Philadelphia 76ers: 5 Best Backcourt Tandems in Sixers History
However, during the franchise's history, some of its greatest teams were anchored not by forwards, but by superb backcourt tandems.
But which of the many impressive backcourt tandems in Sixer history deserves the title of the "best"? Read on to find out.
As always, comments are welcome and appreciated.
No. 5: Allen Iverson and Jerry Stackhouse
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While this duo never quite translated their on-paper talent to on-court production, they still remain one of the most naturally gifted backcourt tandems to ever play in the NBA.
Between the two of them, they could light up a scoreboard (and a little else), electrify a crowd and supply an entire "Top Plays" highlight reel; and that's before halftime. If the game of basketball was played with two balls instead of one, this tandem might have gone down as one of the best in NBA history.
But seeing as how the game is still played with one ball, this duo will go down as the best backcourt tandem on paper, but little else.
No. 4: Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner
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Since the Iverson-Stackhouse tandem made this list on what could have been, this duo makes the list on what still might be.
I fully expect Jrue Holiday to develop into one of the NBA's elite PGs within the next two seasons. And I fully expect Evan Turner—if given proper playing time—to blossom into one of the NBA's most consistently solid SGs. Together, they can be one of the best backcourts in the entire NBA.
Despite the fact that these two have not yet compiled the resume of other tandems, I believe they deserve a little recognition now because of their limitless potential.
In 20 years, I would not be surprised if pundits are placing this duo No. 1 on a similar list. They are that good.
No. 3: Allen Iverson and Eric Snow
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Many Sixer fans will remember this tandem as the anchor of a Sixers team that fell just short of a miraculous NBA Title in 2001.
Eric Snow provided the veteran leadership, superior decision-making and otherworldly toughness (remember his playing with a broken foot during the Sixers playoff run?) that provided the perfect complement to Allen Iverson.
Iverson, for his part, provided offense by the truckload. His playmaking ability and clutch shooting was otherworldly. And he did it all while standing under six feet tall. Simply amazing.
Together, Snow and Iverson were the perfect balance of offense and defense, measured and reckless play, electrifying and steadying presence.
No. 2: Mo Cheeks and Andrew Toney
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Like Iverson and Snow, Cheeks and Toney were the near-perfect balance of scoring and defense. Unlike the previous tandem, these two managed to win an NBA title in 1983.
Cheeks was one of the NBA's primiere defenders and floor generals during his tenure with the 76ers, leading the team to three NBA Finals in four years.
He wasn't flashy or electrifying, and he wasn't one to make breathtaking plays, but he was one of the best man-on-man defenders at the PG position during his era. He was a phenomenal leader for a number of Sixers teams loaded with talent and was always one to save his best for when it mattered most.
Andrew Toney shared Cheeks' penchant for clutch play—providing oodles of scoring, often against the best the NBA had to offer. His knack for lighting up the then-mighty Boston Celtics earned him the nickname "the Boston Strangler."
No. 1: Larry Costello and Hal Greer
And the best backcourt tandem in 76ers history is...Costello and Greer.
The anchors to one of the greatest teams in NBA history: the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers. While Costello may have been injured for a good portion of the year (and was replaced admirably by Wali Jones), he was able to return for the playoffs and help the Sixers capture an NBA title and ending the Boston Celtics' eight-year reign.
Greer was one of the NBA's best long-range shooters before it was popular. He was certainly the beneficiary of Wilt Chamberlain's presence in the middle, but his offensive talent was such that he was able to succeed regardless of who was on the court.
For his part, Costello was one of the NBA's most solid all-around players at the PG position, providing superb defense, on-court leadership and playmaking ability that helped propel the Sixers past the Celtics, and to the top of this list.