rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage. This young, athletic 26-year-old big man is looking to show that last season was not a fluke and build upon his excellent 2008-09 season.

This trio proved last season that they could work together flawlessly and with an entire training camp to work with this time around, they may even be better than last season.

 

7. Washington Wizards: Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison

The Washington Wizards are a team that has been decimated with injuries over the past few seasons and their Big Three of Arenas, Butler, and Jamison have unfortunately not seen a lot of court time together as a result.

Gilbert Arenas has been devastated by injuries these last couple of years but when he is on his game, there aren't many better pure scorers in the game. He is a streaky shooter but when he is on, he is lights out. Injury problems have managed to stall his meteoric rise to the top, but he is apparently 100 percent healthy for the first time in years.

Butler is one of the more unheralded players in the NBA. He is a versatile offensive player that has a solid midrange game and is an effective slasher, while giving you a tough defender at the other end of the floor.

Antawn Jamison rounds out the Wizards trio and he gives them a versatile offensive post player. Jamison can step outside and use his quickness and shooting ability to full effect, or he can go down low and make full use of his unorthodox post game.

If Arenas can become an elite player once again, and Butler and Jamison continue their All-Star level play, the Washington Wizards may be the dark horses in the East.

 

6. Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, and Jason Terry

Dirk is the best offensive power forward that the game has seen in a long time and is undoubtedly a top-three power forward in the game today. There aren't any better power forwards at taking over a game on the offensive end of the floor.

Josh Howard is a dangerous player when he is motivated and is the player that many people believe is the X-Factor for the Mavericks. When Howard is on his game, there are not many better two way players in the game nor are there very many better third options on the floor.

Jason Terry is the NBA's reigning Sixth Man of the Year and provides the Mavericks with instant offense off of the bench. He is a very good shooter and a great clutch performer that relishes the opportunity to hit big shots.

Jason Kidd may be one of the leaders on this team, but the Dallas Mavericks will go as far as Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, and Josh Howard take them.

 

5. Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal, and Mo Williams

The Cleveland Cavaliers where the best team in the regular season last year but fell short of their ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship. LeBron James and his sidekick Mo Williams were both All-Stars last season and formed one of the more formidable duos in the league last season.

Williams' shooting ability proved to be a very valuable asset to the penetrating ability of James and the two worked very well together but it was still not enough to win a championship. So what did the Cavs do to appease these players and strengthen their roster?

Well they just happened to go out and trade for perhaps the most dominant player that the NBA has ever seen in Shaquille O'Neal. Although he is getting up there in age, Shaq proved last season that he is still a dominant force down low as he was an All-Star yet again and the Phoenix Suns' best player. Having Shaq down low gives LeBron the dominant big man that he has yet to play with and a guy that will take some of the pressure off of James.

James is coming off his very first MVP season and is hungry to win an NBA championship. I would not want to have to face this trio in the playoffs, that is for sure.

 

4. Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, and Rashard Lewis

The Orlando Magic are coming off their first NBA Finals appearance since the 1994-95 season. They had a terrific team last season but that did not stop them from going out and acquiring perhaps the most electrifying and explosive player the NBA has ever seen in Vince Carter. Carter may be getting up their in age but he has proven that he can still play at an All-Star level and is one of the more complete offensive players in the NBA.

Rashard Lewis is fresh off of an impressive 2008-09 season in which he led the league in three-point field goals made and was an All-Star for the second season in his career. His dynamic shooting ability is a critical component to the Orlando Magic's offense and the spacing that he provides is a major reason why they are such an effective team.

Joining Lewis and Carter is some guy named Dwight Howard. I hear that he is pretty good. Howard is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and the league's best center. His defensive prowess and elite rebounding is a perfect compliment to the offensive abilities of Carter and Lewis.

This trio looks to build on the success that the Magic had last season and I am not going to put it past them.

 

3. Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Ron Artest

Kobe Bryant is fresh off his first NBA championship without Shaquille O'Neal and first NBA Finals MVP. Pau Gasol is fresh off a terrific postseason and his first NBA title. These two proved last season that they are a dynamic duo that is capable of great things.

So what did the Lakers do to complement these two star players? Oh well, they just managed to go out and sign a guy by the name of Ron Artest.

Bryant is the player who many believe is the best in the NBA. He is undoubtedly the best shooting guard in the NBA and best two-guard to play the game since Michael Jordan.

Gasol has thrived in the Triangle offense and showed that he is a fantastic second option on a championship caliber team. Artest is a former Defensive Player of the Year and when he has his head on straight, a marvelous two-way player.

Kobe is scary enough on his own, but when you add a possible top-five power forward in the NBA and one of the most feared defensive players that the NBA has seen this decade, you have the makings of a fantastic trio.

 

2. San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili

These three Spurs just may have the best chemistry out of any trio in the league. They have been together for three NBA championships and have been among the league's elite for their entire tenure together. This trio has been the driving force behind the San Antonio Spurs for the last seven years and have yielded impressive results.

Duncan is quite possibly the greatest power forward to play the game and the player that many believe is the No. 1 power forward in the game today. He is a game changer on both ends of the floor.

Tony Parker has become a top-five point guard in many people's minds and proven to be a dynamic scorer. He is a former NBA Finals MVP and an All-Star point guard.

Manu Ginobili is one of the best sixth men in the entire NBA. This former Sixth Man of the Year winner is capable of igniting his team and coming through in pressure situations.

The Spurs have reloaded and are looking poised to make another championship run, and this trio will be leading the charge.

 

1. Boston Celtics: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce

Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. All three of these players are future Hall of Famers. All three of them are still playing at an All-Star level. They led the Boston Celtics to a league-best 66 wins and the NBA championship back in 2008.

This past season they looked like they were well on their way to possibly repeat as NBA Champions until Garnett was sidelined with a knee injury and eventually lost to the Eastern Conference Champion Orlando Magic in seven games.

Kevin Garnett is a top-three power forward in the NBA and a former MVP as well as Defensive Player of the Year. Paul Pierce is a top-three small forward in the NBA and a former Finals MVP and Ray Allen is arguably a top-five shooting guard in the NBA as well as quite possibly the most feared shooter in NBA history. Together, the have brought the type of success to Boston that hadn't been there since the days of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish.

They have fantastic chemistry and play off each other amazingly well. The have proven that they are trio that can win a championship and give you an elite team.

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