The NBA season is slowly coming upon us, and every NBA team is starting to get into the mindset of figuring out what they have to do to win the NBA Championship. Each NBA team has their good things about them, and then they have their bad things about them. With strengths and weaknesses starting to come out for every NBA team it is time to focus on one part of the game.
That part of the game is every NBA team's starting backcourt. Now, the starting back court is the point guard, and shooting guard who start for every team. The guards usually are the floor generals, and take complete control of the game from time to time. Most teams put out their two talented guards out on the court for all of the key situations in every NBA game. Now with injuries and all sorts of other variables added to the equations makes or breaks the starting lineup. These equations are what makes the NBA so much fun to watch, because you never know what kind of duo will take the league by storm next.
There are some talented back court duos that take the league by storm, and they help lead their team to the promiseland. With the back court duos starting to take over the league now it is time to focus on which NBA team's starting backcourt is the best in the league. With that being said from worse to best here is the ranking of every NBA team's starting backcourt.
30 Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls projected starting back court is either Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine, or Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine. The Bulls are entering a rebuilding phase, and it does not look like they will be anywhat competitive in 2017-2018. One thing that could be exciting for them is the potential of their young backcourt being a must see. Kris Dunn is a young talented player that was in a bad situation in Minnesota, while LaVine could be the next face of the franchise for the Bulls.
If LaVine can play up to the level that he did in Minnesota, and then some; look out for LaVine to potentially be the next big thing for the Chicago Bulls. Chicago is going to need some help for the future, but if LaVine can be the guy that they need to build around then they should be alright for now.
29 New York Knicks
The New York Knicks' projected starting backcourt is Ramon Sessions and Tim Hardaway Jr. Now Ramon Sessions might not be the long term answer for the Knicks at point guard, but then again he might not even be the answer at point guard halfway through the season. With a veteran like Jarrett Jack on the roster, and the rookie Frank Ntilikina right behind him might start some controversy for the Knicks.
The starting backcourt of the Knicks is more of a process, as the Knicks are trying to see who plays well together, and then figure out what they want their roster to look like for the future. Look for the Knicks to answer some questions this season as they look to compete and build for the future of the New York franchise.
28 Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic's projected starting backcourt is Elfrid Payton and Terrence Ross. Orlando has been one of the most weridest situations in the National Basketball Association for some time now. The Magic have seemed like they have put together a good team, but at the end of the season they also find themselves out of the playoffs. Orlando has yet to find a starting backcourt combination that has worked for them so far.
This year they are hoping that Ross and Payton can create a spark that the Magic need to make a playoff appearance in the weak Eastern Conference. Look for the Magic to be a few seasons away with their roster, but with Payton and Ross could become one of the better backcourt duos in the Eastern Conference in a couple of years.
27 Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets' projected starting backcourt is Jeremy Lin and D'Angelo Russell. Now this is an interesting backcourt duo that the Nets have put together. Both play the point guard position, but I can see Russell thriving as a shooting guard. The Nets have finally put together somewhat of a team that does not look like they are trying to give away another season. With the trade of Brook Lopez to get a former number two overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft in D'Angelo Russell was a good move for Brooklyn.
Brooklyn looks like they can make their 2018 first round pick that is currently owned by the Cavaliers not as valuable as everyone thinks it will be. In the weak Eastern Conference Brooklyn could surprise some people and could make some noise in 2017-18. Look out for Brooklyn as Lin and Russell could very well be a dynamic backcourt duo.
26 Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers' projected starting backcourt is Patrick Beverley and Austin Rivers. Now the Clippers do have Lou Williams, but he thrives in a sixth man role which he will play for the Clippers in 2017-18. Los Angeles is a good team, but their starting backcourt makes you think otherwise. Without Chris Paul and J.J. Redick, the Clippers are set to take a step back, but they can still be considered a playoff team in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles lost Chris Paul, but they did get a good plethora of guys that can help them continue to compete. Look for the Clippers backcourt to be better as the season goes on, but when it comes to starting backcourts at this very moment, they look like they're one of the worst in the league.
25 Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers' projected starting backcourt is Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo. The Pacers look like a rebuilding team after trading away their face of the franchise in Paul George. Their backcourt is not bad, but it is not one of the best that the league has to offer. Collison is a solid starting point guard, but he isn't the type of point guard that can help carry your team.
While Oladipo is a great scorer, and an even more solid defender. Other than that he has not played in a situation that has worked for him just yet. Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison have not worked together yet, so we can only imagine how they will be together. Look for Indiana to build towards next year... and the year after that... and the year after that.
24 Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings' projected starting backcourt is George Hill and Buddy Hield. The Kings are looking like a whole different team after the shake up that they did between the trade deadline last season, and throughout the offseason. Sacramento is lucky that De'Aaron Fox can learn from a veteran like George Hill. Hill is a solid point guard, and is one of the veterans that the Kings signed to help their locker room.
By helping their locker room the veterans are creating a positive environment that these young talents need to grow not only as group, but as individuals as well. Look for the Kings to use Hill as a focal point not only in their offense, but as to their team as a whole. Plus another year for Buddy Hield to develop will be huge for the Kings in the future.
23 Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks' projected starting backcourt is Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore. Atlanta is looking for a new direction to go in and it looks like they will be building around their young frontcourt of Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore. These guys have played together for the past three seasons. They have developed some sort of chemistry and can build upon it in 2017-18.
Schroder can get into the heads of his opponents as we have seen on numerous occasions in his career. While Bazemore is a good defender, and if his jumpshot starts getting hot he is tough to guard. Look for Atlanta to take this rebuilding process seriously as they will try to find their next face of the franchise in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Hawks will give some teams in the Eastern Conference some trouble with their shifty backcourt.
22 Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks' projected starting backcourt is Dennis Smith Jr. and Seth Curry. Now Seth Curry is the younger brother of Stephen Curry, and does not have the shooting range that Steph has, but Seth is a good shooter in his own right, especially from three point range. Seth is the veteran of the backcourt and could play very well with the Mavericks this upcoming season.
Personally, I am excited to see what rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has in store for all of the fans in Dallas. Smith Jr. is an athletic point guard who can explode and finish at the rim. He has some superstar potential and could be the future of the Mavericks franchise. Look for Dallas to win more games than they did in 2016-17, but it will be because of Dennis Smith Jr. leading the charge rather than Seth Curry.
21 Miami Heat
The Miami Heat's projected starting backcourt is Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson. Which I don't know if I agree with this projected starting backcourt, especially when they have a guy who did so much for the Heat last season in Dion Waiters still on the team. I believe Waiters would be a much better starting shooting guard than Josh Richardson. Dragic is a leader on the floor, that can help space the floor, and can knock down a jumper from time to time.
While Waiters was the spark plug for the Heat's offense last season at times. When Waiters gets going it just seemed like the rest of the Miami Heat started getting hot and then that is when they are tough to stop. Look for Miami to make some noise in the Eastern Conference because of their spark plug in Dion Waiters rather than Josh Richardson.
20 Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets' projected starting backcourt is Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. This young backcourt can provide a nice scoring spark that can help the Nuggets out in 2017-18. Denver got a big upgrade this off season by signing Paul Millsap, so now if Murray and Harris can start scoring consistently for the Nuggets should help their case for them to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.
Murray who is entering his sophomore season can be a big time help for the Nuggets. Gary Harris and Murray both are good jump shooters, and if they can consistently perform then they can be one of the best younger backcourts in the league today. Look for Denver to become a playoff team as long as their backcourt can defend and score the ball at will.
19 San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs' projected starting backcourt is Tony Parker and Danny Green. Now if this was ten years ago the Spurs backcourt would be up a lot higher, but with Tony Parker aging and Danny Green as only a good three point shooter, and solid defender means that they are lower on the list. Tony Parker has been a consistent playmaker for the Spurs, but this season looks like Parker will be on his last legs.
Meanwhile Danny Green is a great shooting guard, and can help space the floor with his shooting ability, he is not as talented as many of the other top shooting guards in the NBA. Look for the Spurs to use their veteran backcourt to their advantage, but they will be used in a limited role due to how old Parker is.
18 Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks' projected starting backcourt is Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell. Now Tony Snell is only in the starting lineup due to the fact that Jabari Parker is out until almost the all-star break. The guy who should be the shooting guard for the Bucks in my opinion is none other than Khris Middleton. A backcourt of the reigning rookie of the year in Malcom Brogdon to go along with a solid veteran like Khris Middleton seems like a good match.
The Bucks have a bright future ahead of them and Malcolm Brogdon is part of the reason for that. Brogdon is a solid defender, and his offensive game can uses some improvement, but he looks like a great guy to help run the offense. Look for Milwaukee to compete in the East, but to be a season or two away from being a legitimate contender.
17 New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans' projected starting backcourt looks like Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday. New Orleans has a lot of intriguing scenarios to see what will happen for the Pelicans this season. For starters Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday both starting in the backcourt makes myself wonder how this is going to work. Rondo is a great floor general and can help create for his teammates. While Holiday is more of a score first guard that could potentially excel at shooting guard.
The Pelicans could be really good if healthy this season, or they could be really bad depending on the situation that they put themselves in. If Holiday and Rondo can co-exist the league needs to watch out. Look for the backcourt to be an interesting thing for this team in 2017-18.
16 Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies' projected starting backcourt is Mike Conley and Tyreke Evans. Now, I am interested in seeing how this duo will work. Conley is a great leader on the floor, and if Evans can stay healthy can be a great scoring guard that Memphis was lacking over the past couple of seasons. Conley is a great lefty point guard who can create matchup problems for other point guards around the league, while Evans can score in bunches if he remains healthy.
The Grizzlies have put together what I think could be a very solid backcourt duo, and if they both can stay healthy they will be fun to watch. Look for the all-star snub Mike Conley to help Memphis while Tyreke Evans just looks to show that he still has what it takes to be a consistent scorer.
15 Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers' projected starting backcourt is Markelle Fultz and J.J. Redick. Markelle Fultz was the number one overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and could very well be what the 76ers need to take that next step. Then they added veteran three point marksman J.J. Redick to be his starting backcourt running mate. Redick has consistently shown that he is a great shooter, and can start on almost any team in the NBA. His veteran presence can be huge, especially to help a young guard like Markelle Fultz out.
Fultz shown some of his game during the summer league, and could very well be a spark plug for the 76ers. Look for Philadelphia to hope and pray that Fultz can carry a heavy workload to help Philadelphia while helping set up J.J. Redick for that wide open jump shot.
14 Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers' projected starting backcourt is Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Lonzo Ball was the number two overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and is very highly regarded by the Lakers' front office especially Magic Johnson. While the Lakers also got lucky that the Pistons renounced Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's rights which helped led the Lakers to sign him this off season.
Lonzo Ball has a good presence when he is on the floor as he can help set up any of his teammates on the floor at any given time. He also is very effective if his jumpshot can get going, then he is tough to guard. Look for the Lakers to have one young dynamic backcourt that could take the league by storm in the next couple of seasons.
13 Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz's projected starting backcourt is Ricky Rubio and Rodney Hood. Rubio is a solid pass first point guard, that can control the tempo of the game on the offensive end of the floor. While Rodney Hood is an athletic shooting guard, who can have a great shooting touch at times. Utah's frontcourt took a big hit this offseason, but they added some talent in the backcourt to help out.
Rubio is one of the best pass first point guards in the league, and with Rodney Hood running side by side with him can make for some intriguing basketball. Now the Jazz might take a step back and not be as good as they were in 2016-2017, but their backcourt has some serious potential to be one of the better ones in the NBA today.
12 Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons' projected starting backcourt is Reggie Jackson and Avery Bradley. Detroit upgraded their shooting guard position by acquiring Avery Bradley this off season. Bradley is one of the best defenders on the perimeter, and gets praise around the league for it. Avery Bradley has worked on his mid-range game throughout the majority of his career, and can knock down mid-range jumpers with ease now.
He is a max contract player, but the Pistons will get a season with him before deciding if they want to pay him that max contract. On the other hand they have Reggie Jackson, who is a solid point guard that can score in bunches. Look for the Pistons backcourt to be one of the better ones in the Eastern Conference as they look to make a playoff push in 2017-2018.
11 Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma Thunder's projected starting backcourt is Russell Westbrook and Andre Roberson. Roberson is a solid defender that is inconsistent with his shot from time to time. Other than that he is a solid shooting guard, while Westbrook who is the reigining MVP runs the show for the Thunder. Oklahoma City has become the odds on favorite in the Western Conference to give Golden State a run for their money with the new additions they have made this off season.
The Thunder have Westbrook who explodes at the rim, and is not afraid to take the big time shots. Look for the Thunder to go as far as Westbrook allows them to go. If Westbrook can facilitate the ball like we know he can, the Thunder should be in for one of their best seasons in franchise history.
10 Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers' projected starting backcourt is Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade. The Cavaliers have added some pieces to try and make another run at a championship in what seems to be LeBron's last season in Cleveland. Cleveland's starting backcourt is completely different from a season ago as they have Isaiah Thomas who took the league by storm as he helped bring the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. They also wound up adding veteran Dwyane Wade who plays very well with LeBron.
The Cavaliers are looking to not only find answers that could help them this season, but they are also looking to make moves to make sure they do whatever they can to convince LeBron to stay in Cleveland after the 2017-2018 season. Look for Cleveland's starting backcourt to create some chaos around the league, as Thomas looks like he is out for blood.
9 Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics' projected starting backcourt is Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown. This backcourt duo is very intriguing to watch. With Kyrie wanting out of Cleveland, he got traded to Boston and the Celtics are excited to see how he does for them. Kyrie is a top five point guard in the league today, as he is basically close to a lock for 15 plus points a night. Adding an athletic presence like Jaylen Brown to play alongside Kyrie is a good thing for the Celtics.
Imagine the fast break where Kyrie throws Jaylen Brown the alley-oop. Look for the Celtics to be one of the teams that will compete in the Eastern Conference this season. As they look to be a whole lot better than they were a season ago.
8 Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets' projected starting backcourt is Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum. Kemba Walker has exploded on the scene since his rookie season in 2011-2012. He is a consistent scorer, and has increased his points per game amount almost every season. Walker is the leader for the Hornets on the floor, while he has his counterpart in Nicolas Batum. Batum is a great shooter, and is able to play very solid defense.
Nicolas Batum has been a huge part for the Charlotte's offense since he joined the team in 2015-2016. Look for Charlotte to look to bounce back in 2017-2018 and to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. If their backcourt can carry them for the majority of the season they can contend in the Eastern Conference.
7 Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timverwolves' projected starting backcourt is Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins. Teague is a solid floor general, and can help his team run their offense which will be huge for coach Tom Thibodeau. While Andrew Wiggins is this athletic player who explodes at the rim, and is a matchup nightmare at times. If Wiggins gets going he can start scoring in bunches, which is tough to stop if you are a defender. This backcourt duo can create some trouble for the teams around the league.
Minnesota has a solid core, and with this solid backcourt duo means that they can contend in the Western Conference. Look for the Timberwolves to be a dangerous team in the NBA in 2017-2018, as they look like a lock for a playoff spot this season.
6 Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns' projected starting backcourt is Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker. Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker are one of the younger backcourts that is a dominant duo in the NBA today. Booker is a solid shooting guard who has blossomed into a star during his time in the league so far. He has developed his game a lot to make him into the player that he is today. While Bledsoe likes to drive and can get his shot going whenever he wants to. If the duo is healthy they can be looked as one of the best backcourt duos in the league today.
If they played in the Eastern Conference both of them not only would be an all-star, but the Suns would be a playoff team. Since they play in the tough Western Conference they do not get the recognition that they deserve. Look for Phoenix to be a couple years away from competing, but they do have a talented backcourt duo.
5 Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers' projected starting backcourt is Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. These two are a dynamic scoring duo that provides matchup nightmares for teams around the league. Lillard is a floor general that likes the ball in his hands and can make things happen with the ball in his hands. While McCollum is a solid shooter, and can get his shot anyway that he can. Portland has put together this duo through the draft, and it is really working out in their favor. These two young talents together are a force to be reckoned with.
McCollum and Lillard are the reason why the Blazers are even relevant in the Western Conference. Look for Portland to be on the outisde looking in come playoff time, but their backcourt can only win a certain amount of games.
4 Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors' projected starting backcourt is Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Kyle Lowry is a solid floor general that is getting paid like an elite floor general, while DeMar DeRozan is the new big time scorer in the NBA today. DeRozan is one of the better players in the league today, and is a solid performer for the Raptors. Lowry and DeRozan have made a huge difference in Toronto since they have came together as a backcourt duo.
The two have made Toronto a playoff team in the Eastern Conference which at times makes them look like they can contend in the NBA. Look for Toronto to do more of the same in 2017-18 as the Raptors look like they are poised for another solid year in the NBA.
3 Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets' projected starting backcourt is Chris Paul and James Harden. Now this is the new backcourt duo that people around the league are talking about the most. We know what they can do as individuals, but what can they do together. The ceiling is very high for these two as James Harden has been a MVP finalist for the past three seasons, while Chris Paul has helped the Clippers make the playoffs during the last three seasons.
Houston made the trade for Chris Paul, and the rumors started swirling about how this dynamic duo could work. It will be interesting to see how two ball hungry players will do playing together, but if they can find a way for it to work the power to them. If they can find a way to make this work then this duo has potential to be the best backcourt duo in the league today.
2 Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards' projected starting backcourt is John Wall and Bradley Beal. This duo brings a confidence and some swagger to the floor every night that they are out there. Wall is the explosive player that can really take over a game whenever, while Beal is a lights out shooter once he gets going. These two together create a two headed monster like no other in the NBA. When these two are on the floor together it makes it hard to know who to cover on defense because of how dominant they can be together.
Washington is a top team in the Eastern Conference, and it is because of their dynamic duo in the backcourt. Look for Washington to have a lot of success in 2017-18, due to the fact that they will be carried by their star-studded backcourt.
1 Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors' projected starting backcourt is Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. These two have been the best backcourt duo in the NBA for quite some time now. Both are lights out shooters, while Thompson is also known for his defense as well as his jumpshot. Curry adds his unlimited range to the equation helps make the Warriors a matchup nightmare.
Now we know about the talent that Golden State has, but remember that the Warriors got their backcourt through the draft, and they have not looked back since. These two players on the floor together is the ideal backcourt duo that every team wished that they had. The way they flow together, and how the complement each other makes Golden State the team they are today. Look for more of the same from the Warriors this season as they look to win their third title in four years.
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