Ranking the 5 Best backcourts in the NBA

There are plenty of elite backcourts throughout the NBA today. Some of them are newly formed and still developing while others have been mainstays for significant time now. We are about 30 games deep into the season, so let’s take a look at some of the top backcourts in the association thus far.

This list is solely based off performance this season, and games played is an important factor. This is why Portland is hurt a bit in their ranking due to the amount of time CJ missed for example, which leads to inflated (unsustainable) numbers.

Excluded: Golden State’s duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson (due to Klay’s season-ending injury.)


#1 Backcourt 

Brooklyn Nets: Kyrie Irving & James Harden

Team record: 20-12

Combined stats:

  • PPG: 52.6
  • APG: 16.8
  • RPG: 12.0
  • VORP: 3.4
  • TS% median: 63.9%
  • Games Played: 48/64

#2 Backcourt

Phoenix Suns: Chris Paul & Devin Booker

Team record: 19-10 

Combined stats:

  • PPG: 41.4
  • APG: 12.8
  • RPG: 8.4
  • VORP: 1.7
  • TS% median: 59.9%
  • Games Played: 53/58

#3 Backcourt

Utah Jazz: Mike Conley & Donovan Mitchell

Team record: 24-6

Combined stats:

  • PPG: 41.1
  • APG: 10.7
  • RPG: 7.9
  • VORP: 2.1
  • TS%: 57.6%
  • Games Played: 52/60

#4 Backcourt

Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard & CJ McCollum*

Team record: 18-11

Combined stats:

  • PPG: 56.7
  • APG: 12.9
  • RPG: 8.4
  • VORP: 3.2
  • TS% median: 62.0%
  • Games Played: 41/58*

*docked points for missed time


#5 Backcourt

Washington Wizards: Russell Westbrook & Bradley Beal

Team record: 10-17

Combined stats:

  • PPG: 52.2
  • APG: 14.3
  • RPG: 14.7
  • VORP: 1.7
  • TS% median: 53.6%
  • Games Played: 45/54

Honorable Mentions

Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry & Fred VanVleet

Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young & Kevin Huerter

Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball & Terry Rozier (s/o Graham)

Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox & Buddy Hield (s/o Haliburton)

Bonus fun backcourt:

Cleveland Cavaliers: Collin Sexton & Darius Garland


Boston’s backcourt missed the cut due to a disappointing season from Kemba and Smart’s injury costing him significant time. Their poor team record (relative to expectations) has also dropped them.

Philadelphia was considered with Ben Simmons and Seth Curry, but since Simmons isn’t a traditional point guard and Curry has missed some time so they were excluded from the honorable mentions section. Same goes for Luka Doncic and Dallas as far as traditional backcourts go.

A sneaky good backcourt that just missed the cut was Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday and Donte DiVincenzo. Holiday has missed a chunk of time, but when healthy that duo should wreak havoc defensively. I’m also much higher on Donte than the consensus seems to be.

The Spurs’ backcourt is just too deep so they were left off the list due to difficulty finding what their best two man combo would be. If it were a depth rankings then they would absolutely be catapulted to the top of the honorable mentions list.


That concludes our backcourt power rankings about ~30 games deep into the 2020/2021 NBA season. Who is too low? Too high? How will the rankings shift as time goes on?

Stay tuned for the 2.0 version of this that we will release once we hit game 60 towards the end of the season, and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss what’s next!

 

 



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