In the postseason, every team is playing for one goal, a NBA championship. However, usually all championship teams have one star or two stars that lead the team. Accommodating for injuries, I am ranking each teams best 2 players from 22 to 1.
Yikes. With the Wizards 2 best scorers, shooters, and players being injured, it was hard to pick what role players are their two best. I settled with Brown Jr and Bryant because they occasionally provide solid offensive production and both play a number of minutes for the rebuilding Wizards. These two are the worst scoring duo in the entire list and are known as decent players for Washington. Brown Jr was drafted just outside the lottery in the 2018 NBA draft and hasn't got much attention in Washington despite being a very underrated wing for the Wizards. He's averaging 10 points on 39% from the 3-point line. Bryant has been their starting center and is their 4th leading scorer behind Beal, Bertans, and Hachimura. With the Wizards needing to depend on role players, they might need to be looking forward to the off-season.
If we were doing trios, Jarrett Allen would've been added to the list, but since we are not, Levert and Harris, their two best scorers available are the team's top 2 players. With the Nets currently in the playoffs, and expected to easily edge the Wizards for the 8-seed, the role players might need to take a huge step up. We've seen Caris step up when he scored 50 points against the Celtics earlier this season, but he has never done that consistently, which is hard for anyone to do. Levert is averaging 17 PPG and has had his best year of his career. Harris is one of the best 3-point shooters in the entire NBA and last year, he led the league in 3-pt %. Harris has developed his game into not only shooting, but can score from any spot on the court. With this being the Nets 2 best players for the restart, it's extremely likely they are losing in the 1st round of the playoffs.
In the past couple of years, the Magic have had seasons that are extremely predictable, a playoff quality team with nothing to look forward to in the future. The Magic's duo was tough to decide because they have plenty of quality players that play their role including; Terrence Ross, Evan Fournier, and Jon Isaac who won't play in the restart. Last year, Vucevic made his 1st All-Star appearance, which was deserving since he led the Magic to the playoffs, which they haven't done since Dwight Howard was their center. Vucevic hasn't had as good of a season. However, Fultz has shown to be a promising young talent in the future, having flashes where he was sometimes the best player on his team. Fultz has the potential to be an All-Star down the line, which is impressive coming off severe shoulder injuries. Despite a future PG you can depend on, this team is probably going to be kicked out of the 1st round like last year.
With 7-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge sitting out for the restart, it's safe to say that Gregg Popovich's 22-year playoff streak will probably come to an end. Even though arguably their best player is out, they rank over Orlando because DeRozan is easily the best player listed so far. He's a 4-time All-Star and a consistent 20-point scorer every season. His legacy is kind of rocky because after he left Toronto, they won the championship. Also, Rudy Gay has been a great role player who averages 10 points and can guard any forward with his exceptional defense. Plus, Gay had playoff runs with the grit & grind Grizzlies averaging 20 PPG in his prime. This duo would've ranked higher if Aldridge was healthy, but either way, there is a close to zero chance they are one of the final 16 teams for the 23rd straight year.
Out of all teams participating in the restart, the Suns currently have the worst record out of the 22. However, that doesn't mean they are the least talented team. Phoenix has made some poor choices in the past few years, but these two guys have a bright future and could be the focal points of the Suns rebuild. They have one of the better shooting guards in the NBA in Devin Booker who, last season, was the 7th best scorer in the league, really impressive for a 23 year old. He hasn't led his team to many wins, which is his biggest criticism because young guys like Ja Morant, Donovan Mitchell, and Luka Doncic are leading their teams to playoff records already. Not many times does a 1st overall pick not get attention, but DeAndre Ayton has been a great offensive center that can maybe make an All-Star in the next 5 years. This duo might be really talented, but they have a lot of time to develop and need to lead their team to wins.
This might seem low for a team that already has clinched the playoffs with an All-Star in Chris Paul and a elite shooting power forward in Danilo Gallinari. This duo ranks lower because Oklahoma has created a prominent supporting cast with guys like Shai Gilgeous Alexander who is a nice young shooting guard and Dennis Schroder who is one of the best bench players in the NBA. This duo works well in the pick & pop with Chris Paul being an elite play maker and Gallinari being the most efficient top of the key shooter in the league. Gallinari is really underrated for being the leading scorer and best shooter on the Thunder. However, I don't consider OKC to have a duo and more of a well-built team with many players that can perform which is why they are 17 despite their team being the 6th best team in the West.
The Grizzlies are in playoff position a lot quicker than expected when they were projected to win 25 games, led by their 2 best players in Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. Morant is easily the rookie of the year, being Memphis's leading scorer, leading passer, and their best player. Morant has been remarkable this season and has played really well with Jackson running pick & roll and pick & pop. Jackson has also woken people up with his stellar play on offense and defense and is living up to the 4th overall pick. He is a 6'11 power forward that shoots 40% from the 3-point line and is an elite defender near the rim. Memphis will have to play tough competition to retain their 8th spot in the West, but these guys absolutely deserve the number 16 spot.
Talk about a young and talented backcourt, Fox and Hield have brightened up the Kings future from being a rebuilding organization, to a team that can potentially be really good. The Kings are currently a team that is fighting for the 8-seed in the West and despite 3 players testing positive for COVID-19, the Kings have these 2 stars that can lead Sacramento to their first playoff appearance since 2006. Fox in his 3rd season, has had his best statistical season and has developed into a top 10 or 15 PG in the league, and he is a huge reason they rank at 15 with many years ahead of them. Hield also is averaging 20 points for the 2nd straight season and despite playing a few games off the bench, he is easily their 2nd best player being a high-level scorer and shooter. Hield and Fox play really well off each other and that's a huge reason, along with their talent, that they rank over teams like Memphis and Oklahoma City.
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You know how 7 and 11 mesh well together. That fits Malcolm Brogdon, 7, and Domantas Sabonis, 11. Despite neither of them being the leading scorer on Indiana, Sabonis made his 1st All-Star game averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds a game, and Brogdon is playing his first season as a starting point guard averaging a career high 16 points and 7 assists per game. Together, Brogdon and Sabonis are one of the top 10 duos with the most pick & roll plays executed, which is a big reason why Sabonis racks up his points and Brogdon racks up his assists. These two rank at 14 not only because they are talented, but they are one of the best guard & big duos in the NBA. Indiana has been knocked out of the 1st round for the past 4 seasons and if they want to go farther, Brogdon and Sabonis will be the guys depended on most.
This might seem a few spots too high, however, at just 22 years old, Ingram made his first All-Star game averaging 24 PPG and Williamson has played like an All-Star in just 19 games of his NBA career averaging 23 points and 8 rebounds per game. New Orleans are one of the youngest teams in the NBA led by future stars: Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and potentially Lonzo Ball. Despite them being super young and inexperienced, they are one of the most talented duos with so much room to grow. Brandon Ingram has had a breakout season and is in conversation for the Most Improved Player award. The Pelicans are 4 games short of the playoffs, but they presumably have the easiest schedule in the NBA with a good chance of being one of the final 16 teams.
For Toronto's success, 12 might seem low since Toronto has the 3rd best record in the league, but Toronto has the best depth in the Eastern Conference and before the season, this duo would've ranked a lot lower. Both Siakam and Fred are coming off a championship run being breakout stars in the NBA finals and both of them have broken out from quality players to stardom. Kyle Lowry was heavily considered for this spot, but it felt right putting Fred along with Siakam since they both broke out and Kyle has been consistently good. Siakam made his first All-Star appearance averaging career highs in almost every stat. Not many people expected Fred to be averaging 17 points a game for Toronto, but those two players, along with plenty of quality role players, are why Toronto could make a back to back Finals run.
This without a doubt is an appropriate placement for the first year duo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Not many people predicted Luka to be a top 10 player in the league in his sophomore season as a 21 year old. Luka is an elite scorer and passer and he and Kristaps are really cohesive because of their ability to run the pick & roll. One main question before the 2019-20 season was if Luka was ready to be their primary ball handler and now he has developed into one of the best passers in the league. Kristaps does a great job complementing Luka because he can finish at the rim and shoot 3-pointers, which works great in the pick & roll. Kristaps is also a great shot blocker and both of them are 1-time All-Stars, and Porzingis arguably could've made it this year. Both of them are about to participate in their first playoff series and they probably won't do many things this season; In a few years, don't take them lightly.
Miami signed Butler last off-season so that he could carry the team to the playoffs and be their main star. This year, Butler and Bam have managed to lead the Heat into not only a playoff spot, but a top 4 seed in the East. Butler has been a great leader for Miami, and their 2nd All-Star, Bam Adebayo, has jumped up into Most Improved Player talks. Miami has assembled a great overall team and when it comes to full rosters, they might be a top 5 roster in the NBA, and the 2 best players barely make it into the top 10. Guys like Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Meyers Leonard, and Duncan Robinson have played great in their roles on the team and Jimmy and Bam have both had All-Star seasons leading the way for Miami. Butler has had his best season being great on offense and defense. Bam has shown that he has Defensive Player of the Year potential, while being essential on offense. If this team can make a deep playoff run with Bam stepping up, this duo might deserve to be ranked higher.
Even though their relationship is in jeopardy, there is no question this is one of the best duos with elite offense and elite defense. This duo has been together for 3 years, and every single year they have made the playoffs. Mitchell is a young 23 year old shooting guard and has been one of the best offensive players in the NBA, with his quickness, shooting, athleticism, and aggressiveness driving to the rim. Bleacher Report ranked him as the #32nd best player in the NBA, which seems unfair because he is a 24 PPG scorer who leads his team to wins, not to mention he's a good perimeter defender at 6'3. Gobert is a 2-time Defensive Player of the Year with his elite shot blocking and ability to contest the rim. He is an athletic center that thrives in pick & roll situations. With their 2nd leading scorer out, these two need to work together because they can be a sleeper team.
With both Simmons and Embiid already being multiple time All-Stars, there is a great chance they can make deep playoff runs in the next couple of years. They have glared with talent ever since they came in the league with both of them being top 5 in their respected position. This is also one of the best defensive duos in the league with Simmons leading the league in steals and Embiid being a great rim protector. Most of the duos on this list work well together, but Simmons and Embiid don't coexist with both their styles being similar. Simmons and Embiid are arguably the worst shooting duo on the list with Simmons not shooting 3's and Embiid shooting too many 3's, and many people, including me, thought this team will be a top 3 team in the East this year. If these two players can work together and perform exceptionally in the bubble, because they have the talent, then this duo can move up or down.
Not many people expected the Nuggets to have a better record than Philadelphia this season, but Jokic and Murray, both having career-best seasons, have led the young Nuggets team to the 3 seed in the West. This is one of the most underrated duos in the league with Jokic and Murray working together really nicely. Jokic is easily the best center in the league as he has completely dethroned Embiid for that spot, because he is leading his team to more wins, he's the better shooter, and one of the best passers in the league. Jokic is a top-10 player in the league and is the main reason why Denver is this high. Murray is an underrated point guard being a great scorer and shooter who complements Jokic well. As great as he is, Murray needs to take the next jump if this duo wants to rank higher.
With both Tatum and Brown under the age of 24, it's safe to say that the Celtics are set up perfectly for the future. Kemba Walker was also considered for this duo and is probably better than Jaylen Brown, but since Tatum and Brown are better together and have both broken out this year, it made sense putting these two. Tatum is one of the best small forwards in the league and one of the best players in his conference averaging 24 PPG on great shooting percentage. He has easily been the best player on the Celtics and is leading them to the 3-seed in the Eastern Conference. His defense is extremely underrated being one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Brown has jumped up to 20 points a game, with the best efficiency of his career and Kemba had a big reason for these two young stars to have a breakout season. It was tough between Denver and Boston's duo, but since this duo has more of a future, it ranks ahead with potential to be even higher
Yup. I know what you're thinking. This spot is way too high for a duo that isn't leading their team to the playoffs. However, these two have played as well as ever and both are elite scorers and shooters. The addition of Hassan Whiteside has hurt the team tremendously as they gave up Seth Curry, Al Farouq Aminu, and Mo Harkless, for a mediocre center that only plays defense. Damian has had his best scoring season and this season, has been the best PG in the league, and at least a top 6 player in the league. He is arguably the 2nd best shooter in the league behind Stephen Curry and can outburst instantly. McCollum has never made an All-Star game, but definitely should have by now as he is a consistent 20-point scorer and a top 30 player in the league at least. The top 4 duos all have two All-Stars that are elite, but don't be surprised if Portland makes the playoffs and competes with the Lakers in the 1st round.
This is easily a top 4 duo as they are the best scoring duo on this list and are the only duo that features two former MVP's. However, for two former MVP's, you would expect them to have a better record than the 5 seed as I thought they would be one of the top 3 teams in the West behind the Clippers and the Blazers (you know how that ended up). They aren't the best defensive duo either as Harden is known as a lazy defender. However, they are still a contender because two years ago, Harden almost led Houston to the NBA Finals and Westbrook made an NBA Finals with OKC. Bleacher Report ranked Westbrook as the 22nd best player in the NBA, but with his 27 PPG average on a near triple double should put him borderline top 10. If they go far in the postseason, they could go up one spot.
There should be no doubt about this one. Giannis and Khris have both had their best seasons of their career and are leading the Bucks to the best record in the league. At age 25, Giannis is on pace to win his back to back MVP and is top in the Defensive Player of the year conversations leading the Bucks to the best defense in the league. Giannis is now the best player in the league and uses his size to dominate on offense and defense. Talk about complementing their star, Khris Middleton (aka Khash Money) does that perfectly with his elite shooting, which Giannis struggles with. Middleton is one of the most underrated stars in the league and averages 21 PPG, shooting 50% from the field, 41% from 3, and 90% from the Free Throw line, which puts him in a club with guys like Kevin Durant, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, and Stephen Curry for averaging 20 points on 50/40/90 efficiency splits. They have one of the best teams in the league, but Middleton holds them back from being top 2 since he isn't a superstar.
This is a close #2 as both James and Davis have had spectacular seasons. After both of them didn't make the playoffs last year, they've been the best players on the Lakers, and in contention for the MVP title. James remains a top 3 player in the NBA at 35 years of age and is leading the NBA in assists, while averaging 25 points a game. James has shown his greatness in the postseason where he made 8 straight NBA finals. However, I don't think this team will win the championship because they don't have as good of a supporting cast as the 2nd seed in the West so Davis will have to significantly step up in the playoffs. Davis is the team's leading scorer and is in Defensive Player of the Year candidacy, like he is every year. Davis is under a lot of pressure in the playoffs and if they get out of the West, will they maybe get the number one spot?
This has been my pick for the best duo in the league ever since they joined the Clippers and they are my pick for the team that is holding the championship trophy at the end of the season. This is the best defensive duo in the NBA as these are two of the best defensive and offensive wings ever. Kawhi led Toronto to NBA championship last year and is the best defender in the NBA, as well as a top 3 player. Lot of people think Paul George had a low-season this year, but you have to realize that Westbrook took a back seat for Paul George to be in MVP talks last season. Kawhi will have to be the anchor on offense and defense, and it is impressive that George can average 22 points a game when Kawhi, Lou Williams, and Montrezl Harrell have averaged 20 or more. The Clippers are 11-1 when fully healthy and are the deepest team in the NBA, which is why they are my pick to win the NBA championship and the best duo in the NBA until another duo proves me otherwise.
This took me a while to write but this is my personal opinion and how I would rank these 22 "Dynamic Duos".