The best one-two punches on a team aren’t always a big man paired with a small guard. Sure Stockton and Malone and Magic and Kareem, were two of the greatest combos in league history. But the league has had some pretty damn good backcourts over the years, from Isiah and Joe Dumars to Chauncey and Rip.
Today, there are several teams that have some stacked backcourts. I decided to rank the five best point guard and shooting guard combos in the league. The criteria is based on everything from combined stats to talent. Two guys who can carry your team for the whole 48 minutes and are dangerous at the end of games. It’s not necessarily the starting backcourts for teams, but rather, the two best guards on the team that usually finish games together.
1. Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen (Celtics): Allen and Rondo have worked well together for the past three seasons. Rondo (14 ppg, 9.6 apg, 2.51 spg) is the young, fast guard who can blow past defenders and either get his own shot or kick it out to a shooter. He is having an All-Star season and because of his versatility on both sides of the ball, he can dominate a game without scoring much. Allen (16.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apg) is a veteran with a silky smooth shooting stroke and is cold as ice in crunch time. His experience and knowledge of the game gives him an advantage on his opponents. Together, they provide nightmares for the opposition and will be extremely dangerous come playoff time.
2. Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson (Hawks): When you face the Atlanta Hawks, you better be ready to get buckets dropped on you all night. These multi-skilled offensive weapons can each break you down off the dribble, hit jump shots from anywhere on the court and can score in transition. Together they combine for 38.3 ppg. Johnson (21.2 ppg, 4.9 apg, 4.9 rpg) is a strong guard, who can not only score but get his teammates involved. Crawford (17.1 ppg and 2.8 apg), who was just acquired in the summer, was been one of the NBA’s best sixth men and has sparked the Hawks with his clutch shooting.
3. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (Spurs): Even though a lot of people might argue that Parker and Ginobili’s play have declined a little bit, they are still two players I would hate to face at the end of games. Parker (16.8 ppg, 5.5 apg) can shoot and get in the lane and score, whether it’s a floater over a big man or a crafty reverse layup. Ginobili (12.7 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.4 rpg) is a unique offensive talent. He’s got all the dribble moves to get to the hole, and can also kill you with fade-aways and long range threes. He’s not scared to take big shots and even has some point guard skills.
4. Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher (Lakers): This is kind of a lopsided combo. Kobe is one of the best players in the NBA right now and Fisher is an aging point guard. But come playoff time, they will be the same dangerous backcourt that we’ve seen win four NBA chips together – assuming Kobe’s healthy. Bryant (28.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.5 apg) has been dominating the league all year and has closed out several games this season. Fisher’s (7.1 ppg, 2.7 apg) numbers have dipped, but he’s still somebody who’s got experience and like Robert Horry, is capable of knocking down big shots in the playoffs.
5. Steve Nash and Jason Richardson (Suns): The Suns have been losing as of late, but Nash and Richardson are still one of the best backcourts in the league. Nash (18.6 ppg, 11.2 apg) is the distributing point guard who can create shots both inside and out. Richardson (15.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) is an athletic guard, who can slash and hit a three. When they are both on their games, they can put up points in bunches and in a hurry.
Honorable Mention: Eric Gordon and Baron Davis (Clippers), Jason Kidd and Jason Terry (Mavs), Tyreke Evans and Kevin Martin (Kings), Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich (Bulls).