Ranking the Top 10 NBA Duo's

Are you ready for NBA Jam this season but it is on national television and not in the room of a best friend?

The NBA is going to be quite different this upcoming season from what fans are used to as the era of the superteams are no more, and the resurgence of Duo's has overtaken the league.

Here are the top 10 teams that can make a run to the finals with their two superstars.

10) Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving

(via New York Times)

When the Nets landed Kyrie Irving it was almost a lock that Kevin Durant would follow, as the two has been talking all season long about playing together in New York.

Instead of the Knicks, both landed in Brooklyn.

The duo of Durant and Irving are going to be a show to watch once Durant returns from an Achilles injury. While Durant's out Irving will have to hold down the fort, but once KD returns, it will be lights out.

Irving can facilitate with the best of them and is not afraid to take the big shot. Durant can catch fire and score at will with his MVP-caliber of play. Once fully healthy, the two could easily top this list.

Defenders and coaches have to now worry about who to stop, Irving or Durant. The answer is both as either one of them can drop 30 on any opponent.

While fans must wait a year to see the duo of Durant and Irving to take the court together, expect the two to dominate the East for years to come.

9) Luka Doncic & Kristaps Porzingis

(via Sportsday.dallasnews.com)

The Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic wowed everyone with his step-back threes, but he was more than just a highlight. Doncic averaged 21.2 points, almost eight rebounds along with six assists while shooting 42 percent from the field.

If you try to stop Doncic from scoring, he is going to find the open man, in this case, the seven-foot power forward Kristaps Prozingis.

Porzingis, also an efficient scorer, is coming back from injury but before the injury, he was averaging 22 points and 6.6 rebounds. Prozingis, in his three years with the Knicks, improved his scoring totals from 14 points in his rookie season to 18 in his sophomore season. The Mavericks still have a long way to contend for a title, but the 'Europen Connection' of Doncic and Porzingis is one to watch this season.

8) Jamal Murray & Nikola Jokic

(via Hoops Habit)

Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic are the youngest pair on the list at the age of 22 and 24. Despite their age, the two have already become a staple in the Western Conference with Bleacher Report predicting Murray and Jokic to lead the Nuggets to the number two seed for the second consecutive year.

The youngest of the two, Murray is becoming a star on a Denver team that boasts a plethora of young talent across the board, with his improving IQ and scoring ability. Murray dropped 18 points, four assists and almost five rebounds on opponents in his sophomore season. Murray is also a player not known for taking a play off, making him one of the most exciting players to watch in a packed Western Conference.

In the froncourt, Jokic has become a superstar that played over 60 mins in a playoff game against the Portland Trailblazers this past postseason. Jokic a Swiss-army knife of talent averaged 20 points, and 10 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the field not to mention his ability to pass, which ranks near the top even among point guards. Oh, and he is seven feet tall.

The Nuggets have not had the same success as the rest of the list, but their style of play and youth make Murray and Jokic one of the best tandems in of basketball.

7) Ben Simmons & Joel Embiid

(via NBC Sports)

One of the more interesting duos on the list, rumors have circulated that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons do not enjoy playing with each other. The rumors have even gone as far as to say that the two cannot play together.

Despite the rumors, Simmons and Embiid are one of the best duos in the NBA, even if their time together is numbered.

Simmons, who just got a new $170 million max deal without making a single three-pointer or a 30-foot jump shot in his career, still performed phenomenally averaging 16 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.

Imagine Simmons with an average jump-shot. The talent is there but Simmons, for whatever reason, lacks the effort to perfect his game or at least improve it.

Embiid, on the otherhand, keeps getting better. 2019 was a career year for the big man as he averaged an astounding 27 points and 14 rebounds throughout the season. If not for MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden, Joel Embiid could have very well been in the MVP conversation.

Unfortunately for Philadelphia, they were bounced, literally, from the playoffs by Kawhi Leonard and the eventual champion Toronto Raptors.

The upsetting loss may have sparked a fire under the Sixers, as Joel Embiid was quoted saying "F*ck the Process," following their defeat to Toronto.

With Leonard now out of the Eastern Conference, many experts are picking the Sixers to run the East. Those predictions will be tested this season, but Simmons and Embiid are expected to take the next step in their young careers, which hopefully solidifies their position on this list.

6) Steph Curry & D'Angelo Russell

When everyone thought the Warriors were done following Klay Thompson's injury and the departure of Kevin Durant in free agency, Golden State maneuvered their way into acquiring point guard D'Angelo Russell from the Nets.

While Russell cannot be compared to Thompson or Durant in regards to impact, he can be the fresh start the Warriors need following their fifth consecutive NBA Finals trip.

Russell, who was a candidate for the most improved player this season, increased his three-point shooting up to 41 percent along with averaging a career-high 21 points with the Nets last season.

Although Russell and Curry have not taken the floor together, Russell may act as an up and coming star that can help ease the load for Curry as he awaits Thompson to return. Russell can also be a second-string point guard whenever Curry needs to rest and can even allow Curry to become a spot-up shooter when necessary.

5) Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton

(via Bucknation.com)

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the reigning MVP, and a force to be reckoned with at the age of 24. Along with the prestigious accolade, Antetokounmpo is becoming the NBA's biggest star since LeBron James.

Averaging 27 points during his MVP campaign, he began to gain the confidence to shoot the three but still needs to work on it, only shooting 25 percent from behind the arc.

While his shooting needs some improvement, Antetokounmpo also dominates in the paint with his 1.5 blocks and 12 rebounds a game. Antetokounmp is not the only Milwaukee Buck that can play defense though as Kris Middleton adds some relief on the wing by averaging one steal per game.

Middleton, while efficient on defense is more of a natural scorer, averaging 18 points and shooting close to 38 percent from three and 44 percent from the field.

Just like the 76ers, Milwaukee was bounced from the playoffs by Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors. With Leonard gone, the Bucks will look to run the East again and attempt to reclaim the number one seed and the best record in the NBA for the second consecutive season.

4) Damian Lillard & CJ McCollum

(via the Blazers Edge)

The energy and intensity Lillard and McCollum bring to the Portland roster are unlike no other. They feed off each other night in and night out making them one of the youngest and most dynamic offenses in the NBA.

Any given night the pair could drop 40 points and leave opponents with their jaw on the floor. One reason for their explosive offense is the ability to shoot the three from any part of the court. With McCollum leading the way with 37 percent from behind the arc and Lillard just behind him with 36 percent, the two could blow out any adversary.

Despite the impressive numbers, Lillard and McCollum remain one of, if not, the most underrated duos in the NBA.

3) James Harden Russell Westbrook

(via Skysports)

The only duo on the list to have previously played together, James Harden and Russell Westbrook have reunited this offseason via trade.

While the trade shook the NBA, Harden and Westbrook are hoping to shake the rim all season as the pair looks to advance to their first finals since 2012-ironically the last time Harden and Westbrook played together.

Both former MVPs and two of the league's most ball-dominant players, questions whether the two can coincide are worth asking. Harden practically carried Houston to and throughout the playoffs last season but look out of gas towards the end. Westbrook had a similar story.

Both superstars have had incredible regular seasons in the past but can never quite finish the job. Now that Westbrook and Harden are together again, Rockets' general manager Daryll Morey is hoping the two can feed off each other rather than sputtering in the playoffs.

The pairing of Westbrook and Harden will need room to grow as the two get used to having to share the ball once again. Westbrook may not be able to average a triple-double for a fourth consecutive season, and Harden may fall out of the MVP conversation, but the duo has the ability to contend for a title instantly.

2) LeBron James and Anthony Davis

(via Heat Nation)

LeBron James is getting older, but it does not look like father time is coming for him quite yet considering the 35-year-old averaged 27-8-8 while playing just 55 games in his first season with the Lakers.

Los Angeles' abysmal 2018-'19 season has been well documented, but the roster underwent an overhaul. The main reason to ship out three of the four members of the LA's young core was to acquire All-Star forward Anthony Davis.

With Davis now controlling the paint and Los Angeles without a true point guard, James will be moved to the one spot on the court. Time will tell whether James can play the point at the superior level seen in the past but with Anthony Davis to throw lobs to, his assists totals are bound to increase.

For the first time in his career, James could be eyeing a double-double average. Most of the assists will likely be to Anthony Davis, who like James played only 56 games, averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Health may be a concern with James and Davis, but when the best player in the NBA over the last decade and one of the best big men in the league team up, there is a good chance magic happens.

1) Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

(via Sports Illustrated)

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were thought to be the final premier duo to form during the NBA offseason. That is before the Rockets traded for Russell Westbrook.

While not the biggest names on the market or playing for the most prestigious team, Leonard and George are the number one duo in the NBA. The two are easily the best two-way players in the league as they both average above 25 points and dominate opposing players on defense.

The addition of the 'Klaw' and 'PG13' to the Clippers makes them instant title favorites. The interesting question is which position each will play but what is known is that Leonard and George looked prime to lead Los Angeles to their first NBA title.

They may not be the flashiest players in the world nor will their names make headlines but the combination of Leonard and George will strike fear into the rest of the NBA as the two dominate the league for years to come.

*preview photo credited to HeatNation

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