Who has the best Big 3 in the NBA?
This past summer has been one of the most exciting and significant off-seasons in NBA history. Not since 2010 has there been such a fluctuation in talent across the board. Unless you’ve lived under the perennial rock these last few months, you know that LeBron James has “come home” to Cleveland and this week it’s official that superstar power forward Kevin Love will join him. The two All-Stars will pair up with Kyrie Irving to create one of the most exciting teams in basketball. And while there hasn’t been movement of this magnitude since James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in South Beach, the pairing of superstars has become a recent trend in the Association. So where does this new terrific trio rank among the NBA in terms of “Big 3’s” for the season?
We take a look here:
5. Golden State Warriors:
The Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson together form a terrifying backcourt able to shoot a team out of the gym. Curry has one of the purest strokes from deep in NBA history and probably isn’t far off when he claimed to be a better offensive player than LeBron. Playing alongside of Steph is Thompson, who can light it up from three as well — his three-point percentage was 41.6%, good for 11th overall in the NBA, one spot below Curry. So when you throw in David Lee at power forward it almost becomes unfair for opposing teams. Lee was one of the best offensive fours in the game last year and when playing alongside the Splash Brothers, this three-headed offensive juggernaut can be a scary team to face.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder:
Kevin Durant, the reigning MVP and four-time scoring champion, would be a great start to any team. Throw in Russell Westbrook, one of the best point guards in the league, and that gives you an elite team right off the bat. Throw in Serge Ibaka and it’s almost unfair. The mix of scoring, defense and athleticism might be the best in the league and on paper OKC seems like favorites to win the title each year. However, the three have yet to put it all together in the playoffs and haven’t hoisted that trophy just yet. Let’s see if they can this season.
3. Chicago Bulls:
Lost in the news of such players as LeBron, Melo and Love, was Pau Gasol finding a home in the Windy City. Despite the play and lack of talent on the Lakers, Gasol quietly put up great numbers in LA and earned himself a new contract with the Bulls. His talents on the offensive end and his passing abilities pair perfectly with Joakim Noah and those two could form the best frontcourt in the NBA. If Derrick Rose is healthy and can join these two, Chicago might have the overall best team in the East, even with Cleveland.
2. San Antonio Spurs:
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have played together for so long people forget that they were basically the original modern-era Big 3. Long before Boston had Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, San Antonio had Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. Since 2001, when the Spurs selected Parker 28th overall, San Antonio has gone on to win 10 division titles, five conference titles and four NBA championships. This dynasty has been a force in the league for over a decade and each year people feel they are too old to repeat their successes. Well, bet against this trio at your own risk.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers:
Although it’s clichéd and predictable, try as I might, I cannot put a Big 3 ahead of the Cavs this season. Kyrie Irving is a superstar in the making and one of the best young talents in the league. The 22-year-old is already a two-time All-Star and an All-Star game MVP. He’s now joined by not only the best player in the world, but also by the best player stretch-4 in the league. LeBron James is no doubt the best player and the world. His scoring ability, defensive skill, passing and basketball IQ are tops in the league and well-documented. Now he can team up with a player who will accentuate those skills. No other power forward comes close to Love’s shooting abilities, he’s a phenomenal facilitator and his prowess on the boards makes him a double-double machine. And having James and Varejao will help mask any deficiencies he has on the defensive end.
Edited by Emily Berman.
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