Thank Bradley Beal for the seemingly never-ending debate about which team has the best backcourt in the NBA.
On Monday, Beal told the Washington Post that he and John Wall are “definitely the best backcourt in the league.” Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters responded to ESPN, calling Beal’s comments “nonsense” and saying that he and Kyrie Irving represented the best backcourt. The ensuing war-of-words between the two has resulted in plenty of basketball fans chiming in with who they believe to be the top backcourt.
Well, we’re going to do the same here. Let’s start out by saying that neither Beal or Waiters — especially Waiters — is correct here. Beal and Wall are at least in the conversation, but Waiters is completely off-base.
Waiters didn’t even start for Cleveland last season and he and Irving have never seen postseason action. Wall and Beal at least led Washington to the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs.
They represent my No. 3 backcourt, leaving two greater ones we’ve yet to discuss.
Those backcourts belong to the Los Angeles Clippers (No. 2) and Golden State Warriors (No. 1).
The Clippers’ placement on this list is significantly aided by Chris Paul’s presence, but shooting guard J.J. Redick is no slouch and is quite underrated. The Duke product averaged 15.2 points per game on an outstanding 39.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc last season. Paul was the top assist-getter in the league with 10.7 per game and he also averaged 19.7 points.
However, the Warriors’ combo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson reigns supreme.
It’s quite possible that Curry and Thompson represent the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history. Curry averaged 24.0 points per game on 42.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc last season, while Thompson averaged 18.4 points on 41.7 percent shooting from outside. One would prefer the two were better defenders, but their shooting prowess and overall offensive talent — especially Curry’s — puts them over the top.
Sorry, Bradley and Dion. You guys still have a ways to go before reaching top backcourt status.