Guard combos to watch in 2019-2020 season
NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus (The Freeman) - September 18, 2019 - 12:00am

When the new NBA season opens in a few weeks, we’ll see familiar faces in unfamiliar uniforms. They will be playing in a new system, new teammates and new coaches.  Adjustments to the new environment could be on a per game basis and the backcourt almost always could make or break a team’s performance.

With player transfers, several teams improved with souped-up guard combos and the pairings will be explosive, if they can actually jell with each other.

LEBRON JAMES and DANNY GREEN – if rumors see daylight, the LA Lakers will have an effectively impressive backcourt duo.  LBJ is quite capable at the point and with Green as a defense specialist on one end and a sharpshooter on the other end, things could finally bring showtime back to the Lakers.

PATRICK BEVERLY and KAWHI LEONARD or PAUL GEORGE – it won’t be surprising if LA’s other contending team will make some backcourt adjustments.  Like Green, Beverly is an elite defender, but with a tenacity that simply annoys players on the receiving end.  Pair him with either Leonard or George, and the opposition will need regular doses of Tylenol.

STEPHEN CURRY and D’ANGELO RUSSELL – the entry of D-Lo in the Bay Area temporarily suspended the tested duo of Curry and Klay Thompson.  Russell had an impressive season that resulted in his selection as a first time All-Star and him at the point will move Curry to his deadliest position as a post-up shooter.  D-Lo is also dependable shooting 3s.

DONOVAN MITCHELL and MIKE CONLEY – 31-years old is not exactly young in the NBA but Conley has the playoff experience and the veteran smarts to guide the third year, 23-year old Mitchell.  With his All-Star caliber talent, he will complete Utah’s new big three with Rudy Gobert.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK and JAMES HARDEN – both guards can score at least 25 points a game but also have egos bigger that their scoring averages.  Both are ball dominant and have low shooting percentages.  Houston will have to figure things out to make a successful lift-off.  All things considered, this pairing is devastating and would be joy for fans to watch.

JAMAL MURRAY and GARRY HARRIS – this pair is very underrated but are responsible for Denver’s success.  Both under 26-years old, the Nuggets will be having this productive combo for at least three more years.  Harris is the defensive type while Murray is more on the outside shooter.

BEN SIMMONS and JOSH RICHARDSON – at 6-10, Simmons is an elite point guard in a power forward’s body.  His only drawback is his shooting but he had been improving on his strokes.  Richardson might not be the shooter and floor spacer that JJ Redick was but he’s younger and taller, an effective rebounder, good passer and with good handles.  Philly will have a potent backcourt to depend on in years to come.

RICKY RUBIO and DEVIN BOOKER – Booker is one of the league’s top scorers and with Rubio around as a pass-first point guard, this opens up more scoring opportunities not only to Booker but also to other team members.  With this set-up, Booker could be having a very productive season and if Rubio brings his FIBA MVP plays to Phoenix, he could be vying for the league’s top assist plum.  If things go well, the Suns could be winning at least 15 more games than the 19 wins they had last season.

Other backcourt duos to watch this coming season are Boston’s Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart, Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris, Sacramento’s Buddy Hield and D’Aaron Fox, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Fred Van Vleet, and the combo of Lonzo Ball and either Josh Hart or JJ Redick of New Orleans.

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