When the James Harden-led Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul over the summer, the immediate response included a number of people questioning whether two ball-dominant point guards could play together.
After an interrupted start to the duo playing together due to an injury to Paul, the paring seems to be just fine. In fact, they’re looking like they are putting together a great argument for the best-passing backcourt of all-time.
While numbers don’t mean everything, they don’t mean nothing, either. I first perused Basketball-Reference.com’s Play Index, looking at every player who has averaged 8.0 assists per game for a season. I could only find three instances where teammates with at least 11 games averaged eight dimes: Paul (9.6) and Harden (9.4), John Lucas (10.7) and Johnny Moore (9.6) for the 1983-84 San Antonio Spurs, and Norm Nixon (8.8) and Magic Johnson (8.6) for the 1980-81 Lakers.
There is no searchable database I have access to for total assists by a pair of teammates, but as far as what I could find, the Spurs pairing has the record at 20.3. The Houston duo is tied for second (19.0), with the Johnson and Michael Cooper tandem from the 1983-84 Lakers.