Blazers

NBA Duos: Lakers, Clippers and everyone else?

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The NBA is officially fun again with the balance of power shifting back to provide balance in both conferences. Gone are the days when it was the Golden State Warriors vs. the field.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers introduced the newest franchise superstar and future cornerstone, Anthony Davis. In joining with LeBron James, the 26-year-old now forms one half of potentially the most potent duo in the league. In the Western Conference, All-Star caliber duos now make up the rule rather than the exception. Here’s a look at some of the duos, what they bring to the table, and how far each can take their team this coming season.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

The duo that changed the dynamic of the NBA happened as soon as Kawhi Leonard made his decision to come home and join the Los Angeles Clippers. The most fascinating element of this combination? It likely would not have happened if the Clippers were unable to land George via trade. The talent level can’t be overstated. Leonard and George are each lengthy two-way players who instantly make a playoff team even better.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum

This duo has been overlooked all summer with the wave of moves being made around the NBA. However, the Pacific Northwest’s premiere backcourt seems to always play with a chip on its shoulder, so there should be no surprises if these two are leading the Portland Trial Blazers to a Western Conference finals appearance before they go their separate ways.

For the sake of entertainment and selfishness, let’s hope that never happens.

Russell Westbrook and James Harden

The Houston Rockets were another forgotten team in the proverbial game of musical chairs out west.

By trading for Russell Westbrook and dismantling the failed twosome of Harden and enigmatic veteran Chris Paul, general manager Daryl Morey has once again made the team a legitimate contender.

Harden has turned into a legitimate superstar on the verge of being crowned the league’s best player, and Westbrook is a proven perennial All-Star capable of doing just about everything but shooting from long range with elite consistency.

The scariest thing for opposing teams? This duo is a proven success, and now both players are even better. They will be prepared to lead their supporting casts to the upper echelon of the Western Conference immediately.

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His credits include Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, among others.
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