Every trend has to have a source, a birth, a beginning. The NBA is no different. Style of play seems to be perhaps the most trendy thing in the league outside of maybe the shoes they play in.
One of the newer trends in the NBA is the development of a “Big Three.” A big three can be a relative term. According to NBA 2K18 GM Mode, it is three players on the same roster rated 85 or higher. A big three could be seen as having three all-stars on roster together as a minimum requirement.
The most memorable, perceived origin of the big three would be in Miami with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. That Miami Heat team assembled their big three to beat the original big three: the Boston Celtics. Let’s not forget Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen teaming up to win their championship.
So the trend has been set, and big threes are forming all over the NBA. Let’s explore the best big threes in the Southwest Division this upcoming season. The San Antonio Spurs take home the honor of being No. 2.
LaMarcus Aldridge wanted out of San Antonio before last season. However, coach Gregg Popovich managed to convince him to stay. One of the main reasons Aldridge ended up staying was his increased usage rate. His usage rate increased by 5 percent from the previous season. Pop has always built his offensive system around his stars and this season will be more of the same. While Aldridge will have to make room for DeMar DeRozan, he will still have an important role and being counted on to lead this team.
After nine seasons in Toronto, DeRozan has a new home in San Antonio. He will have a slightly different experience with the Spurs as his back court mate will not be a primary scorer alongside him. One of the biggest flaws in DeRozan’s game is his 3-point shooting. He is a career 29 percent shooter from downtown which is extremely low for a primary scoring, all-star wing player. Regardless, DeRozan is heading to play for a coach that will get the most out him and we may be in line to see his best season yet.
Pau Gasol is entering his 19th NBA season and his third in San Antonio. The six-time All-Star is coming off his lowest scoring total and lowest amount of minutes played, but while he was on the floor, he was still an above average player with a 20 percent usage rate. He may be just a shell of his former Lakers self, but at 38 years old, he is still a very viable and productive player in the best league in the world. He is the perfect veteran to lead this team under Pop, which is what gives him the nod over Rudy Gay or Dejounte Murray for the third part of this trio.
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