John Rohde: Among Big 3s, well-diversified ones are best

The Thunder's Big 3 of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green ranks second in scoring this season among trios. Who's number one? Miami's LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, although James is the only one likely to play in Sunday's nationally televised game.
By John Rohde Modified: January 29, 2011 at 4:58 pm •  Published: January 29, 2011

The Thunder trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green is the league's second-highest scoring combination (66.4 ppg).

“Really?” Green asked with raised eyebrows. “Who's first?”

Today's opponent leads the league (70.0), but two-thirds of Miami's Big 3 likely won't be available for the nationally televised (ABC) noon tipoff.

Chris Bosh is nursing a sore ankle and Dwyane Wade has an iffy wrist. LeBron James is healthy, so expect him to play all five positions at certain moments inside Oklahoma City Arena.

Prolific scoring doesn't necessarily constitute a great trio. Miami's threesome ranks No. 1 in scoring, but is No. 4 on this season's overall list (see chart). The Thunder trio is No. 2 in scoring, yet No. 7 overall.

The best trios don't overlap at positions. There are no tweeners in the group. Having a prolific point guard, center and wing man is the dream combo.

The Lakers repeatedly have assembled three-headed monsters, which is why they have four trios ranked in the all-time Top 10.

Boston has done it twice and is in the middle of doing it a third time with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

San Antonio's trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili has three world titles and is off to the best start in franchise history this season.



TOP TRIOS IN NBA HISTORY:

1. Boston — Bill Russell-Bob Cousy-Tommy Heinsohn: Dynamic combo won six world championships together from 1957-63.

2. Chicago — Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen-Dennis Rodman: Three seasons together, three titles and .816 winning percentage.

3. LA Lakers — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-Magic Johnson-James Worthy: Captured three titles after KAJ and Magic had won two.

4. Boston — Larry Bird-Kevin McHale-Robert Parish: Won three championships and were in five finals together in the 1980s.

5. LA Lakers — Wilt Chamberlain-Jerry West-Gail Goodrich: Won 33 straight games; in the finals every year; won 1972 crown.

6. New York — Walt Frazier-Willis Reed-Dave DeBusschere: Won the only two championships in Knickerbockers history.

7. San Antonio — Tim Duncan-Tony Parker-Manu Ginobili: Won three championships in five-year span and still going strong.

8. LA Lakers — Shaquille O'Neal-Kobe Bryant-Derek Fisher: Underrated Fisher joined Shaq and Kobe in their three-ring circus.

9. LA Lakers — Kobe Bryant-Pau Gasol-Lamar Odom: Two-time defending champions have been to three consecutive finals.

10. Detroit — Isiah Thomas-Joe Dumars-Bill Laimbeer: Bad boys, bad boys. Three straight finals and back-to-back crowns.

TOP TRIOS THIS SEASON:

1. Los Angeles Lakers — Kobe Bryant-Pau Gasol-Lamar Odom: Quest for a three-peat places them slightly ahead of Spurs trio.

2. San Antonio — Tim Duncan-Tony Parker-Manu Ginobili: Searching for fourth world title together, and are off to a great start.

3. Boston — Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce-Ray Allen: Garnett has missed nine starts, but this trio certainly is capable of another title.

4. Miami — LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh: Going through injuries and growing pains, but has been brilliant at times.

5. Chicago — Derrick Rose-Carlos Boozer-Luol Deng: Tough to argue with this combination of scoring, rebounding and assists.

6. Denver — Carmelo Anthony-Chauncey Billups-Nene' Hilario: Had better acknowledge these three guys before they separate.

7. Thunder — Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook-Jeff Green: Youth movement has been lethal at times, but is a work in progress.

8. Atlanta — Joe Johnson-Josh Smith-Al Horford: Underrated last season after 53 wins and no one is paying attention again.

9. New Orleans — Chris Paul-David West-Emeka Okafor: The emergence of Okafor has transformed a terrific tandem into a trio.

10. Utah — Deron Williams-Paul Millsap-Al Jefferson: Another great Salt Lake point guard is making players around him better.

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