With the 2022-2023 regular season concluded and the NBA playoffs in full swing, we take a look at the best NBA duos right now.
The Best NBA Duos in 2023
10. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving
Luka's 2022-2023 stats: 32.4 ppg, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.0 assists per game.
Kyrie's 2022-2023 stats: 27.1 ppg, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.
My Thoughts: These guys can flat out score but would be the last two you'd choose to get a stop. The Mavericks finish to the season was a head shaker, and it's still unclear if these two can win together. Are they fun to watch? Absolutely. Will they ever win a championship together? Probably not.
9. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George
Kawhi's 2022-2023 stats: 23.8 ppg, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.
Paul's 2022-2023 stats: 23.8 ppg, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game.
My Thoughts: When these guys are actually on the floor, they're unstoppable. The problem? They're never on the floor because they're always hurt. LA could've beaten the Suns in round 1 of the playoffs even just with a healthy Kawhi. Having both out killed them.
8. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo
Jimmy's 2022-2023 stats: 22.9 ppg, 5.9 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.
Bam's 2022-2023 stats: 20.4 ppg, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.
My Thoughts: These two are the least flashy on this list, but they win consistently. Butler was absolutely electric in Miami's round one upset of Milwaukee, and Adebayo continues to prove that he's one of the most versatile big men in the league.
7. LeBron James and Anthony Davis
LeBron's 2022-2023 stats: 28.9 ppg, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.
Anthony's 2022-2023 stats: 25.9 ppg, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game.
My Thoughts: Injured. That's the word and the first thing that comes to mind with LeBron and AD. To put it in perspective, AD has played in 53.6% of the games the past three seasons. While LeBron has played more often, his 63.4% is not much better. When these two guys are healthy, they are a force. However, their ability to win multiple series in a playoff setting just isn't what it used to be.
6. Joel Embiid and James Harden
Joel's 2022-2023 stats: 33.1 ppg, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game.
James's 2022-2023 stats: 21.0 ppg, 6.1 rebounds, and 10.7 assists per game.
My Thoughts: Embiid will most likely win his first MVP award. While Harden isn't what he once was, the two have developed some chemistry heading into the playoffs. Harden's ability to get others involved has taken some time in Philadelphia, but if there is a duo trending up, it would be this one.
5. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray
Nikola's 2022-2023 stats: 24.5 ppg, 11.8 rebounds, and 9.8 assists per game.
Jamal's 2022-2023 stats: 20.0 ppg, 4.0 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game.
My Thoughts: Jokic is a top three player in the League but has never been able to find playoff success. Murray is still young and two years removed from tearing his ACL. The weapons Denver has assembled around these two are the best they've ever had. If they're going to win, this is the year.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday
Giannis's 2022-2023 stats: 31.1 ppg, 11.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.
Jrue's 2022-2023 stats: 19.3 ppg, 5.1 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game.
My Thoughts: These two are only this high because Giannis is the best player in the game. Holiday admittedly struggled against the Heat in round one, and his status as a "stopper" appeared bleak against Jimmy Butler. However, Milwaukee did lead the eastern conference in wins.
3. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown
Jayson's 2022-2023 stats: 30.1 ppg, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game.
Jaylen's 2022-2023 stats: 26.6 ppg, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.
My Thoughts: These guys play incredibly well together, are tough shot makers, and make Boston the favorite to win the 2023 NBA title. Every time these guys are on national television, they seem to play well. In games that I don't see, I'm often surprised to see bad losses or off nights because "it just doesn't look like it should happen to them."
2. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker
Kevin's 2022-2023 stats: 29.1 ppg, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game.
Devin's 2022-2023 stats: 27.8 ppg, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game.
My Thoughts: Durant is the best scorer we've ever seen. Booker is incredibly tough one on one. Both of these guys have struggled to stay healthy (Durant: 47 games and Booker: 53 games played in 2023). With only a handful of games playing together before the Playoffs started, chemistry is certainly a question mark. Phoenix also has a depth problem, which is going to put immense pressure on these guys to carry them.
1. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson
Steph's 2022-2023 stats: 29.4 ppg, 6.1 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.
Klay's 2022-2023 stats: 21.9 ppg, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game.
My Thoughts: These guys are 4x NBA champions and the best shooting duo in the history of the league. Like many of the others on this list, they've had their fair share of injuries. The difference, though, is that they always seem to come through come playoff time. Out of every duo on this list, nobody wants to play these guys given their ability to go on double-digit runs at the snap of your fingers. Steph also has some pretty solid book recommendations!
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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