The Denver Nuggets proved to be the best team in the league last season with to the historic playoff exploits of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murry, who were the NBA’s best combo.
However, the power switched to the East once Damian Lillard was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks currently have the best chances to win the NBA championship, however the Nuggets are still a serious contender to do it this season. Because of the potentially lethal combination that Ginnis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard may have on the court, Milwaukee is the clear favourite.
Once that is established, other pairs could potentially alter the course of their teams’ fortunes. The top five NBA duos heading into the 2023–24 season are listed below. While their number was used for the ranking, the subjective opinion was also factored into the ranking’s statistical formula.
NBA’s top pairs for the 2023–24 season
1. Jamal Murry and Nikola Jokic
It was simple to forget that one of the best teams in Denver already existed amid the clamour about Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokunmpo. Jamal Murray and Nikola Joki just put on one of the best NBA pair performances of the Finals.
They also put on one of the best postseason performances by an NBA combo. Joki and Jamal Murray put up incredible stats in 20 postseason games. Joki’s statistics included 30.1 points, 13.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game. He made 54.8% of his shots, including 46.1% from beyond the arc. Murray had a 26.1 ppg, 7.1 apg, 5.7 rpg, 3.0 3-pointers, and 1.5 steals per game average. Additionally, he had a shooting percentage of 47.3%, including 39.6 from beyond the arc.
Without a doubt, Jokić is among the top three basketball players in terms of intelligence. Both players possess a strong aptitude for deconstructing any defensive problem that comes to them.
2. Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard have not yet played together, but their deadly combination is not far from the imagination. The threat they pose on the ground is as deadly as it gets.
In terms of players with 500+ minutes played last season, Giannis and Lillard were ranked fifth and sixth, on average, in five catch-all categories. They would be the only team in the league’s top 10 from that category this season.
One of the best shooters in basketball history is Dame Dolla. Since the play-by-play era, he has made the most shots from distances of over 30 feet. He is directly competing against Stephen Curry, the NBA’s best 3-point shooter. Any team would find it difficult to defend them in a pick-and-roll situation with Giannis as his teammate.
3. Anthony Davis and LeBron James
LeBron James is still among the top players in the NBA while approaching his 39th birthday. He has shared the court with legends like Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. He has also shared the playing field with Kyrie Irving. Despite this, Anthony Davis is probably the best player James has played with when he is at his best.
Davis was the NBA’s top defender last year before playing the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. In the first two playoff rounds, he had averages of 11.7 defensive rebounds, 3.3 blocks, and 1.4 steals.
When healthy, the 2020 NBA champion can play more frequently with an average of 30 points. It wouldn’t be difficult to picture Davis making the All-NBA squad with the effort he is putting in.
4. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker
Devin Booker and Kevin Durant clearly rank among the top offensive players in any discussion of the league. There is no denying that they were short-handed, even while it is true that the Denver duos excelled them.
KD averaged 32.0 ppg and 10.5 rpg in the four games that they lost to the Nuggets in the series, shooting nearly 50%. Devin Booker, on the other side, shot 63.7% overall, including 57.1% from beyond the arc, for averages of 36.3 points and 8.8 assists per game. The statistic may serve as a testament to the carnage they are capable of causing on any given night.
It should be simpler for Durant and Booker to operate effectively on both ends of the court now that the Suns have added a couple solid role players and star player Bradley Beal in an offseason deal. If the Suns’ combination surpasses all others in the league, it wouldn’t be surprising.
5. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown
It would be a grave error for anyone to exclude them from the elite club based solely on their age.
Even at their early ages, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have already defeated Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, faced LeBron James in the playoffs, and advanced to the championships once. They have a good deal of postseason experience. Before turning 27, Tatum and Brown scored the fourth and sixth most points in the postseason, respectively.
The Celtics were one of the top teams in the league during the regular season, led by Jayson Tatum and Brown. Tatum averaged 30.1 points per game while Brown scored 26.6. It is simpler to understand why they are among the top five duos in the league given their wealth of experience and offensive and defensive prowess.
One of the top all-around players, Jrue Holiday, is now on their team, and it is expected that their output will increase.
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