Where Does The Phoenix Suns Backcourt Rank Among the NBA’s Best?

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul, Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul, Devin Booker (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns backcourt compared to the middle tier

This level houses the backcourts hovering around the top 10 window. Each duo carries notable talent, and the potential to move up either one or even two tiers if the ball bounces their way during the upcoming season.

Boston Celtics – Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart both put up career-high scoring numbers last year, with Brown averaging 24.7 points and Smart averaging 13.1 points per game. Each player’s upward trend reasons that Boston’s backcourt might soon leap into the upper tiers, but at this point, they lack the punch needed to contend with the Suns.

Assuming Brown fully recovers from his wrist surgery this offseason, expect him to compete for an All-Star spot and put up numbers similar to that of Booker’s. Smart though plays too inconsistently compared to Paul and threatens way less as a scorer. To call him a top point guard similar with Paul feels laughable at this point, which holds Boston back.

Washington Wizards – Spencer Dinwiddie and Bradley Beal

As perhaps the game’s most prolific scorer behind Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, Bradley Beal could put the Wizards on this list even if they fielded a parking cone at point guard beside him. But even while trading away Russell Westbrook following a one-year stint, they rebounded quite nicely by acquiring standout point guard Spencer Dinwiddie from the Brooklyn Nets.

Dinwiddie barely played last year, tearing his ACL just a few games into the regular season. But prior to that, Dinwiddie averaged 20.6 points per game, almost single-handedly winning games each night for the Nets while Durant and Kyrie Irving healed up.

If Dinwiddie returns to form, than this backcourt can certainly outscore Phoenix. But their defense bears a few question marks, and with that compared to the always aggressive Booker and incredibly crafty Paul, Phoenix holds an edge.

Atlanta Hawks –  Trae Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic

After pushing his team into the Eastern Conference Finals last year, Trae Young fully introduced himself to the league as an NBA star ready to compete now, rather than later. He averaged 28.8 points and 9.5 assists per game during the postseason, all notably higher than his regular season totals.

Offensively, Young surpassed both Paul and Booker last year given his monstrous scoring numbers. However, his defense still requires significant work to say the least. Nate McMillan consistently engineered his lineups during Atlanta’s last playoff run to keep Young away from their opponent’s primary scorer, leaving a whole lot from him to still be desired.

Bogdanovic enters as game-breaking shooting threat, but aside from that, he lacks all the other tools required to contend with Booker and Paul. His inflexibility as a player combined with Young’s abysmal defense counters out the offensive superiority, putting the Suns slightly ahead them.

Miami Heat – Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson

Kyle Lowry somewhat embodies a “twin” figure for Chris Paul. Both players fill out a similar, undersized frame, yet play with enough craftiness and shooting touch to remain effective. Their numbers even resemble each other quite well. Last year, Paul averaged 16.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, while Lowry averaged 17.2 points and 7.3 assists per game.

Those guys go tick for tack, but when you compare Booker to Duncan Robinson, things fall off dramatically. Robinson remains an intriguing prospect likely to break 3-point records as his career progresses, but Booker embodies the more complete player. Unlike Robinson, Booker scores at all three levels, and defends relatively well.

During sets where Jimmy Butler slides up to shooting guard, this discussion changes entirely, but by starting Robinson, the Heat surrender this one to Phoenix.