NBA / Jul 12, 2010 / 10:00 am

Top 10 NBA Point Guard & Big Man Tandems

Free agency allowed Deron Williams and Steve Nash — two point guards who thrive in the pick-and-roll offense — to lose their partners in crime this offseason, as Carlos Boozer left Utah for Chicago, and Amar’e Stoudemire left Phoenix for New York. So while Nash and D-Will look for new recipients of their pinpoint passes, here are the Top 10 point guard/big man tandems you need to watch for this upcoming season:

10. Stephen Curry and David Lee (Warriors)
Expect another All-Star caliber year from Lee, who should put up similar 20-and-11 numbers in Golden State’s system as he did with the Knicks. Curry averaged 17.5 points and 5.9 assists in his rookie year as he and Monta Ellis carried the offense from the outside with no real inside threat.

9. Ray Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire (Knicks)
The combination of Felton’s speed and STAT’s power equals a more exciting brand of basketball than we’ve seen at Madison Square Garden in years.

8. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan (Spurs)
This might be their last year together, and Duncan is on the downside of the hill at 34 years old, but they’ve still got three championships under their belt as teammates and can pretty much run the pick-and-roll in their sleep.

7. Devin Harris and Brook Lopez (Nets)
Somewhat of a style clash, as Devin is at his best in a fast-paced system while Lopez is a traditional back-to-the-basket center. But they’ll figure it out under new Nets coach Avery Johnson.

6. Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut (Bucks)
How impressive were these two last season? If Jennings hadn’t struggled for a stretch in the middle of the season the Bucks could have earned higher than the 6th seed in the East, and if Bogut hadn’t gotten hurt late in the season, they could have advanced past the first round. If they stay healthy and consistent, Jennings and Bogut could be at the top of this list in a few years.

5. Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks)
It just seems like no matter how old J-Kidd gets, he’s still able to control a game and get the best of his younger counterparts. He and Dirk make one serious pick-and-pop tandem, and while Dirk is known for scoring and Kidd for his passing, they’re also among the best rebounders at their respective positions in the NBA.

4. Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett (Celtics)
If KG’s knees hadn’t started to betray him, this current version of the Celtics might have three championships by now and Rondo/Garnett would be considered one of the best tandems of all-time, even challenging Stockton and Malone. Defensively, these two can dominate a game without scoring a point.

3. Chris Paul and David West (Hornets)
Some say it doesn’t matter who you couple Chris Paul with, but D-West doesn’t get enough credit for putting up All-Star type numbers every year. CP3 can only pass him the ball; he’s not knocking down those mid-range jumpers and getting boards for West.

2. Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard (Magic)
How many ESPN “Top 10 Plays” need to happen before defenders realize the obvious? If you single-cover Dwight with no weak side help, he’s going to live on alley-oops from Jameer.

1. Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer (Bulls)
I know they haven’t actually played together yet, but Chicago’s front-office knew what they were doing when they signed Boozer for $80 million. Whether running the pick-and-roll or the pick-and-pop, playing with his back to the basket or as a face-up four, Boozer is one of the best finishers in the game, able to score inside with his right or left hand and hit jumpers out to 18 feet. Rose is an explosive force who can’t be kept out of the lane and will create plenty of open looks for his new teammate by drawing the defense’s attention.

Honorable MentionAndre Miller and LaMarcus Aldridge (Blazers), Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Aaron Brooks and Yao Ming (Rockets), Chauncey Billups and Nene (Nuggets), Baron Davis and Blake Griffin (Clippers)

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  • yoda

    first, about that no.4… if andrew didn’t had knee problems, boston wouldn’t have any titles since bird time.
    second, if andrew stays healthy this year, i expect tons of oops for him from any pg that will start for lakers.

  • Soopa

    Billups and Nene should be at the 6. spot and there by pushing Lee and Curry out of the top 10. Thats my only problem with this list.

    My other problem is yoda thinking Bynum is Kareem. A healthy KG is worth 3 healty Bynums, so stop the nonsense. Any center for the Lakers would have plenty of room to operate with the other starters being so good.

    Bynum hasnt shown anything yet. Not saying he hasnt got the potential but every big man on this list, even the HM’s, are better! So far Bynum is just a big young body.

  • Trudat

    True that …..Rondo and Kg do have GGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If Bynums healthy La never loses to those clowns……

  • Heckler

    i dunno.
    seems this list got WEAKER as you approach the top spots.
    Garnett and Rondo? Jameer and Dwight at #2?!!? jameer nelson cant even pass off the pick-n-roll!

    mo williams and antwain jamison are better than that combo. shit, maybe even stuckey and villanueva (errrr, pause).

    and how come a combo like deron williams and paul milsap ,who’ve played together, not get an honorable mention when combos like tyreke evans/demarcus cousins and baron davis/blake griffin received mention?

  • KnicksFan84

    Eh… I would call this list “projected”

  • Stunnaboy09

    As big as my man crush on Curry is, I really don’t se him ad Lee being that successful. Lee just aint that fast to keep up with Curry/Ellis. Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong but cant wait to find out.

    And I agree with where Rose/Boozer and Rondo/KG. Even this current version with Rondo carrying them is still the leagues elite. And Rose and Boozer are going to be the next big thing in the league. I can assure you Chi-town winning more games than Miami this year. Book it

  • diego

    why are you only taking into account offense?

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    “…this current version of the Celtics might have three championships by now and Rondo/Garnett would be considered one of the best tandems of all-time, even challenging Stockton and Malone”

    I’m sure when you wrote this you expected some grief… we’ll hear it is. GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!! Challenge Stock and the Mailman??
    First off, Stock shot over 50% for his career and was butter from the line.
    2nd, they played together for almost their entire careers. You can’t even mention Rondo/KG tandem in the same sentence as Stock/Malone until they’ve played YEARS together.
    Third, Stock/Malone were almost never injured. This is pretty much unheard of. You wanna talk a efficient and reliable? See Stock and Malone.
    4th, it’s not even a Rondo/KG tandem. It’s a Rondo/KG/Pierce/Allen quartet. So as I said earlier… GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!!

  • Showtime

    Did you just say Rondo/KG might be better than Stockton/Malone? While Rondo still has A LOT of holes in his game I agree that he is one of the better point guards in the league.

    But you should not compare a guy who can’t make a free throw and has been to exactly one All Star Game to a Top 3 all time PG who was consistent for like 30 season while missing five games.


    Deron Williams and Paul Milsap have more PT together than half of that list.

    David Lee is gonna clean up the boards in Golden state, they are even more of a chucker team than the Knicks last year, he might even lead the league. but i dont see him being fed on offense so much, and i really dont see him and Curry playing as a “tandem”

    Rondo and KG so high? KG cant run and Rondo cant shoot. Its not about individuals or tandems in Boston, its about the whole team.

    Booze and Rose could be great, but Rose needs to become a better distributor and utilize Boozer, right now he plays too much like Steve Francis.

    You have more faith in Ray and Amare than i do.

    Also, alot of that list have guys who have missed alot of time cos of injury, so if we’re doing it “when healthy” then what about Brooks and Yao?

  • http://yahoo Confused

    Who was the idiot who left off Kobe and Gasol?

    Hmm…they’ve only appeared in EVERY Finals series since they teamed up and have got two rings to show for it… Moron.

  • high release

    Rose and Boozer haven’t played together yet, so they can’t be better than Parker/Duncan.

    And Jennings/Bogut will top this list next year, becoming the best thing since Randy Rutherford/Big Country!

  • shuttles

    “Deron Williams and Paul Milsap have more PT together than half of that list.”

    I agree. I’d take those two over most of this list, mostly because of D-Will, but Milsap is freaking good, too.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dynastybball dynastybball

    So you slob the knob of David West yet D Will / P Millsap isn’t listed? You are a joke AND you suck.

  • s.bucketz

    yea yo…worst list ever…i could probbly lock down a couple of those pick and roll tandems

    @ #6…David Lee is fast enough, perfect for uptempo offesnse…don’t let his pasty complexion fool you..the boy is athletic and your gunna love him in GS..(i still wish we kept him and got curry last year)

  • yoda

    im not saying drew is kareem but he showed on one good leg how good he is against boston. he had 15 and 10 in first game, something like that, in about 20 minutes, had 21 and 10 in second, even kobe praise him how good hands he has, how hes good at reciving passes and oops…

  • http://www.dimemag.com Lucas Shapiro

    Love the list Rey.

    Do you think a Deron-Millsap duo could have cracked the honorable mention? I could see why not.

  • ReysAbitch613

    Suck it this list sucks

  • the truth

    where’s d wade/lebron and chris bosh? lol

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    “Who was the idiot who left off Kobe and Gasol?”

    Ummmmm… when was Kobe a point guard?? I see you’re named appropriately. Goo job.

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY


    Lol @ goo job… i think Lebron’s mom give that to Delonte.


    Bucks versus Bulls games are actually going to be interesting once again. Thank God.

  • Ian

    nice nick my man

    td and tp at 8?? gtfoh

    now on the kg rondon comment again gtfoh both jazz players are better than kg and rondo isnt nearrrr that level.

  • stumpy

    seems to have slipped by but he claimed dirk is one of the best rebounders at his position… hmmm

  • T DOG

    i think KG and Rondo should be at the number 2 spot and Howard and Nelson at da number 1. For the people that actually knows basketball would agree wit me. rondo is a better passer den nelson. but KG doesnt play dat much n games for him to get da best passes possible for rondo to get an assist. dats da only reason y dere not at da number 1 spot. not taking anything away from nelson and howard.

  • Mo

    KnicksFan84 is right. This should be called a ‘projected’ list. Some of these guys have yet to play with one another.

  • o-dawg

    Ok since we’re projecting thing here….im throwing in D-wade + Chris bosh or Lebron + Chris bosh. Now I know thats not chris bosh’s style to just get fed the ball, he’s more of a back to the basket player but hey i’m sure if he’s got lebron or d-wade giving him passes, they’ll make a great combo…NUMBA 1 BABYYYYY