NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers: Top 5 NBA Backcourts

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Los Angeles Lakers Have One of the Best Backcourts in the League

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN ranked the Los Angeles Lakers backcourt the fifth best backcourt in the NBA (Houston Rockets were ranked No. 1).

Is the Lakers backcourt really that good?

Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Steve Blake make up the Lakers backcourt. Nick Young may be the best new addition to that.

If you read this article, you know why I think the Lakers can contend for a Western Conference Championship this year, despite what the critics say. A healthy Pau Gasol is the main reason why the Lakers will upset a lot of teams during the 2013-14 Season. But Bryant, Nash, Blake and Young will certainly contribute to the Lakers’ success.

I don’t need to explain why Bryant and Nash are two of the best players in the NBA. This explains the Lakers No. 5 ranking. Bryant was one of the top scorers in the NBA last season, averaging more than 25 points per game. Meanwhile, Nash shot almost 50% from the field, better than 40% from behind the arc and 92% from the free-throw line.

With players like Bryant and Nash, the Lakers have a backcourt that will challenge any other team’s backcourt in the NBA. On offense.

ESPN’s rankings don’t consider defense. Although Bryant’s improvements on defense were notable last season, at 35 years old, Bryant struggled keeping up with explosive scorers. Nash, on the other hand, hurt the Lakers considerably on defense last season. A lot of this had to do with his 40 years of age, as well as his chronic injuries. Excuses aside, Nash kind of sucks on defense.

By comparison, ESPN ranks the Golden State Warriors 12th on this year’s list of best backcourts in the NBA. Anyone who saw Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes dismantle the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Playoffs last year—and without All-Star David Lee— knows the Warriors backcourt is way better than 12th. Now add Andre Iguodala to that roster and the Warriors backcourt becomes one of the best in the NBA.

In honor of ESPN’s ranking of the this season’s best backcourts in the NBA, I rated my top five.

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5. Houston Rockets

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That’s right. I dumped the Rockets to No. 5. James Harden may be one of the best scorers in the league, but who else do the Rockets have? Jeremy Lin’s overrated, and Chandler Parsons has not yet reached his full potential.

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4. Los Angeles Lakers

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

I know Bryant’s still recovering from a torn Achilles, but I believe he’ll be back stronger than ever.

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3. Golden State Warriors

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors are a championship-caliber team. A lot of that is thanks to their backcourt.

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2. Los Angeles Clippers

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Put Chris Paul on any team and the backcourt automatically becomes one of the best in the NBA. Expect the Los Angeles Clippers to dominate most of their competition this year.

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1. Miami Heat

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Any team with LeBron James has the best backcourt in the league. The Miami Heat have him for now. But that might change in 2014