As the point guard position continues to evolve and get better, the shooting guard position has fallen off and is not as strong as it used to be. With that said there are still some very good backcourts in the league. This is my top 5 backcourts in the NBA.
5. Eric Bledsoe & Goran Dragic – 38 ppg, 41 PER, 11.4 apg, 3 spg and 14.4 Win Shares
They only played one season together so they land at number 5. These two couldn’t be more different. Bledsoe is a fast, explosive athlete who went to a big named school. Dragic is a crafty Slovenian who began his professional career at 17 but has taken some time to find his footing in the NBA. They shocked the league this past season by leading the Suns to 48 wins in the Western Conference. This is what we thought the Suns would be this year
They were exciting to watch and played well off of each other. Dragic does everything on the court and shoots a high percentage, Bledsoe is the attacker and defender between the two. Bledsoe is a restricted free agent right now and is far apart in talks with the Suns. Hopefully he returns so we continue to see this tandem grow.
4. Kyle Lowry & DeMar DeRozan – 40.6 ppg, 38.6 PER, 11.4 apg, and 20.5 Win Shares
Lowry has found his comfort zone with the Raptors and he got paid for it. DeRozan stepped up and became an all-star this past season. Together they led the Raptors to the playoffs and they lost a tough seven game series to the more experienced Nets team. DeRozan is still growing as a player averaging a career high 22 points last season. He was very good at getting to the line and shot eight free throws a game. If he can expand his game to the 3 point line he will be even tougher to guard. Lowry had the best season of his career and was in the discussion to be an All-Star. He is a tough, strong point guard who can shoot the long ball.
3. Damian Lillard & Wesley Matthews – 37.1 ppg, 34.4 PER, 419 3s made and 17.8 Win Shares
This might come as a surprise to many of you but I really like this backcourt. We all know Lillard has game and he makes big shots. Wesley Matthews can also knock down a big shot but he is the defender in this backcourt. He was the one going back and forth with James Harden during the playoffs. He averaged a career high in points while hitting a career high in 3 pointers. They both take about six 3s a game and they both shoot 39%. They knocked down 419 three pointers, 2nd only to the Splash Brothers in Golden State. Matthews is not a household name but you should pay attention to him when the Blazers play. He has gotten a lot better over the years and is a great running mate for Lillard; a young guard who is not the best defender.
2. John Wall & Bradley Beal – 36.4 ppg, 33.9 PER, 12.1 apg, 2.8 spg and 11.9 Win Shares
The Wizards finally made the playoffs again thanks in large part to a healthy Wall and Beal. Wall finally played in all 82 games in a season. These guys are really young but they play well together. Wall is 23 and Beal is only 20. I think John Wall is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. He’s an unselfish player who led the NBA in total assists this past season. We all know he’s fast and explosive in the open court but he has worked on his jumper. He shot 35% from beyond the arc which is up from his previous career high of 26%. Beal did not get a lot of time on the court with Wall during the 2012-13 season because of injuries and they still played well together. This past season they grew together. Beal shot 40% from beyond the arc. He played well throughout the season and even better during the playoffs. He is still learning to make the right decisions and being more assertive. Both players are good in the open floor, can put the ball on the floor to make plays and will continue to get better. The addition of Paul Pierce will help both players going forward.
1. Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson – 42.4 ppg, 38.4 PER, 10.7 apg and 20.1 Win Shares
Another young backcourt, Curry is 25 & Thompson is 23. They are known as the Splash Brothers and for good reason. They hit 484 three pointers this past season, most in the NBA for a starting backcourt. Steph takes about eight 3s a game and Klay takes about 6. The scary part is Curry hits on 42% and Thompson at 41%. Curry has grown into a better playmaker through the years and averaged a career high 8.5 apg. He can get hot at any time and is a threat to shoot a 3 in any situation. Klay is an underrated defender and has improved his scoring each year. He also has a post-up game that is effective when teams put smaller players on him. I don’t think the Warriors should break up their backcourt in their pursuit of Kevin Love; these two can do great things for years.