Sixers: Ranking James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and every NBA backcourt

James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

3. team. 79. . . . Dallas Mavericks

3. Luka Doncic & Spencer Dinwiddie, Mavericks

Luka Doncic is perhaps the greatest one-man show in basketball right now. That’s not to say he doesn’t have help — Dallas fielded an elite defense last season and Jalen Brunson was big time in the playoffs — but Doncic is truly the Mavericks’ foundation. That team doesn’t have nearly enough to compete without Doncic being the megastar he is. With Brunson no longer in the mix, Spencer Dinwiddie figures to step into the starting lineup after spending last season in the sixth man role. He’s an excellent replacement, providing the Mavs with a consistent source of dribble penetration and someone who can lead the second unit when Doncic rests.

. . . Golden State Warriors. 2. team. 41

2. Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson, Warriors

Stephen Curry won his fourth championship and first Finals MVP last season, proving to everyone that he still has it. The 34-year-old remains the single most unique offensive engine in basketball — a star point guard who can dominate stretches of the game without even touching the ball. He demands constant defensive attention, whether he’s dribbling across halfcourt, or tucked in the corner preparing to sprint through a maze of screens. Klay Thompson didn’t quite return to form last season, but a summer of training should help him considerably. Even in a diminished state, he remains an absolute headache for opposing defenses for many of the same reasons. You just can’t ignore either one of them at any point, lest you want to give up an open 3.

. Phoenix Suns. 1. team. 66. .

1. Chris Paul & Devin Booker, Suns

The Suns’ second round collapse was something of a curiosity, but we can’t forget just how consistently dominant Phoenix has been for two years now. That all starts in the backcourt. Chris Paul is the league’s greatest stabilizing presence — a puppeteer pulling all the strings, expertly setting teammates up for success. Devin Booker finished top-five in MVP voting, making the leap from All-Star to superstar. He’s one of the most potent iso scorers in the game. And, now more than ever, he’s creating for teammates and doing to little things necessary to win. He has become a true two-way player and the main source of optimism when it comes to Phoenix’s championship hopes next season.

Next. 15 greatest draft picks in franchise history. dark