Some experts say that the fastest, most effective point guards usually dominate the NCAA tournament. Another interesting school of thought says that the best point guard-center-coach combo usually wins. With the NBA playoffs also on the horizon, let’s take a look at the top 4 point guard-center-coach combos in the pro game today? Will these teams make the conference finals?
Having finally overtaken the Indiana Pacers for 1st place in the east for the first time this season, the Heat might just enough left in the tank for a 4th consecutive run to the NBA Finals. Of course led by the 29-year old 4-time MVP LeBron James, the Heat are winners of 4 of their last 5 games. The relative health his teammate Dwayne Wade is the key to a long Heat playoff run. Wade managed 19.2 ppg and 1.49 spg this season, not bad, but his lowest production since his rookie season (16.2 ppg and 1.4 spg).
9.4 ppg, 5.0 apg, 2.8 rpg, 1.7 spg, 0.23 bpg
16.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.97 bpg
Coach Erik Spoelstra
Playoff Record: 50-29, 63.3%
Another of the hottest teams in the NBA this season has been the Oklahoma City Thunder, behind MVP candidate Kevin Durant’s 32.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 5.7 apg, and 1.3 spg. The health of superstar point guard Russell Westbrook may be the X-factor for this team, that and finding the perfect balance between Westbrook and Durant. The Thunder are top 5 in points per game, defense, and efficiency. Led by Coach Brooks, the Thunder have another chance to make noise in the playoffs this season.
21.1 ppg, 6.9 apg, 5.7 rpg, 1.88 spg, 0.1 bpg
3.4 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.44 spg, 0.54 bpg
Coach Scott Brooks
Playoff Record: 29-25, 53.7%
The Clippers are getting hot just at the right time, having won 16 of their last 18 games. All-Star Blake Griffin’s 24.0 ppg and 9.6 rpg have led the way, but Chris Paul is deadly on both sides of the court, distributing over 10 assists a game and over 2.5 steals. That the most assists per game Paul has averaged in about 5 years, and his highest steals per game since 2009. Paul currently leads the NBA in assists per game and steals, and if he maintains that position, it will be the first time in over 10 years that a player lead the NBA in assists while also capturing over 2.5 spg. Clipper-hopeful are banking on Head Coach Doc Rivers to lead them to the promised land, and this Clippers team has the second best win percentage of any Doc Rivers team (70.7%). Who’s #1? The 2007-2008 World Champion Boston Celtics, of course (80.5%).
18.9 ppg, 10.9 apg, 4.3 rpg, 2.55 spg, 0.07 bpg
10.3 ppg, 13.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.0 spg, 2.43 bpg
Playoff Record: 64-57, 52.9%
Despite Duncan being 37 years old, the San Antonio Spurs are on an 18-game win streak and ranked 1st in the west. Former NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker is leading the team in scoring with 17.0 ppg and assists with 6.0 apg. The ageless Big Fundamental still remains a big presence defensively (1.91 bpg), even while his presence on the offensive end has declined in recent years. The production of their big 2 has helped the Spurs to a top 5 ranking in the NBA offensively and defensively. Even though the numbers tell us the Clippers combo is more productive, there isn’t a coach in the league who can match Gregg Popovich’s 4 NBA titles and his wealth of playoff experience.
17.0 ppg, 6.0 apg, 2.3 rpg, 0.52 spg, 0.15 bpg
15.3 ppg, 3.1 apg, 9.9 rpg, 0.58 spg, 1.91 bpg
Playoff Record: 133-83, 61.6%