The offseason is a great time for NBA rankings in all different forms. This article will highlight the top-five big threes in the Western Conference.
The NBA has always been a league that is all about the superstars. It’s almost impossible to win a championship without the highest caliber of players on the roster. In NBA history, one superstar has sometimes been enough, but for the most part, a team needs at least two. In today’s game, that number has increased as most teams are trying to build their own version of a dominant big three.
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Here are the top five current constructions in the West.
5. Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz had a better season in 2020 than almost anyone expected. They finished the regular season in first place in the absolutely loaded Western Conference.
Donovan Mitchell is one of the best young players in the game and has already emerged into a top 25 player overall. He was by far the leading scorer for the Jazz last year with 26.4 points per game and was the only player on the team to average above 20 points per game. Rudy Gobert is the best defensive big in the NBA. His three Defensive Player of the Year Awards over the last four seasons prove exactly that. Finally, Mike Conley is a solid point guard and is one of the most underrated players in the NBA at the position.
4. Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic is the reigning NBA MVP and he earned it. He started all 72 of the Nuggets games last season while averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.3 steals, all of which were team highs. He is a truly unique player who is built like a big man but plays like a guard.
Jamal Murray, their second-leading scorer, unfortunately, missed 23 games due to injury but should be back and ready to roll for the 2021 season. Michael Porter Jr has the potential and skillset and truly develop into an elite scorer and has already shown some flashes of what he’s capable of becoming. If he could improve his defense he has a real chance to be a very special player. He can help the Nuggets climb even higher in the NBA rankings.
3. Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker has catapulted himself into the top 25 players in the NBA and likely has not even reached his full potential yet. He averaged 25.6 points, 4.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds in the regular season but showed his clutch gene by improving his game even further in the postseason. Impressively, he increased his averages there to 27.3 points, 4.5 assists, and 5.6 rebounds. He was the main reason why the Suns are the defending Western Conference Champions.
Deandre Ayton is a former first overall draft pick with solid and steady career averages of 16 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks. Chris Paul is a legendary point guard and the ultimate team player who has accomplished just about everything besides winning a title. He believes staying with Booker and Ayton in Phoenix is his best shot to achieve that next season.
2. Golden State Warriors
The main reason why the Warriors are so high in these NBA rankings is that they won 73 games in a season with this Big Three; that is an NBA record. They aren’t going to win 73 games this season but the Warriors will be one of the best teams in the West if Klay Thompson fully recovers from his injury. He is an elite sharpshooter and also one of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA. The combination of him and Steph Curry is one of the very best backcourts in NBA history.
Curry is coming off yet another huge season, winning the scoring title with 32 points per game and a scorching 5.3 three-pointers made per game. Draymond Green is a one-of-a-kind player that is the definition of a “point forward.” He is the facilitator of this team. Though he is the third-best player, he might be the most important piece for executing their overall scheme.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
The last time Lebron and AD were fully healthy, they won an NBA Championship without a third superstar. They now get the luxury of adding Russell Westbrook to the mix. He is the most underrated and underappreciated player of this generation. The triple-double machine lead the NBA in assists last year at 11.7 per game while also contributing 22.2 points and 11.5 rebounds for the Wizards. Amazingly, this is now the fourth time in the last five years that he has AVERAGED a triple-double.
Lebron James is easily a top-three player in the NBA and a strong case can be made that he is still the current number one overall. Anthony Davis is a top three big in both scoring and defense. Clearly, this is the best Big 3 in the West right now. They sit firmly on top of these NBA rankings.