Wizards

Quick Links

Ranking the best backcourts in the NBA between Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, John Wall and Bradley Beal and others

usatsi_9914736.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Ranking the best backcourts in the NBA between Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, John Wall and Bradley Beal and others

Here are your definitive, can't-argue-against-them rankings of the best backcourts in the NBA today. 

1. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Warriors

No surprises here. Curry and Thompson are both perennial All-NBA selections and part of the core of a two-time championship team. They are each among the best shooters of all-time and will almost certainly be in the Hall of Fame someday. Curry is a two-time MVP and Thompson is one of the best defenders at his position. They are the best duo in today's game and one of the best guard combos of all-time. It's not often throughout NBA history that a title team was built around two guards, but that was the case when they won in 2014-15 before Kevin Durant showed up and made the Warriors even better.

2. Chris Paul and James Harden, Rockets

The Rockets pulled off one of the biggest trades of the offseason, yes just one of them because there were so many, to bring in Paul, an eight-time All-NBA selection who is still in the backend of his prime. It's too early to know how well this will work and Paul is unfortunately hurt right now, but the credentials between him and Harden lock them in at No. 2. Paul is the best two-way point guard in the game and Harden is among the best scorers this league has seen in a long time. Harden has been the runner-up for MVP twice and is coming off his best season.

[RELATED: FOOD GUIDE FOR AREA AROUND CAPITAL ONE ARENA]

3. John Wall and Bradley Beal, Wizards

Wall and Beal come in at No. 3 on this list, which some would argue is obvious. Well, here's a prediction: by the end of the season Wall and Beal will pass Paul and Harden as No. 2. How does that sound? Here's the reasoning. Paul and Harden are great, but Paul is on the decline. Wall and Beal are continuing to get better and that has been particularly evident in Beal's play so far this season. Also, both Wall and Beal have All-Defensive team potential. Wall has already made second-team once. Their potential as a two-way combo will ultimately be what separates them from the rest of the pack.

4. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, Blazers

By now most know how good Lillard is. He's a two-time All-NBA selection who can score with the best of them. He can light it up from three-point range and has one of the best stepback jumpers in the game. He's also a pretty decent rapper. But McCollum deserves some attention, too. He's improved every single season he's been in the NBA and has emerged as one of the best scoring guards in basketball. He's a very accurate three-point shooter (42.1% in 2016-17) and led the NBA in free-throw percentage last season (91.2%). He's also a solid passer from the two-guard spot. He hasn't made the All-Star team yet, but it's only a matter of time.

5. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, Raptors

Some may be surprised at how low Lowry and DeRozan are on this list, but we're splitting hairs at this point. Lowry and DeRozan are an excellent combination that has helped the Raptors win 48 games or more in four straight seasons. Both can score, rebound, pass and get steals and both shoot for a high percentage from the field. DeRozan is one of the best in the league at getting to the free throw line and Lowry is one of the most consistent three-point shooters around. 

[RELATED: WAIT...WHAT'S 'WOLF SEASON?']

Quick Links

John Wall has MRI on left knee as early-season injury saga continues

usatsi_10410542.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

John Wall has MRI on left knee as early-season injury saga continues

Point guard John Wall was a notable absence at Friday afternoon's Wizards practice, as he sat out after having an MRI done on his left knee earlier in the day. 

Despite playing well against the Hornets in the team's last game, Wall is still feeling discomfort and now the Wizards wait to hear the test results. Wall may not play against the Blazers on Saturday night.

"John is definitely going to be questionable tomorrow," head coach Scott Brooks said. "We'll see how he feels [Saturday morning] and then make a decision from there."

Wall's knee issue dates back to two weeks ago. He first complained about swelling in his knee after a game against the Sacramento Kings.

[RELATED: MORRIS HAS GROWN VERY CLOSE TO WALL AND BEAL]

Wall has since had his knee drained, but the problems have persisted. Wall says his mobility is affected most.

Wall, 27, has missed two games for the Wizards this season, one due to a sprained left shoulder and another because of his knee. He is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.

Wall had one of his best games against the season in Charlotte on Wednesday. Despite playing through pain, he managed 31 points and 11 assists. He played 41 minutes because the game went to overtime.

If Wall can't go against the Blazers, the Wizards will rely heavily on backup point guard Tim Frazier. Either way, they have a tough assignment at that position with Damian Lillard of Portland.

[RELATED: MORRIS IS A BIG FAN OF MIKE SCOTT]

Quick Links

Markieff Morris sees a lot of himself in Wizards teammate Mike Scott

usatsi_9859075.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Markieff Morris sees a lot of himself in Wizards teammate Mike Scott

The early returns on backup forward Mike Scott have been quite good for the Wizards. Signed to a one-year deal in free agency, Scott is off to a strong start.

He's averaging 8.6 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 53.4 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from three. His 59.7 effective field goal percentage is second on the team behind Otto Porter.

At his best, Scott has proven to be instant offense and an efficient scorer. He's reached double figures in seven out of his last 12 appearances while shooting 59 percent.

Scott is the backup to Markieff Morris and Morris likes what he sees so far.

"He fits perfect. We should have been gotten him," Morris said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast. "I feel like me and him are going to have a couple great years together, if you ask me."

[RELATED: MORRIS STANDS UP FOR RAPPER MEEK MILL]

There are some similarities in the games of Morris and Scott. They are close in size and can score both inside and out. They offer a respectable three-point shot with a strong midrange and post game to complement.

Others have pointed it out and Morris sees it, too.

"I think he's trying to steal my game," he joked. "We kind of resemble each other a lot more than what I thought before he got here."

Morris of course has a twin in real life, Marcus who plays for the Celtics. But Scott is like his twin on the Wizards' bench, figuratively speaking.

"It's kind of hard to distinguish between the two sometimes when they're making shots because they play the same way," guard Bradley Beal said. "They can knock down threes, they can give you the post up game, they can handle the ball. They are definitely one in the same, in a sense."

"There's a lot of similarities. They have a lot of the same mannerisms," head coach Scott Brooks said. "They have this real, tough, calming influence on the group. I like guys that have that edge to them."

Morris also discussed his relationship with John Wall and Bradley Beal, how his season has gone so far and who Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons remind him of on the podcast.

Listen to the full interview right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!