6: Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook / Andre Roberson
Russell Westbrook averaged 22 points by shooting 37% of his field goals within 3 feet. His 10 assists per game are highlighted by assisting 49.8% of his teammate’s made baskets and averaged 10 rebounds to complete the triple-double average. Roberson will contribute by playing defense, while Westbrook runs the offense. When on the floor, 5% opponents possessions ended with a steal or block by Roberson. To truly improve their backcourt, the Thunder must play Paul George there more than the 19% in 2017-18.
5: Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard / CJ McCollum
Lillard averaged 27 points, and assisted on 30% of his teammate’s made field goals while on the floor. The near 3 turnovers per game is a direct result of the amount of time he has the ball, for per 100 plays he has 11 turnovers.
McCollum averaged over 20 points on 40% of beyond the arc, which was his preferred distance.
His turnover per 100 plays was under 9. This continued success will have this backcourt competing to be one of the best in the west.
4: Washington Wizards: John Wall / Bradley Beal
Hopefully, in 2018-19 these two will play a full season together. Both guards had a Player Efficiency Rate bordering 19, and Beal’s 22 point average will only benefit from Wall’s 44 Assist Percentage. Defensively, 5% of opponents possessions ended in a Wall steal or block last season. Wall does need to reduce the 17 turnovers per 100 plays, which is to be expected when you draw 105 shooting fouls in 41 games. If healthy, the sky may be the limit for this duo.
3: Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving / Jaylen Brown
With the support of Gordon Hayward at the wing, this backcourt is set up to be very productive. At over 24 points per game, Irving also assisted on 30% of his floormate’s field goals. His 89% from the charity stripe complimented his drawing 2 shooting fouls per game. Brown averaged 18 points in the playoffs with 31% of field goal attempts coming within 3 feet of the basket. Additionally, his Player Efficiency Rate increased to 16 in the playoffs from 13.6.
2: Houston Rockets: Chris Paul / James Harden
If Harden was at all interested in playing defense, this duo might be #1. As it stands, this guard combo combine for 48 points and each get 8 assists per game.
Paul’s value lies in that he assists on 41% of his floormate’s baskets, and only commits 12 turnovers per 100 touches.
Only 8% of Harden’s 2 point field goals were assisted and 50% of his attempts were from three. Somehow he was still able to assist 45% of his floormate’s field goals.
1: Golden State Warriors: Steph Curry / Klay Thompson
Not only are these two among the most talented in the league, they are now part of perhaps the best team ever assembled. Is this duo going to provide a combined 46 points per game? Is Curry going to shoot 50% from the field when his average distance is 18 feet? Can Thompson commit less than 10 turnovers for every 100 touches, or hit 49% of his shots? None of it actually matters when you defy stats. Hopefully for the Warriors, they can re-sign Thompson next summer, where he’s set to hit free agency.