We didn’t need the statistics to tell us what was obvious all playoffs long: LeBron James and Anthony Davis are already one of the greatest basketball partnerships of all time.
With skill sets that fit seamlessly and attitudes that allowed them to get along on and off the floor, James and Davis dominated the 2020 postseason in a way we haven’t seen in the NBA for a very long time on their way to becoming 2019-20 champions.
Nevertheless, we decided to look at the statistics anyway to see what they had to say about the Los Angeles Lakers’ latest super duo. Unsurprisingly, they agreed with our assessment.
When combining average points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks for every top tandem in the playoffs that has ever won an NBA championship, James and Davis ranked third overall at 92.81.
The only two title-winning partnerships that they trailed statistically also happened to play for the Lakers, too. They were 2000-01 Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant (96.94) and 1979-80 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson (93.75).
For the three most dominant statistical playoff duos ever to have all played for one team just goes to show why the Lakers are the Association’s premiere franchise, and why fans of small-market teams often feel hard done by their standing in the NBA.
Nevertheless, if we look at just top statistical postseason tandems for any two teammates and not just those who won championships, James and Davis still rank at No. 9 overall, behind two different versions of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor (from 1961-62 and 1960-61) and four duos that featured Wilt Chamberlain when he was at his absolute peak, plus the aforementioned Shaq and Kobe and Kareem and Magic partnerships.
In fairness to the old-school duos, particularly to the ones led by Bill Russell and Chamberlain after him, the NBA didn’t start recording blocks or steals until 1973-74, so they could have ranked even higher if not for that.
Regardless, that’s great company for James and Davis to be in and proves that the Lakers super tandem is already one of the best 1-2 punches the NBA has ever produced.
And considering Davis is still in the early stages of his prime while James is showing no signs of slowing down, even at almost 36 years old, there’s a solid chance L.A.’s best tandem will make more history together over the years to come.