NBA Rankings: The Top 8 Most Dynamic Starting Backcourts
As the 2010-2011 NBA campaign kicks off in mere days, it is time to recognize the NBA's top eight dynamic starting backcourts. These duos are the most exciting, explosive and talented in the league today.
The following twosomes can be counted on not only as playmakers at the end of games, but are all an integral part of their team's successes throughout the season.
Milwaukee Bucks—Brandon Jennings and John Salmons
Point guard Brandon Jennings started out the 2009-2010 campaign remarkably, including a 55-point outing against the Warriors but cooled significantly through the middle part of the season.
After John Salmons was traded to the Milwaukee from the Bulls, the tandem began to work exceptionally well together. Salmons averaged 20 points, three rebounds, and three assists per game while on the Bucks, and Jennings contributed 15.5 points and about six assists per outing.
Jennings is one of the most electrifying young guards in the league today and will look to beat the sophomore slump while leading Milwaukee into the playoffs.
Philadelphia 76ers—Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala
Looking to expand on a spectacular second half, Jrue Holiday now firmly reins the point in Philadelphia. After the All-Star game, this breakout candidate averaged about 12 points, six dimes and a couple steals per game.
Andre Iguodala will be relied on as a consistent scoring output once again, and thrived in this role the past couple seasons. He averaged a well-balanced 17.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per contest a year ago.
The pair will be forced to contribute substantially if the Sixers hope to reach the postseason in the much improved Eastern Conference.
8. Los Angeles Lakers – Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant
Yes, I know, Derek Fisher isn't what you would call “explosive,” but this 14-year veteran provides the intangibles that most NBA point guards don't possess. Experience, leadership and clutch shooting are his forte.
He also has some other guy that is pretty darn good as his backcourt mate. Oh yeah, Kobe Bryant. He may be a little banged up going into the season, but Kobe is still arguably the NBA's best playmaker.
The Lakers aren't the two-time defending NBA Champions for no reason. Kobe continues to put up stellar numbers: 27 points, 5.4 rebounds, and five assists per game. Even though he is aging, these numbers should maintain at least through this year.
7. Portland Trailblazers – Andre Miller and Brandon Roy
Andre Miller is an accomplished veteran that is frequently underrated. He proved last year that he can fill up the scoreboard, accumulating 52 points against Dallas, and averaging 14 points and 5.5 assists per contest.
Miller is a great backcourt compliment to Brandon Roy, one of the most complete guards in the league today. Roy is not only the Trailblazers team leader, but is also an outstanding clutch performer. He is good for about 22 points, five rebounds, and five assists, similar to his stats in the 2009-2010 season.
6. Washington Wizards – John Wall and Gilbert Arenas
A serious rookie of the year candidate, John Wall has the potential to become one of the best and most exciting point guards in the NBA. He has exceptional playmaking abilities and has not disappointed in the preseason, leading the entire NBA in assists per game.
Many coaches believe that if Wall can develop a consistent jump shot, he will be an unstoppable force.
Alongside Wall, Gilbert Arenas is attempting to come off another shortened season, this time a 50-game suspension because of his locker room gun incident. Arenas still has the potential to be one of the most electrifying guards in the league and has all-around skills to do so.
5. San Antonio Spurs – Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili
This experienced backcourt duo has spent the last eight years together. After coming off an injury last season, expectations for Parker are lower than usual. When expectations are low, the Spurs players always seem to thrive. Parker is still a top point guard in the NBA and should improve on his 16 points, 5.7 assists per game, and hover around his very solid 48.7 FG% from a year ago.
Manu Ginobili is one of the NBA's toughest guards and is the Spurs X-factor. He says that he is in better shape this year than he has been in the last three or four seasons. Contributing another 16.5 points and five dimes per game himself, Ginobili and Parker remain one of the NBA's most dynamic backcourts.
4. Houston Rockets – Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin
After being bestowed NBA's most improved player in the 2009-2010 season, Aaron Brooks now attempts to reach another goal: NBA All-Star. This lightning-fast point guard averaged 19.6 points, 5.3 assists, and about 40% from three, a year ago.
Along with Kevin Martin, this tandem will push the ball up the floor at every opportunity and score a magnitude of transition baskets.
Martin, now healthy, will be counted on for the bulk of the Rockets scoring. This three-point gunner will look to improve on his 21.3 points and 43.5 FG% per contest, as Houston hopes for a deep postseason run this year.
3. Phoenix Suns – Steve Nash and Jason Richardson
At 36-years-old, Steve Nash is still considered one of the top and most dynamic point guards in the league today. He won the NBA assists crown last season, averaging 11 per game, and netted 16.5 points and shot a stellar 50.7% per game from the field.
Accompanying Nash in the backcourt is three-point specialist, Jason Richardson. After a sluggish start to the 2009-2010 campaign, Richardson averaged 17.8 points per game and 51.3% shooting from the field after the All-Star break.
This pair will be integral to the Suns' success if they hope to make a playoff run without the services of Amare Stoudemire.
2. Boston Celtics – Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen
Rajon Rondo has become a premier point guard in the league and still has much room to improve. If he develops a legitimate jumper, Rondo will be nearly impossible to contain.
In the 2009-2010 campaign, Rondo averaged 13.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and almost 10 dimes per contest.
Rondo was named All-Defensive First Team, averaged 2.3 steals, and became a first-time All-Star selection.
At the other guard spot, Ray Allen depicts a model of consistency. He is always good for about 17 points per game, 47% shooting from the field, 40% from three, and a phenomenal free throw percentage. Plus, Allen possesses one of the most aesthetically pleasing shooting motions in NBA history.
If the Celtics hope to return to the NBA Finals once again, Rondo and Allen will be looked to for major contributions throughout the season.
1. Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis
The NBA's most dynamic backcourt pairing happens to also be the youngest on this list. This explosive pair not only led all starting backcourts in scoring with 43 points per game in 2009-2010, but with another year under their belt, could improve these numbers to astonishing levels.
At the point, Stephen Curry enters his second year after a summer on the Team USA roster. His tantalizing ability to rack up points in bunches and pass dimes to teammates makes Curry one of the league's most intriguing young stars. His solid all-around averages of 17.5 points, six assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game should only increase through this season.
At only 24 years old, Monta Ellis is already one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA today. After averaging an outstanding 25.5 points, 5.3 assists, four rebounds, and 2.2 steals per contest in last year's campaign. Ellis will be counted on for similar statistics if the Warriors hope to reach the postseason for the first time since 2007.