Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Top 5 'One-Two Punch' Pairings in the NBA

Back in February 2012, Kobe Bryant passed Shaq on the all-time scoring list which prompted a congratulatory response from the former Laker big: "thanks for making us the best laker one-two punch ever."

We all know the effect these two had on the NBA in their time: countless win streaks, total domination on both ends of the court, hours of clips of highlights and of course, the three-peat. This begs the question: does the one two punch dynamic still exist today? 

Not counting the 80's celtics and lakers who were more like multiple punches, we had Jordan-Pippen, Malone-Stockton, Kobe-Shaq, T-Mac-Carter, Nash-Stoudemire, who's next in line? 

5. Stephen Curry and David Lee

These two Golden State Warriors have to be one of the most underrated pairs in the NBA. The Warriors have been on a remarkable run of games, taking down heavyweights such as the Clippers and OKC back-to-back, which of course would not have been possible without the All Star play of Curry and Lee. Lee is a double-double machine, constantly grabbing boards and scoring efficiently with an array of layups, hooks and put-backs which has earned him an All-Star spot. How Curry was shunned from the All-Star Game, no one will ever know or forgive, but he has risen up to be an amazing player, constantly knocking down threes and clutch shots. No wonder the dark-horse warriors are sitting pretty at 5th place in the West.

PPG: 40.5
APG: 10.5
RPG: 14.9
Championships: 0

4. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin 

These two players have revolutionised the alley-oop. From a rare highlight basketball play, it is now an expected necessity in all of the Clippers games and that's why they own the term Lob City. But eye-dropping highlights of freakish athleticism and mind-blowing dishes aside, these two have transformed the oft-ridiculed Clippers into an opponent's nightmare. Chris Paul is the floor general of the NBA. Period. It's not only about assists and setting up team mates, it's making an entire team better and also making the team a place where quality players are attracted to because of it's championship potential. BG32 on the other hand, is one for the future. Sure, one can just dismiss him as the brainless dunk addict, only good for highlight reel dunks, but Griffin has developed a devastating post game. Hooks, spins, fakes, step backs you name it, he has improved in it. He is definitely on the road to be one of the best PFs in the league.

PPG: 35.1
RPG: 12.1
Championships: 0

3.Tim Duncan and Tony Parker

Longevity and experience are the names of this player's games. This one two punch combo has been around for a long time; multiple championships and numerous finals appearances. These guys are the real deal. Too bad they seem to be the least talked about All stars in recent history and many people seem to forget they are around. Timmy D has been defying all laws of everything with his play this season. At the grand old age of 36, he seems to be playing like its 2007. Or according to his stats better than 2007( The last time he had 2.7 BPG was way back in 03-04). Parker, has slowly taken on the lead role in San Antonio and he has risen into MVP contention this season. Probably the only thing that's keeping them from the number one spot: Age. The likelihood of this one two punch dominating or even being around for the next three, four seasons is not that big.

PPG: 37.4
APG: 10.3
RPG: 12.7
Championships: 3

2. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook 

Say hello to your worst basketball nightmare. It almost seems as if fate brought these two basketball freaks together to terrorise the NBA. If there is one word to describe this one-two punch: Relentless. If it's not a three from KD, its a monster drive from Westbrook , if it's not a monster dunk from Westbrook, it's a bigger monster dunk from KD. At only 24, KD has three scoring titles,(WHAT?!!) and en route to a fourth this season. This guy is just a scoring machine with no conscience and no sympathy for any opponent. Nuff' said. Russell Westbrook is an amazing athletic player who is a stat sheet stuffer, sadly though, his greatness is limited because he is on the same team as KD and he tends to get the blame when things go wrong. However, these two are still young and if they stay together in OKC, multiple championships and total dominance are inevitable.

PPG: 52.2 (??!!!!)
APG: 12.7
RPG: 12.8
Championships: 0

1. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade 

Currently, these two own the NBA. "What! they don't even have the best record in the NBA!!" chill, i know what you are thinking. This one two punch lives for the off season. Looking at their matches so far, they are purely on cruise control. If KD and RWB are Relentless, these two can be described by the word: Effortless. These two have developed an amazing chemistry and dynamism and a surprising unselfishness to lead the Heat to be one of the top teams in the league. LeBron is so good that people have actually become bored of his MVP play. "Oh 20 points again? 7 boards? an almost-triple-double?meh." would be a typical response to your average NBA fan. Since winning his first title and reinventing his game( dreamshakin!) Lebron is playing with grace coupled with force, which is contradictory yet he pulls it off so well. D-Wade, Superman, Flash whatever you want to call him, is definitely not over the hill. He has evolved into a more complete player, shooting efficiently, using his championship experience and clutch abilities to maximum effect. Why are they at the top? they knocked off no. 2 in the 2012 finals, and have pretty much taken care of the rest in their own effortless ways. 

PPG: 47.1
APG: 11.6
RPG: 12.9

Championships: 1 

All stats true as of Feb 3 2013.


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