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Best Backcourts in the NBA

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:43 am
by 32
(1) Golden State Warriors - (Baron Davis & Jason Richardson)

Golden State tops the list... not simply because they’re my favorite team, but because (if there’s anything we can be proud of on our team, it’s that) their back court is stacked. Kevin Harlan said it best last night, “When Baron Davis is healthy, there may be no better point guard in the league”. He’s right. BD shovels out 10 assists a game (like Nash), scores 20 points a game (like AI), and grabs 4 rebounds a game (like a poor man’s Kidd). He can do it all (and do it all very well). His fatal flaw (shared by fellow backcourt partner, Jason Richardson) is his poor percentages (across the board). However, when Baron Davis chooses to take over a game, there’s no stopping him. Jason Richardson (the only 3-Time Slam Dunk Champion in NBA History... I don’t acknowledge that screwjob where they gave it to Fred Jones) has turned from an unbelievable leaper into a complete offensive package. He hits 37% of his three-pointers, knocks down midrange jumpers, drives to the hole, and looks to have developed a better passing game as the years have gone by. To go along with his scoring, Jason Richardson is also one of the top 3 guards in the league at rebounding the ball. However, as with Davis, his free-throw and field goal percentages kill him. A big reason that Golden State is at the top of the list, as well, is because they can spell Baron Davis with either savvy veteran, Derek Fisher, who can shoot the lights out of any game, or the high school phenomenon Monta Ellis (who’s quickness, leaping, and shooter’s touch make him a deadly weapon). Richardson’s reserve (Mickael Pietrus) is also an explosion of talent waiting to be unleashed. Golden State may not have much a front court, aside from Murph and Ike... but their back court is among the youngest, most exciting, and best in the league.

(2) San Antonio Spurs - (Tony Parker & Manu Ginobli)

The Spurs, on paper, may have the best back court in the league. Tony Parker has emerged as a bonafide star. He can get into the paint, knock down jumpers anywhere on the floor, handle the ball, and distribute. Although overshadowed by Duncan in the lineup, Parker has managed to cause enough noise to force opponents to pay closer attention to him. Manu Ginobli (his partner in crime) is also an energetic player who can boost the team during crunch time or playoff games, but flies steadily low during the regular season. True, Ginobli’s playoff style of getting to the rim and toppling over damn near every giant in the middle would result in countless injuries during the season, but one has to wonder what he’d be in a franchise role for another team. Ginobli and Parker are backed by Nick Van Exel (a sharp shooting point guard who’s knees suddenly look too old to contribute) and Michael Finley (a one-time offensive stud, who’s game in Dallas became nothing more than a 3-point shooter... which appears to have stayed with him in San Antonio). The Spurs starters are stars, and their backups are faithful... but the clock seems to be ticking on Van Exel and Finley (along with the fact that Ginobli can’t help muh during the regular season).

(3) New Jersey Nets - (Jason Kidd & Vince Carter)

Backups or not, this lineup had to be mentioned in the Top 3. Although the gas is running out in Jason Kidd’s tank, he’ll be effective and play at a Jason-Kidd-level for the next 2 seasons or so. In the meantime, he remains a constant triple-double threat (averaging around 15 points, 7 boards, and 8 assists consistently). His age (32 years old) means that quicker guards can now shake him, but his hands still make him capable of swiping around 145 steals this season (2 a game, usually). Kidd is still one of the league’s premiere points, despite age slowing him down a step. Vince Carter, who looked done in Toronto (16 ppg? Lower than rookie season), has returned to lead the Nets at 25 ppg. The jumper’s knee, that many had previously written off his game with, doesn’t appear to have effected him too much, as he remains quick and steady with 6 boards and a steal per game. Carter is the complete offensive package; a better shooting version of Jason Richardson. However, the flaw in Jersey’s system arises when you hit the reserves: Jeff McInnis is by no means a bad player, but you certainly notice when you go from a Jason Kidd (who damn near averages a triple double) to a McInnis (who averages 5 points, 2 assists, and 2 boards). Carter’s backup (rookie Antoine Wright) only seems good for knocking down open J's when he’s called into the game. At the moment, the rest of his game seems uncertain (he only plays 7 minutes a night). The other reserve (Zoran Planinig) isn’t much better than Wright. The Net’s depth needs to improve, but their starters are state of the art.

(4) Miami Heat - (Jason William & Dwayne Wade)

Miami is simply stacked. Every position, there’s more depth than any other team. Jason Williams has finally seemed to find his niche in Miami, distributing the ball and only looking at wide open treys. When Williams is in the right frame of mind, he can be one of the most creative and awe-inspiring playmakers in basketball. When he’s in a funk, it’s another story. Dwayne Wade is another one of these league-franchise players who’s only been playing for 3 years. Wade is a scoring machine (even beside Shaq), can pass the ball well, is quick as hell, can play tough one-on-one defense, and shoots from anywhere on the floor. He’s a definite franchise player. At the backup for point is defensive stopper, Gary Payton, who can not only lock up defenders, but get into the paint on offense, shoot the ball from the perimeter, throw dazzling passes, and lead the team by barking at them. Wade is spelled by either sharp-shooting Jason Kapono, who never seems to miss a jumper, or equally-dangerous shooting James Posey (a regular small forward who can play the 2 when they’re in need of a bigger lineup). The Heat don’t seem to have a weakness.

(5) Detroit Pistons - (Chauncey Billips & Richard Hamilton)

There’s an old saying: high tide raises all ships. I believe this to be true in the case of Detroit, who plays such a good team game that their single players (guys like Billips, Ben Wallace, and Rip Hamilton, who have never been superstars in their own right) become something extra ordinary when playing together, hence the #5 rating (which I’m sure plenty of people will bitch about). Here’s the thing: Chauncey Billips (a strong candidate for MVP in the East) is playing the best ball of his life this season. Billips has a career average of 14 points and 5 assists. However, on this Detroit team (where everything flows well), Billips is posting averages of 19.3 and 8.5... He’s having a great year, no doubt, but one has to wonder what his success would be like on another squad who doesn’t play the team game that Detroit does. Rip Hamilton, likewise, has a 17 ppg career average (and is currently averaging 21). The Detroit Pistons are a great team, but the success of their singles players depends strongly on the fact that they play team ball and boost each other’s stats. On the bench for Detroit is Carlos Arroyo, who’s usually good for 3 & 3 during a game and Maurice Evans, who can get the Pistons an extra 5 or 6 points when he’s in. Detroit is a great team, but their back court wouldn’t seem as stellar if they were in Boston.

Honorable Mentions:

The Sixers - (The AI’s are worth a mention, but Iverson plays an isolated game away from Iguiodala, so they don’t seem like much of a team).

The Suns - (Likewise, Nash draws a mention, but his tandem is inflated because he makes everyone better. Raja Bell isn’t that great).

The Hornets - (Chris Paul will be huge in this league. He’s not there yet, but he’ll get there. Team him with JR Smith and you’ve got a young & dangerous duo).

The Clippers - (You either love Shawn Livingston, or you hate him. Either way, Maggette only plays 30 games a season, so we’ll never know the true extent of this back court).

The Bucks - (I really like TJ Ford and think he’s going to be a great point guard. Michael Redd is also a big scoring threat. Could be a sleeper duo if teams aren’t careful).

The Bulls - (Whatever lineup you can make out of Hinrich, Duhon, and Gordon is a set back court for the next 10 years. Great talent).


Okay, the bitching may now commence!

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:37 pm
by TMC
We do not have the best backcourt, and if we do, then I don't want to have the best backcourt, but a balanced team. How can it be that the best backcourt in the league can't even lead its team to .500?

There was a thread about this some time ago. I stand by my pick then. And that was...

Detroit. Be it chemistry, the system or whatever... Those reasons also play a part. If you leave them aside, you'll be picking the most talented backcourt, not the best.

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:28 pm
by Cosmos
sorry it's detroit.

did you guys see the tnt post game show?

magic had 3 pistons on the reserves and kenny/chuck had all 5.

who could blame them either

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:12 am
by Yoyo
The Pistons definitely have the best backcourt in the NBA.

And for that matter, the most well-balanced starting lineup in the NBA.

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:23 am
by lobsterman
pistons have the best backcourt hands down

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:21 am
by 32
TMC wrote:Detroit. Be it chemistry, the system or whatever... Those reasons also play a part. If you leave them aside, you'll be picking the most talented backcourt, not the best.

I said the best back court in the league; not the back court on the best team. If there was a 2-on-2 tourney somewhere (where only point guards and shooting guards could play), Golden State would tear any other team limb from limb.

Another example would be taking Golden State's lineup and placing it on Detroit in place of Billips & Hamilton. Richardson is basically a better version of Rip (only flaw being a worse FT%) and (when his head's on straight) Baron Davis is a hand's down pick above Chauncey Billips (don't be quick to defend Chauncey simply because of one career season... check his career stat's before you place him above Baron Davis).

Chauncey Billips & Rip Hamilton aren't the best back court; they're simply the back court on the best team. That doesn't make them the best; it gives them the best record. Imagine what kind of numbers Jason Richardson would be putting up in Hamilton's place...

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:17 am
by Califongia
Just my two cents:

If Billups and Hamilton comprised the Warriors starting back court, would we be doing better than we are doing now?

And if we measure how good a backcourt is by their stats, they would definetly have to take on a greater role on this Warriors team, thus making their stats even better than they are now.

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 3:37 am
by TMC
Califongia wrote:Just my two cents:

If Billups and Hamilton comprised the Warriors starting back court, would we be doing better than we are doing now?

Hell, yeah.

I ask another question. Would Detroit trade their backourt for ours?. I don't think so.

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:55 am
by 32
TMC wrote:I ask another question. Would Detroit trade their backourt for ours?. I don't think so.

Check back any other season but this one. Last year (or probably next, too). Chauncey & Rip are both having career seasons, so of course it doesn't seem appealing to them now. Also, you're forgetting the whole "back court as a whole" concept. Our starters against theirs is a toss-up right now, but our back-up guards are undeniably better than theirs. Pit Mickael Pietrus, Derek Fisher, and Monta Ellis against Carlos Arroyo, Carlos Delfino, and Lindsay Hunter and TRY to say that Detroit's lineup is better. Everything considered, the Warriors' back court is set for the next 10 years. The Pistons are set for the next 3 or 4. I'm sure they'd be willing to deal all of their guards away for all of ours.

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:08 pm
by TMC
Well, I'd rather have Arroyo than any of our bench players.

And we're dicussing the best backcourt right now, so that "they're having a career season" side shouldn't really matter...

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:48 pm
by 32
TMC wrote:Well, I'd rather have Arroyo than any of our bench players.

Over Mickael Pietrus...???? :shock:

Carlos Arroyo is a decent PG in training, but he wont ever be anything more than average to decent...

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 3:16 pm
by TMC
I said bench players. Pietrus is playing as our starting SF lately. Of course I'd pick Air France over Arroyo.

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:58 pm
by 32
Well, aside from today's game (and when Mike's injured), he's usually a 6th man.

He's a natural SG, so he counts as backcourt. Richardson, Davis, Pietrus, Ellis, and Fisher aren't better than Billips, Hamilton, Arroyo, Evans, and Hunter...??!!!

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:02 pm
by Yoyo
#32 wrote:Well, aside from today's game (and when Mike's injured), he's usually a 6th man.

He's a natural SG, so he counts as backcourt. Richardson, Davis, Pietrus, Ellis, and Fisher aren't better than Billips, Hamilton, Arroyo, Evans, or Hunter...??!!!

I can see Mickael being our starting SF for at least a few more games.

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:03 pm
by 32
I'm sure he will, too, but he's naturally a SG. It's like counting Amare Stoudamire as a center instead of a PF just because he plays a good amount of minutes there.