PDA

View Full Version : Best Front Court Pairing In NBA History



JasonJohnHorn
10-22-2011, 05:42 PM
At Chronz's request. Please feel free to add your own list or tell me why mine is wrong and who I'm missing.

1. David Robinson and Time Duncan: (I feel this needs no explanation).

2. Brad Daughtery/Larry Nance: Daughtery is easily one of the most underrated centers, in part because he played in the shadow of eastern conference ratings giants like Jordan and Ewing, but every fan of the game who had a chance to watch Daughtery knows that he was not only the best passing big man of his generation, but also one of the most skilled big men of all time. Larry Nance, like Daughtery, was a beast of a rebounded, and a great passer, and coupled with that he posted over two blocks a game and nearly a steal per on his career. Had Daughtery’s career not been cut short by injury, Jordan may not have had such an easy time earning six rings.

3. Russell and Heinsohn: Russell clearly carried this duo, and Tom Sanders deserves mention here, but Heinsohn provided nearly double-digit rebounding for the better part of the decade of championships that Boston hoisted up, while chipping in nearly 20 points a game, and there is something to be said about success. Had Chamberlain had a front court partner as good as Heinsohn, Boston may not have as many banners in their building as they do.

4. Hakeem and Otis Thorpe: Thopre was a 20/10 player when he came to Houston, and his numbers took a hit as he deferred to Hakeem, and while the duo saw more than their share of playoff disappointment in several first-round eliminations, not to mention the year they ended up in the lottery, the two still earned a championship ring together, and it was because of Thorpe’s solid post play that defences couldn’t throw two bodies on Hakeem.

5. Reed/DuBusschere: These guys helped raise New York’s only two titles, and got them to the NBA finals three times, and though Frazier and Monroe were huge parts of those titles, the paring of DuBusschere and Reed served as the engine of those title teams, eating up rebounds and providing solid low post scoring.

6. Chamberlain and Baylor: Those Baylor missed out on the NBA finals the year LA was finally able to win, and though Jerry West and Gail Goodrich were the offensive heart of that early 70’s LA dynastic team, Baylor and Chamberlain posted over 30 rebounds and nearly 50 points a game, and did more winning than Chamberlain was ever able to do in Philly.

7. Hayes and Unseld: Two NBA finals appearances and one ring to take home. Their primes didn’t quite coincide, but they were both on top of their game for about 5 years and produced a lot of wins, making Washington an obstacle to any team hoping to via for an NBA championship.

8. Amare and Marion: Two guys that combined to average over 40 points and 20 rebounds is impressive enough to warrant being one of the best front-court parings of all time, and had it not been for a benching-clearing altercation between Nash and Horry, Amare and Marion would have solidified their place in the eyes of many NBA fans as once of the greatest parings of all time by winning their first NBA title.

9. Ewing and Oakley: For the better part of a decade these two pushed deep into the playoffs almost every year, and had there never been a man by the name of Jordan, those Knicks teams would likely be referred to as a dynasty. Ewing was obviously the bigger name of the two, but Oakley’s hard nosed defence, work ethic, rebound and willingness to take on the tough jobs, served as the perfect companion to Ewing’s skill set.

10. Parish and McHale: If Larry Bird had never existed, Robert Parish and McHale would have still been able to win a title together in Boston. Parish could have easily developed an offensive game comparable with Moses or Kareem, and McHale posted great individual seasons himself, but with so much talent on one squad, and Bird being the alpha dog, the pairing of Parish and McHale does tend to get underrated.

11. Webber and Divac: Two great passing big men with great skill sets and strong rebounding proficiency helped to make for one of the most entertaining front court pairings of all time. They were always both willing to make the extra pass, played strong defence, and had officials seen thing a little differently in that infamous game six against LA, these two would likely be sporting hardware.

12. Chamberlain and Arizin: They only played together for 3 seasons, and two of those season lost to Russell’s Celtics, but it wasn’t from a lack of front court dominance. These two were the only front court pairing that matched up well with Boston, and had they had the kind of help from the back court that Russell and Heinsohn had, Chamberlain may not have had to move to LA to win a title. Statistically the posted far more impressive numbers than any pair on this list (in 62 they posted better than 72 points and 32 rebounds a game together), but they just could turn those numbers into a winning formula. Tom Gala also deserves mention as a great front court partner to Chamberlain.

13. Nate Thurmond and Clyde Lee: Nate was the star of the duo, and as his career went on, Lee became more of a rebounding specialist akin to Unseld and Ben Wallace, but there were seasons where Thurmond and Lee posted rebounding numbers that matched or bested numbers put up by Chamberlain and Arizin/Baylor and even Russell and Heinsohn. These guys would be eating up the league to day if they were playing on the same team.

14. Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas: Only together for about three seasons, this short lived paring seemed to reach alignment perfectly, earning Portland its only NBA championship while they posted nearly 40 points per and 25+ rebounds at the same time.

15. Rodman and Laimbeer: Two rebounding juggernauts whose primes didn’t quite come up at the same time, but nonetheless, they produced two NBA championships together, three straight conference championships, and several division titles. When Rodman hit his stride grabbing rebounding numbers that haven’t been matched since Chamberlain retired, Laimbeer was boxing out and making sure Rodman had the space to reach the rebound, and though Rodman was an offensive liability at times, Laimbeer more than made up for it with his post moved and three-point range.


Notably missing from this list: Shaq (who never had a front court partner to really help him clean up the glass, other than Horace Grant in Orlando), Dwight (who has yet to be paired up with a double-digit rebounded) and Bob Lanier, who would have helped earn Detroit a couple titles if he ever had a partner in the front court worth mentioning. it’s a shame these guys never had a Robin to help their Batman.

Bruno
10-22-2011, 05:47 PM
Gasol/Bynum landed back-to-back titles together as the Lakers starting front-court.

GREATNESS ONE
10-22-2011, 05:53 PM
^ Nice Bruno Man and Shaq & Whoever would eat half that list ALIVE.

Hawkeye15
10-22-2011, 07:00 PM
Parish-McHale need to be much higher

If we include SF's, this gets even more interesting

TrueFan420
10-22-2011, 07:26 PM
i think amare and marion at too high

ttam68
10-22-2011, 07:32 PM
Shaq and Kareem could make this list alone, throw in Grant and Worthy

beasted86
10-22-2011, 07:39 PM
Hakeem & Ralph Sampson deserve some type of recognition and have to be on the list, even if Sampson's prime was cut short by injuries. They were the original twin towers long before Duncan & Robinson.

rhymeratic
10-22-2011, 07:43 PM
Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph. LOL

bagwell368
10-22-2011, 08:26 PM
For a short period: 3 years - Russell and Bailey Howell may have been a stronger combo then Heinsohn and Russell.

As for "Parish could have easily developed an offensive game comparable with Moses or Kareem" so sorry, that's not true. Bear in mind I fought hard for Parish to get voted in the top 50.

Parish was in his 5th season when McHale played his first NBA game - and in the hundreds upon hundreds of games I saw him play before and after McHale, never saw in him the hook shot, low post game, or general shooting skill of Kareem. Kareem in fact used to routinely dominate Parish head to head - it was a given. Parish's lone offensive skill above Kareem was sneak away/fast break buckets.

Parish lacked the bulk and will power to ever be confused with Moses. Moses used to throw a good beating on Parish head to head, again losing the 1-2 foot race jams that Parish would earn.

Kareem is no worse then top 3 Center of all time, Moses is no worse then top 8, and Parish is below that. His claim to fame was longevity, not dominating peak ability.

Tony_Starks
10-22-2011, 10:39 PM
Ben and Rasheed Wallace.....

3mikee_
10-22-2011, 10:47 PM
Bosh and Jermaine O'neal. Easily.

Kidd>>>K-Mart
10-22-2011, 10:58 PM
Will be Howard and Lopez.

Chronz
10-22-2011, 11:02 PM
Ben and Sheed deserve mention, those 2 anchored the best defense of the 3pt era

Chronz
10-22-2011, 11:31 PM
Gasol/Bynum landed back-to-back titles together as the Lakers starting front-court.
Where would you place the duo in the sandwich?



^ Nice Bruno Man and Shaq & Whoever would eat half that list ALIVE.
I used to agree, but 2 all-stars can be better than 1. Hell 1 All-star and role players just beat 3 stars so I think theres more to it than 1 persons ability.



Bosh and Jermaine O'neal. Easily.
I actually had high hopes for this one. I cant remember what happened or why that went wrong.

mdm692
10-22-2011, 11:39 PM
Ive forgotten how good stat and matrix were before greed got the best of marion.

CB29
10-22-2011, 11:42 PM
parish and mchale shud be #2

kareem and worthy were incredible too.

GhostfaceDrilla
10-22-2011, 11:54 PM
Will be Howard and Lopez.

Well frontcourt means you have to rebound, something Lopez does not do...

Chronz
10-23-2011, 12:02 AM
Just reviewing your Top2 right now


Please feel free to add your own list or tell me why mine is wrong and who I'm missing.

1. David Robinson and Time Duncan: (I feel this needs no explanation).
You dont, they are my #1 too.



2. Brad Daughtery/Larry Nance:
The beauty of this topic is that until we boil it down to a single season or whatever the standard may be, for the most part, there is no right or wrong answer. Its important to remain consistent in the Peak vs Prime debate but there are inevitably those few who are so exceedingly impressive at one that they serve a place in time because of it. My Top 2 consists of the pairing that best exemplify this (IMO), Duncan & D-Rob (Peak Dominance) and McHale & Parish (Longevity).

All that said, one thing I know is that Daughtery/Nance aint Parish/McHale. I know we're ranking the unit together but the fact that one group consists of underrated players while the other consists of a Top6 player at his position all time and a Top15 Center, shouldnt that mean something?

Before McHale brook his foot, the Celtics were an elite defensive team and it was largely because of his ability to cover for Bird, Nance was athletic but he and Nance were softer inside. Overall your #2 is much more suspect on that end.

JasonJohnHorn
10-23-2011, 01:45 PM
All that said, one thing I know is that Daughtery/Nance aint Parish/McHale. I know we're ranking the unit together but the fact that one group consists of underrated players while the other consists of a Top6 player at his position all time and a Top15 Center, shouldnt that mean something?

Before McHale brook his foot, the Celtics were an elite defensive team and it was largely because of his ability to cover for Bird, Nance was athletic but he and Nance were softer inside. Overall your #2 is much more suspect on that end.

Fair enough. I knew people might look at me stranged for ranking Nance and Daughtery so high, but I think they deserve some love.

Notably missing from my list, as others have mentioned, is Wallace and Wallace and Bynum and Gasol. I was hesitant to include Wallace and Wallace because they only had two seasons together, but they did produce an NBA title and two finals appearances, so I suppose they deserve a spot in there. Bynum and Gasol I didn't include because I don't see those two as playing together. Gasol plays more in tandum with Odom than Bynum. Their interior passing is amazing to watch. If I was a GM, I'd take Gasol and Odom over Gasol and Bynum, though I'd rather have Bynum to build around than Odom, if that makes any sense.

Now I have to re-order my entire list. lol

Tony_Starks
10-23-2011, 01:55 PM
Sabonis and Sheed probably deserve honorable mention, even though Sabonis was already on the downside of his career. That was still a great tandem to watch because you had the rare combo of two bigs that could post, pass, and spread the floor playing together.

That Portland team is the most talented squad that never got a ring IMO.......

dhopisthename
10-23-2011, 03:21 PM
malone and eaton had some good years together not sure they are enough to make the list though since they never really did anything in the playoffs together

MrfadeawayJB
10-23-2011, 03:46 PM
I agree about Gasol and Bynum. Hopefully in a few years it there can be a Gasol and Randolph discussion

llemon
10-23-2011, 05:24 PM
Wilt/Nate

llemon
10-23-2011, 05:27 PM
Wilt/Hairston

Sly Guy
10-23-2011, 07:16 PM
The 'sheed-sabonis and the 'sheed-wallace pairings looked pretty good to me as well.

Anilyzer
10-24-2011, 04:05 AM
LoL

Odom and Gasol is better than half that list. LoL at Webber and Divac. Divac was a putz and virtually invented "flopping" in the NBA.

Also, I don't really see how Chamberlain + Baylor can be any lower than 1st or 2nd, seeing as they are both regarded as Top 10 players in history--Chamberlain somewhere between 1 and 3, and Baylor somewhere between 5 and 10.

Also, Sha

abe_froman
10-24-2011, 04:24 AM
LoL

Odom and Gasol is better than half that list. LoL at Webber and Divac. Divac was a putz and virtually invented "flopping" in the NBA.

Also, I don't really see how Chamberlain + Baylor can be any lower than 1st or 2nd, seeing as they are both regarded as Top 10 players in history--Chamberlain somewhere between 1 and 3, and Baylor somewhere between 5 and 10.

Also, Sha
because he's looking past just the names(or else k.malone+shaq would be there).wilt and baylor barely played together.by the time they joined up baylor was done,no longer that useful when he was there,which wasnt much,spending 90% of those years out due to injury


...and no,baylor isnt top 10

LakersIn5
10-24-2011, 09:10 AM
Will be Howard and Lopez.

juwan aint that good anymore

UPRock
10-24-2011, 09:25 AM
Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace, one of the best defensive bigmen in history deserve to be in the list.

ManningToTyree
10-24-2011, 10:04 AM
Duncan and the admiral are clearly #1

JordansBulls
10-24-2011, 10:18 AM
Did he really put Daugherty and Nance in front of Russell and Heinsohn or Wilt and Baylor or many of those other duos?

llemon
10-24-2011, 12:44 PM
ABA was Gilmore/Issel

avon_barksdale
10-24-2011, 01:15 PM
wheres dr j and moses?

llemon
10-24-2011, 01:17 PM
wheres dr j and moses?

Julius was SF/G

Sactown
10-24-2011, 02:39 PM
Jimmer and DeMarcus Cousins

Tony_Starks
10-24-2011, 03:01 PM
LoL

Odom and Gasol is better than half that list. LoL at Webber and Divac. Divac was a putz and virtually invented "flopping" in the NBA.

Also, I don't really see how Chamberlain + Baylor can be any lower than 1st or 2nd, seeing as they are both regarded as Top 10 players in history--Chamberlain somewhere between 1 and 3, and Baylor somewhere between 5 and 10.

Also, Sha


Divac is probably the most underrated passing Center to ever do it and helped C Webb improve his passing game tremendously. Vlade learned from Magic, and Webber learned from Vlade.....