The Splash Brothers are ready to lead the Golden State Warriors again but how do they rank against other elite duos across the NBA?
The NBA has undergone some major changes since the last time the Golden State Warriors competed in the NBA Finals. In 2019, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had a legit argument to be the best duo in the league (excluding Kevin Durant and Curry). This year, countless teams have built their own superstar duos to contend with the Splash Brothers.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis have to be the most notable pairing. The Los Angeles Lakers went all-in on combining perhaps the greatest player of all-time in James with a revolutionary big man like Davis. The two have created one of the most dynamic defensive teams in league history and are masterminds at operating in the pick-and-roll together.
The James/Davis duo is responsible for over 50 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists per game and has led the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference at 49-14. In terms of pure star power between two players, there might not be a better one-two punch in the league.
Of course, the reigning (and likely two-time) MVP, Giannis Antetokounnmpo, is capable of competing with any running mate. His best partner has to be Khris Middleton, who is averaging a career-high 21.1 points per game. Overall, the Milwaukee Bucks starting lineup is posting the best Defensive Rating of any five-man rotation since the 2013 San Antonio Spurs.
Then, there’s the dormant LA Clippers. The tandem of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George has only appeared in 32 games together due to constant injuries and load management but has had a big impact. They post an overwhelming positive Net Rating of 11.6 when sharing the floor. With an extended rest period to recover, the Clippers could shock the world with this duo.
Other strong pairings across the league include the MVP combo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden, an inside-out dynamic with Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, and a brewing storm in Boston due to the emergence of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
If we had to guess, the Splash Bros will place themselves somewhere comfortably in the top three. They will undoubtedly be greater than any pairing on the Rockets, Nuggets and Celtics, but they will have their work cut out for them against the Lakers, Bucks and Clippers.
That is, for this season at least. When looking back at their total time together, Curry and Thompson should be compared to some of the greatest duos in league history, not the ones currently competing in the NBA. Three championships and their countless records together speak for themselves. Another strong outing from these two and they could solidify themselves as the number one backcourt of all-time.