© Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
In recent seasons, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have led the discussion as the best backcourt in the NBA on a year-to-year basis, but in the eyes of The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson, another dominating duo is bound to dethrone them this season.
“No question. Harden and Chris Paul,” Thompson said when asked who the best backcourt in the NBA is by Gary & Larry on Thursday afternoon. “No question.”
As of Thursday, Harden leads the NBA in total points (1763), points per game (30.9) and three pointers (226). Meanwhile, Paul gives the Rockets an elite ball-handler that is a mid-range threat and ninth in the NBA with 374 assists. Harden and Paul are also the top two players in real-plus minus so far this season.
After Paul missed 14 games with a knee injury following Houston’s season-opening victory over the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets went 14-0 with him in their starting lineup. Fast forward to Wednesday night and the Rockets are atop the Western Conference at 47-17, and bumped their winning streak up to 17 games — the longest in the NBA this season — with a 110-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I think Durant has kind of marginalized the backcourt thing,” Thompson said. “I don’t think Klay is as good as Chris Paul or James Harden. I got to go with Harden and Chris Paul, with the year they’re having.”
Regardless, Curry and Thompson have two NBA championships, which might not be pertinent in their case as the best backcourt in the NBA this season, but makes them proven threats in the playoffs that Marcus would take over Harden and Paul.
“I’d rather Steph and Klay,” Thompson said. “They’re champions. Klay is going to play defense, but [Harden and Paul] are both frontline, ‘I can carry my team’ hall of famers. Klay is probably the best No. 2 in the league, which if you’re starting a franchise it’s Steph and Klay. This year, who’s the best backcourt? Harden and Chris Paul.”
To listen to the full interview check out the podcast below, and skip to 6:56 for Thompson on Harden and Paul.