25 Duos We Would Like to See Play Together in the NBAAugust 16, 2011
25 Duos We Would Like to See Play Together in the NBA
The lockout that has held the NBA fans hostage for well over a month now has many people wondering how long we could be without basketball, and quite honestly, it is looking more and more like the season could be over before it even starts.
So, as a basketball-obsessed mind, there is obviously little real basketball related things to write or think about, so my mind wanders.
Recently, I have been obsessing over having dream duos leading my team to an NBA Championship. Putting together a dream duo that would either be entertaining as hell or dominate the league would be the most fun thing to do in the league.
So that's precisely what I decided to do, I have taken a look at the whole NBA and picked out 25 combos of players that I would find completely amazing to be paired together, whether it be for how interesting the pair would be or just how freakishly entertaining or dominating they would be.
25. Luis Scola and Anderson Varejao
For some reason, I just couldn't get this pairing out of my mind. Sure, it's not sexy, and it probably wouldn't result in a championship, but having these two together would be completely entertaining.
With Varejao at center and Scola at power forward you would have two of the most intense players in the league going all-out on every play.
They may not have the flashy basketball skills to beat the rest of the league, but they would easily out hustle and out-muscle them.
24. Marc and Pau Gasol
You know I had to go to the brothers at some point here.
With Pau, you have one of the best low post finesse players in the league, and with Marc, you have a banger to knock defenders down when they are busy trying to keep an eye on Pau.
Defensively, Pau would be good enough as a power forward while Marc would be a monster at center. Plus there is the added bonus with them being brothers that they know each others moves and would be naturally more competitve.
This duo could bring you a title, no question.
23. Monta Ellis and Steve Nash
For an ultimate backcourt, you couldn't get much better than Steve Nash and Monta Ellis.
Ellis was pretty much thrown into the pool and expected to swim from day one taking on the offensive load in Golden State which has given him the reputation of being a chucker.
However, given the leadership and the savvy of Steve Nash, he could easily be taught how to better control himself on offense and become a well-oiled machine with Nash.
22. John Wall and Blake Griffin
Having the 2011 Rookie of the Year and the best rookie of the 2010 draft class together would make for one exciting and promising team.
Obviously, with Griffin, you have one of the most dynamic dunkers in the league and quickly becoming one of the best power forwards.
With Wall you have an excellent passer, which would make for an embarrassing number of alley-oops and just a great young point guard.
This could eventually be one great team, and until they get good, they are at least going to be an entertaining duo.
21. Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan
This would mostly be for a bit of a nostalgia factor for me, but it would also be a pretty interesting duo.
Duncan could still play center pretty well as he can still bang down low when he needs to, and with a tough player backing him up, Garnett would be free to turn into the meanest player in the league again, something he didn't seem able to do without Kendrick Perkins backing him up.
Duncan and Garnett might not win a title, but it would certainly be interesting to see the two together.
20. Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams
It's not going to rock the world, but one of my favorite things to watch is when a team starts out with two promising rookies and develops together for a number of years.
The Charlotte Bobcats are starting that way this year with Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo.
This duo would either turn into something like a version of the Oklahoma City Thunder or just crash and burn, but it would be interesting.
19. Zach Randolph and Joakim Noah
Bring the ball in on this frontcourt, I dare you.
On one hand you are going to have to watch out for Joakim Noah to block your shot back into your face, and on the other hand you are going to have to watch out for Zach Randolph to come in from behind and shank you in the kidneys.
These guys would be too mean to be fair and would probably get too many technicals and foul out too much, but it would be one mean combo.
18. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James
I mostly like this duo because of how explosive this combo could potentially be, and I'm not saying explosive in a good way.
Odds are that Kobe would feel slighted by playing with LeBron and have to prove that he is better than him, and eventually, they would come to a head and would have to throw down.
LeBron may be built like a Mac Truck, but Kobe is mean and determined, so I would put my money on the Mamba in that fight.
17. Rajon Rondo and Dirk Nowitzki
Two of the most unpredictable low-post players in the NBA would be very compelling to see play together.
Pair Dirk's flamingo special with Rondo's whirling dervish, and you don't know who's going to come at you from which direction.
16. Manu Ginobili and Rajon Rondo
Another topsy-turvey combination that would constantly have the defense on their toes.
You know they are driving the lane, but you don't know who is going to be taking it, which way they will take it, which hand they will use or how they will shoot it.
There is a constant element of surprise with these two guys.
15. Al Jefferson and Pau Gasol
The two best big man low-post players in the game, Al Jefferson and Pau Gasol would make the defense focus all their energy on stopping these guys from 15 feet and in.
They would be embarrassing on defense, but if you put the right guys around them, they would be capable enough to make their way and possibly be dangerous when the game slows down in the playoffs, and it becomes a low-post game.
14. Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade
This duo would be amazing for so many reasons.
First, there is the obvious offensive element as Rondo passing to Wade would make for an interesting mix every time down the floor.
Then defensively, they would be the best backcourt in the league, bar none.
The two best defenders at their respective positions (sorry Kobe and Chris Paul) and would lock down the opposition every time down the floor.
13. Andrew Bynum and Deron Williams
It seems like Andrew Bynum hasn't quite reached his complete potential yet because he has not had a point guard that can incorporate him into the offense enough to completely use him to his potential.
Bynum has been good, but he has the potential to be great, and he is not quite there yet.
Deron Williams is the type of guy that could easily push him over the top and still be happy with his own numbers if they go down a bit.
12. Serge Ibaka and Andrw Bogut
If you are looking for a block party, then look no further than the backcourt combination of Serge Ibaka and Andrew Bynum.
These two together would be as good as any backcourt defensively since Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson blocked the world back in the late '80s.
11. Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade
For some reason, I feel like this combo would work slightly better than the LeBron-Wade combo that we have right now.
For one, it's obvious what Carmelo's role is compared to Wade. Carmelo is a one-on-one scorer first and foremost while Wade is the leader of the team and the versatile offensive player.
Carmelo and Wade would compliment each other where LeBron and Wade just play alongside each other.
10. Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose
These are two players that are very similar, but their similarities would be one of the things that make them so good together.
They could both play either guard position, and use that to constantly mix things up against teams, basically both being utility guards, never knowing who is bringing the ball up and running the offense.
They would obviously be great on offense, they would just need to shore up some defense before they become an amazing duo.
9. Ray Allen and Amar'e Stoudemire
At first glance, this doesn't seem like much, but that's because people underestimate both Amar'e and Ray Allen.
Stoudemire has the stigma of being a light defender, but he really picked up his defense this year and has all the ability to be a good defender.
Ray Allen is looked at as a three-point shooter and not much more, but he can come inside, he can still pass and dribble and is still a pretty good defender.
8. Russell Westbrook and Dwyane Wade
This would be one of the most explosive offensive combinations you could ask for in the league with Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook.
Wade and Westbrook together would intimidate the rest of the league until they are too jumpy to know who to cover, and they would score points in droves.
7. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul
What Blake Griffin needs more than anything else right now is a point guard that can take over the leadership abilities and bring him to new heights.
Right now, the best person for that job would be Chris Paul, who is probably the best natural born leader in the NBA right now as a point guard who is also young enough to keep up with him on both ends of the floor.
Putting these two together would almost be unfair, especially when they make the newest version of NBA Jam.
6. DeMarcus Cousins and Dwight Howard
This would easily be the funniest two people to see on the same team together in the NBA as it is right now.
They would constantly be getting technical fouls and would probably compete for the record for most ejections in a single season a la Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.
These two tempers in the same room together, let alone on the same team would be too much to bear.
5. Chris Paul and LeBron James
This would be one of the most interesting combination to me if they were to be handled properly.
First of all, the defense would come no problem, they would be the best duo in terms of steals in the league and the best lockdown combo that could guard any two guys on the opposing team.
Paul would have to be the point guard, they shouldn't let LeBron do the point forward deal that he has done for his career but rather be a free safety on offense, roaming the court and looking intimidating all game long.
4. Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant
This would end up the opposite of the LeBron-Kobe duo that we talked about earlier.
At first, Kobe would be leery of Durant coming in to steal his thunder, but Durant's attitude and his hard work would make Kobe respect him.
Eventually the two would become competitive, but not so competitive that they would start to hate each other and want to stab each other in the face.
3. Kevin Love and Blake Griffin
I love how flexible this combo could be because of the youth and versatility of both of these players.
Kevin Love would probably be constantly stuck at the power forward spot, but Blake could easily play either small forward as an enormous option or center as a quick option.
They would get every rebound possible and have an exciting offensive game, they would just need to learn some defense to put it all together.
2. Paul Pierce and Dwyane Wade
As much as it seems like these two guys don't like each other, I think they would get past it and be an amazing combo.
They are both gamers who will do what it takes to win, and Pierce still has plenty in the tank for them to threaten for a title for a good three or four more years.
In all, they would be able to put their competitiveness together to at least win one title together.
1. Dwight Howard and LeBron James
A Dwight-LeBron duo would dominate the league so long as they can develop a killer mentality.
You have to watch LeBron from anywhere on the floor and at the same time account for Howard who is basically automatic from anywhere in the paint. Then, on defense you have a forward who can guard anyone on the floor and a center who is a first-team defender every year.
Starting a team with these two guys would make you championship favorites every year until they retire, without a doubt.
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