“I used to be jealous of Arron Afflalo” -Kendrick Lamar
Firstly, pause the whole Drake x Lance x Paul George collab.
This NBA off season is about a month deep and it’s already been on tilt. Trades, free agency, overpaid players, underpaid players, legends taking pay cuts, the Draft, and now Summer League. It doesn’t even feel like the season ever ended.
The level of disrespect in Charlotte just got ratcheted up about 10 notches today by throwing Lance in the backcourt alongside Kemba Walker. Kyle Lowry decided to stay and remain a king in Toronto (second best city in North America behind NYC), we still aren’t 100% sure that EBled will be back in the Suns purple n orange but they’d be fools not to re-sign him. Elfrid Payton and Andrew Wiggins are going to be immediate impact backcourt players in their current situations (given Wigs doesn’t get dealt for Kev Love, and Arron Afflalo going back to hoop with Ty Lawson is lowkey one move we probably overlooked but will be deadly, without a doubt.
Who would have ever thought that a ranking of the top 10 backcourts in the NBA would be complete without the Lakers or Heat making the list? Times a changing…
10. Elfrid Payton and Vic Oladipo:
Based totally on potential and this quick Summer League oop, we have to throw this young duo in the Top 10. Defensively/athletically they are already tough and probably top 3/4 backcourts in the league. The problem is they can’t shoot, like Chris, Snoop, and Mack Wilds bucking at Omar in that apartment can’t shoot. But that can and more than likely will develop with time, there are a couple older backcourts we could have honored with the 10 spots, but nah fuck that disrespect still back!
9. Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins:
That athleticism can’t be taught dog, that alone gets them on this list. First thing Bron should have done when he signed with the Cavs was get Kyrie in a gym, no not for his game, but for his body (NH). I mean I don’t have the numbers in front of me but Kyrie probably played in as many games as Part Time Wade did last season. Miami definitely ends up with a better record than the Cavs if that’s the case again in 2015. But Kyrie and Andrew Wiggins obviously has the potential (esp playing alongside Bron) to sneak up this list and be top 7. Wiggins will get the chance to be a third option and Kyrie a second. That bodes well for their numbers and overall how we view them in game as the spotlight won’t totally be fixated on them.
8. Damian Lillard and Wes Matthews:
There was no reason for Portland to get smoked in that second round match versus the Spurs. At least not in my mind. They had what I thought was the better backcourt and the better post players. I was wrong about the latter, but Dame and Wes are a very underrated duo. Their shooting ability is just as lethal as Steph and Klay’s, only difference is that the Blazers didn’t live and die by it, which would explain why they fared slightly better than the Dubs. It was just a year ago that we were looking forward to seeing Dame and CJ McCollum take over that Rose City’s 2 step, the Wes Matthews sub wasn’t too shaby.
7. Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo:
The Pistons front office didn’t do their due diligence before throwing $6.5 mil at Jodie Meeks. Truth be told, this is really a top 5 backcourt but the hype of the Suns and Thunder backcourt won’t allow me to rank them any higher than this. I bet you everyone who reads this post will tune into every single Nuggets game next season, put the bank on that. It was the Orlando Magicians but Arron Afflalo did avg a dub, and twenty is twenty. Ty will definitely free Arron up for open three’s all day, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see the Nuggets sneak into the playoffs this season, led by this duo, granted they remain healthy.
6. Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe*:
The Suns would be foolish to let Eric Bledsoe go be a star on another team. Still don’t know why they, nor other teams haven’t offered him a contract yet, but yea this clip here is type weak, I’m not gonna lie, but we all know what these cats can do on the court. Damn near 50 wins with two point guards? Respect is due, their only drawback would be defending bigger 2 guards like the top 4 backcourts possess. This might just be the most exciting backcourt duo to watch in the NBA, between Bledsoe’s hops and jets and then Dragic’s craftiness you get the best of all point guards watching a Suns game.
5. Reggie Jackson and Russell Westbrook:
If Scott Brooks has absolutely any sense, and by any I mean the slightest of sense, this will be his starting backcourt. The only reason I won’t put them higher on this list (cuz Russ alone makes them top 3) is because I don’t think Scott Brooks will start them together. Reggie Jackson has proved over the past season and a half that he’s a legit starting point guard, I mean at this point why not just start him? The Anthony Morrow signing was good money and he’s a great shooter but that’s not what the fans wanna see, not one bit. Either way you look at it, this will be the backcourt that closes out the majority of the Thunder’s games in 2015. They’d be so tough defensively and obviously there wouldn’t be more than 2 backcourts that would be able to “check” them, or even keep up. Scott Brooks really a dickhead and I didn’t realize it until this sentence.
4. Kemba Walker and Lance Stephenson:
Don’t tell me that they haven’t played a minute of NBA basketball together, fuck outta here we know what this backcourt is about. The NY connection is one thing, but it would mean absolutely nothing if they didn’t have the one-on-one skill sets that they do. Based on those they would rank second on this list, defensively they are going to be dogs the way they were brought up. They actually have more playoff experience than any of the other backcourts on here. But their weakness will be the lack of shooting between not only them but the Hornets as a whole. If the Hornets could snag a cheap shooter they will look that much better, if not, they’ll take it to the streets and we ain’t mad if that happens at all.
3. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson:
Yea nah, Drake and Chris Brown doing tracks together is the equivalent to what Steph Curry and Klay are on the basketball court. You just know it’s big buckets, possible club banger for the rest of the summer. It’s all the pretty shit in the game, call it soft call it what you want but you are going to watch Warrior games and you are gonna listen to that track. To many people, the fact that I have them ranked at 3 is disrespectful, many people would even say that they are number one. This is easily one of the best shooting backcourts that we have ever see, definitely the best in the league right now. I do respect their game I just believe that it is a little too dependent on jump shooting and nothing else. If they aren’t making shots then they really aren’t doing much else on the court and without a doubt the Warriors are not winning said game. Granted there aren’t many games where one or both of these cats isn’t knocking em down. Thompson is an underrated all around player, he does lack a little bit in the playmaking category but as long as Steph is there he won’t need to do much of that. I am very eager to see what kind of offense Steve Kerr runs and how much he lets these two shooters dedicate the outcome of the game
2. Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan:
Yup, one year of success has landed this OVO duo at the #2 spot in the backcourt rankings. Yea they couldn’t even get passed Paul Pierce, KG and Junior Russian Mafia, but we are still giving them this #2 slot. Lowry proved throughout the season and particularly in the playoffs that he is an all-star, Derozan is already there. Plus the way that the city of Toronto showed out for the team forced my hand. Lowry is a pitbull with the rock in his hands and on defense, add Derozan’s improving offensive repertoire and it results in a top 3 exciting backcourt in the NBA today. This is probably the only duo who ranks in the top 3 in all important categories. Shooting, one-on-one playmaking, defense, and footwear. Actually scratch that last one cuz Lowry does in fact wear Shane Battier’s
1. John Wall and Bradley Beal:
So that leaves room for one duo, and of course it’s the Mambo Team holding it down here, who else? This is a premature ranking, yes I will admit that, but I really couldn’t fix my mind into thinking that any other backcourt was legitimately better than this one. Wall’s athletic/defensive ability coupled with his playmaking skills are the perfect balance to Big B’s developing offensive prowess. Think about how so many of the elite shooting guards lives would have been much easier if they had an elite point guard to GET them the ball. I’m not even sure that we’ve seen a backcourt with this much promise on both ends of the court. Lowry and Derozan are fairly old at 28 and 24 respctively, Steph and Klay aren’t even close to the defenders and all around players that Wall and Beal, taking that into account, you have to clear way and crown them in this race. They did have some shaky moments against the Pacers but think about how they dismantled the Bulls. Think about the defense that Bradley put on Lance in the Pacers series, think about how John Wall was athletically and defensively unstoppable against the Bulls. Technically this is the only starting duo here that even got to the second round in the 2014 Playoffs, so why wouldn’t I put them at the top of this list?