The NBA's Top 5 Up-and-Coming Duos Countdown: Introduction

Dynamic duos. Left jab, right hook combos. Kris and Kim Humphries. Every successful NBA team needs them (Next season, your 2017 NBA Champion New Jersey Nets…). Few have them. If a franchise can obtain a young pair to cultivate for the future, they can add pieces around them and build a champion within five years. At least, that’s the plan.

Even a small pair can pay large dividends in the end.
I’ll be doing a top five countdown on the best up-and-coming duos in the NBA today. The criteria door is held wide open for interpretation- as interpretative and free-flowing as John Wall’s Dougie- but there are some general guidelines. Recently drafted players who haven’t played a second of NBA basketball will not be included. Neither will established NBA stars, such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and even Derrick Rose. What? He won an NBA MVP for Jordan’s sake!

The duos also must be the projected key members of their teams’ cores. James Harden and Serge Ibaka would have ranked high if not for this unfair golden rule which I have no power to change. As we see every day from our favorite duo, Republicans and Democrats- change occurs at a glacial pace.

I first want to introduce two duos that didn’t make the top five cut: Minnesota’s Michael Beasley and Kevin Love, and Indiana’s Roy Hibbert and Darren Collison.

Michael Beasley and Kevin Love just missed the cut.
Beasley and Love are definitely more talented than some duos in the top five, but they did not make it for one reason: they play the same position. Love is a pure, traditional 4; Beasley is a modern, versatile 4, but a 4 nonetheless. B-Easy has small forward skills like Lamar Odom has small forward skills (and hopefully a similar maturity arc); it’s what creates their advantage against other power forwards. Slot Beasley in at the 3 and he loses his quickness advantage while providing sub-par catch-and-shoot ability and poor defense. Too much redundancy from this pair, especially on Minny.

Hibbert and Collison didn’t make it because Danny Granger is still in play for the team. Granger is young enough (27) where he may still be part of this Pacer core. Indiana has a very good young nucleus, however.

My apologies to Jrue Holiday, Derrick Favors, Stephen Curry and Metta World Peace. Holiday, Favors and Curry are great young players, but most of their non-rookie teammates are known quantities at this point. Evan Turner or Spencer Hawes intrigued, but Evan’s rookie year scared me off, while Spencer’s fear of the post frightened me even more. Sixer, Jazz and Warrior fans shouldn’t take this as an indictment on the future of their respective teams; all three squads have solid overall cores.

As for the new star on the block, Metta, you barely missed the cut. Most of your teammates are veterans (Andrew Bynum’s knees say he’s a vet all right).

The next post will feature the fifth best new duo in the league…

Category Article , , ,

One Response to “nba playoff schedule 2012”

What's on Your Mind...

Powered by Blogger.