Young guns: NBA teams with young, productive trios

by Berry Tramel Published: June 24, 2009

Ten times in NBA history, a team has had a trio of scorers which averaged at least 57 points a game and were a combined age of younger than 70. The teams, with their cumulative age:

1. 2009 Thunder 62.1

Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City to a 23-59 record.

2. 1982 Pistons 67.5

John Long, Kelly Tripucka and Isiah Thomas led Detroit to 39-43 record. Two years later, Pistons began a long playoff streak, but Tripucka and Long were gone by the time Pistons made NBA Finals in 1988.

Lesson for Thunder: Reaching the top takes time.

3. 1999 Nets 68.4

Stephon Marbury, Keith Van Horn and Kerry Kittles led New Jersey to a 16-34 record. When the Nets made the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003, only Kittles remained.

Lesson for Thunder: Don't build with knuckleheads.

4. 1993 Hornets 69.0

Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Kendall Gill led Charlotte to 44-38 record and Eastern Conference semifinals. That was Gill's final year with the Hornets; Mourning played two more seasons in Charlotte and Johnson three. The Hornets remained competitive but never made the conference finals.

Lesson for Thunder: Keep the core together.

5. 1985 Rockets 69.1

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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