The Wild Wild West is Back

The NBA just hit the reset button in the 2019 free agency and it’s the most beautiful thing that could have possibly happened.

I had lost so much interest in basketball over the past 5-6 years, what with the Lakers being terrible for the better part of this decade and the Dubs vs LeBron dynamic basically being shoved down our throats, I couldn’t even get excited for fantasy basketball anymore (a venture in which I’ve been known to win money in through daily leagues, but that’s a topic for another time.)

lebron-james-steph-curry
Yeah, even they knew this shit was getting old

This offseason, however, has changed everything and for the first time in God knows how long, I am absolutely geeked for this upcoming season.

So with that in mind, here’s a quick Top 10 list of the best duos currently in the NBA now that the dust has (possibly) settled and teams are finalizing the rest of their rosters.

The Top 10 Current NBA Duos

10.  Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis – Dallas Mavericks

kristaps_mavs_getty_ringer.0
NBA’s equivalent to a WWE foreign heel tag team hell bent on toppling Americans with stepback jumpers

On the list merely because they’ve each shown brilliant play in their respective rookie seasons, this pairing might not have what it takes to reach the summit just yet.  In fact, I promise you they don’t.  But they’re Europeans who can BALL and that alone is always pretty cool to see.

9.  Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers

joel-embiid-and-ben-simmons_1h3l3lgm4fva1e1deqf3ml9vu
That moment when your mom gets home and y’all forgot to take the chicken out to thaw

Just imagine if Simmons learns how to shoot.  They might actually get knocked out of the Eastern Conference finals instead of the Semis.  Not sure where Horford fits here but he definitely makes them better.  In all seriousness, Bucks in 6.

8.  Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert – Utah Jazz

rudy-gobert-donovan-mitchell-getty-050119-ftrjpg_14fc840le7ol812ecrw0e25ibo
Sometimes it’s best to fly under the radar, even if that means playing in Utah

I honestly wish I could have thrown Mike Conley in here because he’s probably the most underrated player in the entire league, but what he’s walking into is a team whose weight has already been put atop the shoulders of the gentlemen pictured above.  These guys are young and only getting better.  Conley has peaked, for the most part, but is still a superb weapon to add to this squad and the result could surprise some people.

7.  Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum – Portland Trail Blazers

lillardmccollum
Alexa, play “Portland” by Drake ft. Quavo & Travis Scott

A respectable tandem these two are, but they probably won’t have enough to get over the hump of playing in the West on their own, as recent history has shown.  Enter Hassan Whiteside, who will instantly add an impactful presence in the frontcourt for this team that should warrant potential career years for both veteran guards.

6.  James Harden and Russell Westbrook – Houston Rockets

james-harden-russell-westbrook-getty
Imagine if these 2 were on the same team as KD…

I am dying to see who is going to run the offense between these two.  It’s obviously gonna be Russ, but how long until Harden reminds him who was there first?  I see nothing but a combustible partnership here as you have the 2 most ball dominant players in the league, and to be dead honest, I can’t see them being focused on winning when they’re both looking to post triple doubles every game.  Still, the talent in this pairing is insane now that they’ve both blossomed into MVP winners.

5.  Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – Brooklyn Nets

NBA: All Star-Practice
Wanted to make a crack about leg injuries but couldn’t find a good joke to stand on

Unfortunately, we won’t see these two together until KD comes back from a torn Achilles injury, which is notoriously the worst injury to have in a sport that involves so many cuts, stops, turns and lateral movement that emphasizes the importance of lower leg health.  The double whammy is that both players now have a history of injuries to that area of the body.  However, if healthy, this could easily be the East’s new juggernaut now that both Kawhi and LeBron are gone.

4.  Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton – Milwaukee Bucks

khris-middleton-giannis-antetokounmpo-nba-milwaukee-bucks
When you find out someone started a “basketball licking” challenge

Yea, it wouldn’t be a top 10 list without some controversy, right?  Well, although these guys aren’t your regular household names, they did lead the Bucks to the best record during the regular season last year.  Truthfully, Giannis is so damn good that he elevates Middleton’s status when it comes to ranking these duos, but make no mistake that Middleton is no slouch.  Their chemistry is also why I have them ranked higher than the previous 2 entries on this list. I remember many years ago saying the Bucks were one of those teams that would never win an NBA championship.  Now it’s looking like a legitimate possibility with a weak Eastern conference and the fact that all it takes is some key injuries in the Finals for an underdog team to win it all.  We’ve seen it happen already…

3.  Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors

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The rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated

For all intents and purposes, the Warriors may be remembered as much for their failures as for their successes.  5 straight Finals appearances.  3 rings in that span.  73-9 regular season only to blow a 3-1 lead in the Finals that same year.  Still, they were the team that made KD throw up the white flag and jump on the horse.  The Splash Brothers are still a thing, y’all.  The point of the game is still to score the most points, and no two players can do it farther away from the basket better than these Dubs.

2.  Kawhi Leonard and Paul George – Los Angeles Clippers

kawhi-leonard-and-paul-george-rage-against-the-laker-machine-for-the-battle-of-los-an
Pictured: two guys who had the opportunity to play for their favorite childhood team and ended up going to the JV squad of LA instead

So, look.  The Clippers, on paper, are probably the most complete team in the NBA right now.  I mean, I don’t know where their holes are, if they even have any.  But this list is based off of DUOs and not the entire team, so they have to take a backseat to the number one entry.  With that said, my goodness.  Kawhi is and has been the best two-way player in the league for several years now, and PG can arguably be a top 5 guy in that same regard.  All I’m saying is if Kawhi gets the Clippers their first ring, he’s got to be the only other player in the argument with Jordan for best of all time.  Yeah, I said it.

1.  LeBron James and Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers

Screen-Shot-2019-06-17-at-4.29.18-PM-1
“Cartier glasses, I won’t even peek at you… yellow ferarri like Pikachu”

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  HoMeR pIcK.  So what?  When two top-5 players wind up on the same team, you can bet your ass I’m gonna rank them as the best duo in the league. TF.  Does this mean the Lakers will win it all? Well, it puts them in prime position to do so, but you have to factor in that almost every important Lakers player has a recent history of injuries, and unless they can stay healthy, there are way too many other talented teams that can go to the promised land.

Hope y’all are ready for a shootout, because for the first time in a long time, the ammo is spread out evenly across the league.

 

 

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