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Top 5 NBA Duos

hooplife.net

hooplife.net

Many NBA teams have one, two, even three-star players that it builds around. In some cases those stars will be unable to gel together to lead a team, however, in some cases, two players can gel together so well that they take their team to the next level. Having two stars that are on the same page can create something special, some would even call this a dynamic duo. 

Here is a list of five of the most dynamic duos in the NBA today.

Honourable Mention: Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have helped turn the Los Angeles Clippers into a Western Conference threat. This past season although, Blake Griffin only played in 35 games and still managed to average 21 points per game. 

Chris Paul, on the other hand, was up to his usual antics averaging 19 points and 10 assists per game in 75 games played. The Clippers get the honourable mention here because it is very hard to leave out a very important member of an even more important Trio. This article is the best duos in the NBA and although Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are a phenomenal 1-2 punch we cannot forget about DeAndre Jordan, whose rim protecting and all around presence makes Los Angeles and even better team.

5. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

The duo of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge is fairly new however, they perfectly complement each other. Defensive Player Of The Year, Kawhi Leonard is the no doubt, the anchor on defense while Aldridge and his deadly mid-range game carry a significant load on the offensive end.

Let's face it, although Tim Duncan has retired and the likes of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are not getting any younger, the Spurs will always be a contender. Last season, although Aldridge's points per game average dropped from 23.4 to 18.0 he was still a huge part of San Antonio's playoff push.

Speaking of playoffs, Aldridge would step things up averaging 21 points per game during last year's postseason. Kawhi Leonard, on the other hand, had a career year. Leonard averaged a career-high 21 points per game last season.

To cap off Kawhi’s career year, he became the first noncenter to win back to back Defensive Player Of The Year honours since Dennis Rodman in 1989-90 and 1990-91 and helped the Spurs' defence become one of the best in the league. As previously noted, what makes Leonard and Aldridge such a good duo is that they both compliment each other so well which, will help ensure that San Antonio is a championship contender for years to come, even as one chapter in their rich history ends and they begin another.

4. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum

After losing Wesley Matthews and LaMarcus Aldridge last offseason it looked like all hope for the Trail Blazers was lost. It was a known fact that Damian Lillard could carry the team but just how far could he take them? Que CJ McCollum. The 25 year old shooting guard went from an overlooked role player averaging 6 points a game and only starting 3 games in his career, to a starter averaging 20 points per game.

McCollum and Lillard would be the driving force behind Portland's push to the playoffs and eventual upset over the Los Angeles Clippers. McCollum's career year would not only earn him league Most Improved Player Honours but it also earned him a four-year $106 million dollar contract extension.

Not to be outdone, Lillard would also average a career high in points (25.1) and assists (6.8) per game. It came as a surprise to many when Lillard was left off the Western Conference All-Star Team however, that snubbed only fueled his amazing play and level of production even more which, included a 51 point explosion in Portland’s win over Golden State on February 19th.

What makes this duo so special is that they both always seem to able to find each other out on the court. Lillard is always finding McCullom and vise versa. Add the fact the two are both in the prime of their careers and it appears that Portland has two star talents with big things in store for the near future. Except the duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to at least 51 wins this coming year.

3. Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors

Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan have been the driving forces behind Toronto's sudden uprising. What makes Lowry and DeRozan such a great 1-2 punch is that they are not only great teammates on the court but they are also very close off the court. 

The relationship between the two has been well documented and if they would probably consider each other brothers. The Raptors backcourt has lead the team to three straight Atlantic Division titles. It seems as though Lowry and DeRozan are always pushing each other to be better. 

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Kyle Lowry came into last season 30 pounds lighter and a lot faster. That weight loss and speed lead to Lowry averaging a career high 21 points per game. Kyle Lowry, over the past three season has become one of the best stories of a player breaking out late in his career, ever. At the pace he is playing now, Lowry shows no signs of slowing down as he enters his early 30’ss. 

DeRozan on the other hand would also have a career season in which he averaged 23.5 points and 4 assists per game. DeRozan’s stellar play throughout the regular season and playoffs would earn him a five-year deal reportedly worth $139 million. 

Kyle Lowry has recently stated that he plans on opting out of the final year of his contract however, the 30 year old has said that he does hope to return to Toronto. Not only did Lowry and DeRozan lead the Raptors to a franchise best 56 wins last season, they also represented Toronto on home court in the NBA All-Star Game and won a Gold Medal with Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. 

Expect Toronto to once again be a competitor in the East. Toronto’s backcourt duo will most definitely be looking to build off the team's loss to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals. Another Atlantic Division crown may also be in Toronto’s future.

2. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

When LeBron James made his triumphant return to Cleveland it was only a matter of time before he and Kyrie Irving became a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. 

Last season, James and Irving led Cleveland to its first ever NBA Championship win. It is Irving's combination of sharpshooting mixed with phenomenal ball handling combined with the shear strength and all around skill of LeBron James that makes these two such a lethal duo. 

Having LeBron James back in Cleveland has helped young Kyrie become a smarter and better all-around player. Kyrie Irving went from averaging 19.6 points in the regular season to 25.6 points in the playoffs. Irving also hit a dagger which, sealed the Cavaliers championship win. 

One of the biggest reasons for Kyrie’s points per game increase was definitely because of the fact that LeBron James pushed him to be better each and every single night. LeBron and Kyrie would to no surprise be named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Roster. Along with a championship win, Kyrie Irving would also add an Olympic Gold Medal to his trophy case while LeBron, who chose to sit out the Olympics, would once again be named to the All-NBA First Team. 

It is scary to think about how good LeBron James has become, and still is at age 31. While Kyrie may still be rising in his quest for league dominance, James is still one of, if not the best player in the NBA. Look for Cleveland's superstar tandem to once again lead the team to the playoffs and even possible back to back Championship wins for the city of Cleveland. Although this duo helped its team win an NBA Championship, there is only one duo that beats them on this list.

1. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

The superstar duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson has earned them the nickname of “The Splash Bros” and for good reason.

In the 2015-16 season, Steph Curry became the first player ever to make 300 three-pointers in one season and a month later he would become the only player ever to make 400 three-pointers in a single season.

Steph Curry, the reigning back to back NBA MVP is in a class of his own.

The second half of the Splash Brothers, Klay Thompson is not too bad himself. Last season Thompson made over 270 three pointers which, is still very impressive. Klay Thompson would actually defeat Steph Curry in the Three-Point Contest during NBA All-Star Saturday Night.

Stephen Curry would average 30 pointer per game last season and finished with the third highest highest three-point shooting percentage. Klay Thompson averaged 22 points per game and finished tied for the 6th best three-point shooting percentage last season. Sharp Shooting aside, another thing Curry and Thompson have in common is that they both have lightning quick releases.

The success of Golden State's dynamic duo goes beyond the number of three-pointers made. Curry and Thompson along with the rest of the Golden State Warriors have revolutionised the game of basketball. From the introduction of small ball the Splash Brothers have also made the three pointer one of the most important shots in the game today.

Not only that but, Golden State with the help of it’s all Star Duo, surpassed the legendary 95-96 Bulls historical regular season record of 72 wins and 10 losses with a 73 win and 9 loss season.

Although the Warriors lost against Cleveland in the NBA Finals will forever go down in history as one of the best teams ever. The duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson may have came second last season but on this list they are no doubt the best duo in the NBA today.