Draymond Green

Draymond, Stephen A poke holes in SVG's lofty Luka-Kyrie praise

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Recency bias is rearing it's head during the 2024 Western Conference finals, and Draymond Green and Stephen A. Smith aren't having it.

TNT color commentator and former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy has made it clear he thinks very highly of the Dallas Mavericks' dynamic duo of Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving.

Before Game 1 of the series last Wednesday, Van Gundy labeled Dončić and Irving as "arguably the best offensive backcourt in the history of the NBA."

At the end of the Mavericks' Game 3 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, fellow analyst Reggie Miller set up Van Gundy to double down on his comments, though the latter tweaked the phrasing of his praise.

"And coach, I think out [Inside The NBA] guys are starting to come around to your thinking about … you can give those two guys the ball and go make a play," Miller said as the clock ran out on the Mavericks' 116-107 win.

"It's the most talented offensive backcourt in the history of the NBA," Van Gundy said.

Prior to Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Friday, Miller joined Green on TNT's "Inside the NBA" pregame show and the Warriors forward responded to Van Gundy's statement, making it clear the Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are the greatest backcourt in NBA history.

On Monday's episode of "First Take," Smith, Shannon Sharpe and Monica McNutt picked up the debate by listing their top five backcourts in NBA history.

To little surprise, Smith agreed with Green, not Van Gundy, ranking Curry and Thompson at the top, ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers' backcourt of Magic Johnson and Byron Scott.

Smith has Dončić and Irving as the fourth-best backcourt in NBA history.

"No. 1, we all know who that is. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson," Smith said. "The greatest shooting backcourt in the history of man. Steph Curry, the greatest shooter God has ever created. And Klay Thompson right up there. Klay Thompson had a bad year this year. Do you know a bad year for Klay Thompson, to shoot about 41-42 percent for the field, about 38 percent from 3-point range, averaging about 17 [points per game]. That's how great Klay Thompson is. A surefire first-ballot future Hall of Famer. Make no mistake about it.

"Steph Curry is still a superstar in this league … But in the end, here's what it comes down to. Steph Curry, I'm going to say it one more time, is the greatest shooter God has ever created and why does that matter? Because Magic will hurt you with his ability to pass the ball. Steph Curry got your head on a swivel because the brother's moving without the ball and you know, he can pull up from 30 [feet], from 40 [feet], from 50[feet]. You got to defend him the second he steps past half court. That is Steph Curry, the greatest shooter ever in the history of mankind."

While Curry and Thompson have four NBA championship rings as well as countless records and trophies to back up their argument as the best backcourt in league history, Dončić and Irving are scoring at a historic clip during the Mavericks' current playoff run.

Curry and Thompson never accomplished that feat during a single postseason run, but Curry and Kevin Durant managed to do it during the Warriors' 2016-17 march to the NBA title.

But as Green and Smith have made it clear, Curry and Thompson have been making their case for much longer. So unless Dončić and Irving stay together for the better part of a decade and win a few championships together, it's hard for anyone to agree with Van Gundy.

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