JD’s best NBA duos going into 2019-2020 1-10

jdbottrc 18 nba picks, 19, 2019, 2020, Captains-Corner, Lakers, LakeShow, NBA Duos Leave a Comment

Best duos in the NBA in order

  1. Kawhi And PG13

The best duo in the league, two guys in their physical prime, playing both sides of the ball. Kawhi just carried the Raptors from being swept year to year, to the NBA finals where they beat the Golden State Warriors who have been the champions 3/5 years and made the championship all 5 years. They are helped by Louis Williams being the best 6th man in the game, Patrick Beverly being a great two-way player as well, Montrezl Harrell being an emerging young player, Ivica Zubac being a good young player, Landry Shamet being a good young player and a bunch of solid young players.

Doc Rivers has a loaded team with the richest owner in the NBA.

2.Klay and Steph

The best NBA duo we’ve seen since Kobe and Shaq. The Splash Brothers. They can both go off for 50-60 on any given night. Steph is Steve Nash if Steve Nash had limitless range. Steph’s spacing is the best in league history and he is the greatest shooter of all time. His duo partner may very well be the second-best shooter of all time, he’s among the best. Coming off of an ACL injury Klay won’t be around until February. I think they will still have a high seed for the playoffs, maybe 4th without Klay. Draymond Green just got his money, KD isn’t gonna be there anymore so he’s gonna have the ball inside more often, expect his stats to take a small jump. Who could forget Deangelo Russell signing long term with Golden State. I believe Steph Curry himself around decent talent can win you 45+ wins, but add Russell to the mix and I think that could develop into a 50+ maybe even 55 win team. I don’t get the speculation that Russell won’t work in Golden State. Draymond Green works in Golden State. Steve Kerr can handle these egos, and Russell’s biggest flaw is accidentally snitching on one of his teammates to the teammate’s girlfriend. That’s not basketball-related and it’s not relevant. Curry does Curry, all Russell has to do is pick up the slack when Curry needs a break from the point, slash on people when given the ball and knock down shots. I think Russell fits well in Golden State. They will be small, but the game is more about spacing these days anyway.

3.Lillard And McCollum

Dangerous. If Lillard’s ribs didn’t crack last postseason and if McCollum could stay consistently great, the Blazers may have given the Warriors a run for their money. Unfortunately, Kanter was hurt, Lillard was hurt and Hood wasn’t reliable. The reason I have them higher than AD and Lebron is that I think they’ve tasted it, now they are going to bring the very best of themselves this year. This is a big year for the Blazers, they need to make it far in the playoffs this year or next year to capture the prime of CJ and Dame.

4.Lebron And AD

So many big media types want to crown the Lakers because they got Lebron and AD. Last I checked, Lebron had trouble beating the Warriors before KD left. Now the Warriors got Russell and kept everyone besides Igoudala. One thing they have going for them is they do have a lot of 3 point shooters now. Jared Dudley, Danny Green, Demarcus Cousins who I always said would work PERFECTLY with Lebron because he likes to shoot anyway. Keeping Kyle Kuzma was huge because he will be great to have when you need to get easy offense. Alex Caruso, maybe an underrated signing, with everyone else being guarded he may sneak in some buckets. Avery Bradley was signed and it was like people forgot how good Bradley was in Boston. Bradley may be a more matured version of Josh Hart who they just traded to New Orleans so that was a steal of a signing. The Lakers have a good roster surrounding Lebron James. Here’s where I have 3 huge questions.

1. Lebrons health. Can he stay healthy? Will his groin have issues again? Is his body breaking down? We will see. I could see him having a good year again and going to the playoffs, but last year was bad and he looked slow. He didn’t play defense, so his health is a concern. I do like that he will play point though, a lot less running around for him, but I wonder if he will be a liability on defense against smaller guys like Lillard, Young, and Curry?

2. AD’s health. How many problems has he had? Between his hands, fingers, back, and I don’t even remember what else. He has been injured very often, so that wasn’t as huge of a deal as a lot of people think. If AD or Lebron gets hurt their title hopes are gone.

3. The fit. I don’t know if this coaching staff will put people in the right position to win. We have seen any huge success from Jason Kidd as a coach or Frank Vogel. I don’t know if Lebron respects Vogel. Too many questions, not enough answers.

5.Jokic and Murray

I would have them above Lebron, AD, And the Lakers if I didn’t think of the mismatch in the playoffs.

AD and Lebron VS Jokic And Murray is not a good matchup for Jokic and Murray. Too much size and athleticism when healthy. But the Nuggets have a good roster, have a good system, and with one more leap forward for these two guys, the team could be a championship contender. Harris, Plumlee, Grant, Barton, and Millsap all great role players around them. What the heck is going on with Michael Porter Jr? He needs to get healthy, he may be the missing piece.

6.Khris Middleton and Giannis

Giannis heavily carries this pick, but Middleton gets in there because of the things he can do when he is hot. He can put up 45 points and hold his opponent to 10. But he isn’t consistently dominant, just a star Middleton is at this point. Luckily for him, Giannis is a top 3 two way player in the NBA, and he is dominant every single night. His ability to use his body to get past people, the combination of strength and speed that overwhelms most of his opponents was only stopped in the eastern conference finals by the finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Giannis is great.

7.James Harden Russell Westbrook

This one was by far the hardest to pick. A big part of me tells me this is too high for this duo. A lot of Fans of Harden or Westbrook might say that it’s too low for them. Two guys who have won MVP, but also two guys who have had the highest usage rates in the league and some of the highest turnover rates in history. Why are they higher than Embiid and Simmons? Why are they higher than other duos?

3 reasons

1. Westbrook and Harden have known each other for a long time and are going to have a unique chemistry and a unique style that people won’t be able to understand or emulate.

2. Mike Dantoni makes every guard in his system better, and I think Westbrook has had trouble with coaches in his career, I don’t think we’ve seen the best basketball from Westbrook from an IQ perspective. I think his athleticism is as good as it’s ever going to be though, and his body may break down soon.

3. James Harden is elite. Plain and simple. Especially during the regular season, he is elite. Now can they do anything in the playoffs? That’s where the chemistry will be crucial. They may not make it past the first round. But they make the playoffs in the tough west

8.Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons

I am not sold on this team or this duo from a chemistry perspective. I don’t know if it can be sustained but I do know Simmons and Embiid are the most physically dominant players at their position and it causes tons of mismatches. They’ve had two runs in the Eastern Conference playoffs and almost knocked out the NBA Champion Raptors. They have beat the crap out of the Warriors in the regular season. Ben Simmons is developing a jump shot. They have Tobias Harris and lost Jimmy Butler. Expect to see the most out of Tobias Harris now, and Simmons needs to take over in big moments. They got Al Horford he should help with the maturity of the room. The 6ers are finals or bust. If they put it together, expect a serious contender going forward, but if Simmons or Embiid unravel as teammates which is also possible, except one of them to be traded in the next offseason.

9.Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley

These are teammates who I love seeing together. I hope they pass up a few of these duos on the list simply because of their team’s success, both really good two-way guards who have a bunch of talent surrounding them. Such a complete roster in Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert the defensive player of the year, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, and Quinn Snyder is a really good coach. I expect this team to take a step forward in the west led by this elite duo. I think they will be better than the Rockets this year and I would put them higher but Mitchell has to prove more and Conley is really good but not great.

10. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis

I choose these guys because of their potential, also I am a huge fan of Luka Doncic. I have never seen a young guard have his competitiveness, his physicality, and his shooting ability at that age. Not to mention he has amazing court vision. Doncic is one of the best young players in the NBA, and rightfully won rookie of the year over Trae Young who also had a fantastic rookie season but is a year older.

Luka has the size of Ben Simmons, the Range of James Harden, one of the best step-back shots in the league, has incredible ball-handling and passing. Did I mention he just turned 20 in February? He can’t even buy a drink yet. Kristaps Porzingis is a bit older but his style and stardom should work perfectly with Luka. Being able to space the floor, shoot 3s and post up better than most, Porzingis, who stands 7,3 will add a new dimension to the Mavericks. One that few teams have, a 7,3 all-around offensive player who is athletic and can rim protect with the best of them.

Porzingis And Luka only have 2 things working against them.

1. Porzingis has had injury issues in the last few years and hasn’t shown he can be consistently dominant yet in the NBA. But that could also be because he was on the Knicks…

2. Their inexperience. They have some amazing talent but neither of them has proven they can go far in the playoffs yet. Luka is a winner overseas but will that translate to the NBA? That is a question he has a lot of time to answer.

Honorable Mentions:

KD And Kyrie -KD is hurt all year, and I don’t even like that fit anyway, but we will see where they are when KD is healthy.

Kemba and Tatum – Walker could make that team a title contender, but if they do that Tatum would need to evolve as a player.

Piscal Siakam and Kyle Lowry- Siakam could become an NBA superstar now that Kawhi is gone, he has the room to grow. The Raptors will make him the franchise.

Kyle Lowry is now a Raptors legend, he maybe has a few good years left but he will go down as a Canadian Basketball legend thanks to Kawhi and that amazing season.

Lamarcus Aldridge and Demar Derozen

I like their coach, I like their team, but Derozen can’t shoot. You need to be able to shoot these days. Aldridge is solid.

Griffin and Drummond- best forward combo in the league, but they are one or two dimensional, not very modern.

Trae Young And John Collins

I LOVE the Hawks Roster around these guys, but you have two stars already in Young and Collins. I expect these guys to become stars in 2020 and make the playoffs in the east. They have young Huerter, Hunter, and Reddish to help Trae Young. I expect the Hawks to be very good in 2-3 years.

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