Perhaps no other inside-outside tandem in NBA history sticks out in memory as well as, "Stockton to Malone," but there have certainly been good ones over the years worth recognizing.
Larry Bird and Kevin McHale. Moses Malone and Dr. J. Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
In 1995, a 22-year-old Shaquille O'Neal and 23-year-old Penny Hardaway led the Orlando Magic all the way to the Finals.
A year later, the Seattle Supersonics came within two games of a title behind the high-flying circus show that was Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp.
Of course, Kobe Bryant later joined forces with O'Neal in Los Angeles and helped the Lakers win three titles at the start of the new millennium.
Interestingly enough, after what has been a decade in which the hybrid, or in-between, player has blossomed (think Andre Iguodala and Joe Johnson), many of the teams in the league are again overtly featuring inside-outside tandems that fit the more traditional definition.
In other words, team-leading duos are looking a bit more like Andrew Bogut-Brandon Jennings and less like Ray Allen-Glenn Robinson. Having twin towers and weak guards doesn't work. Having great guards but no inside scoring presence doesn't work.
It's no coincidence the most successful teams in the NBA this season split their best two players between the post and perimeter. While unsuccessful teams—think Charlotte (Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson) and Minnesota (Kevin Love, Michael Beasley)—feature their best tandem either outside or inside, not both.
With such thoughts in mind, let's take a look at this season's best inside-outside combos thus far.