Toronto Raptors guards DeMar DeRozan (left) and Kyle Lowry.

Throughout the 2015-16 NBA season, Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson made a combined 678 three-pointers. As a frame of reference, that was more than 13 teams made during the latest campaign, and tied with the total amount of treys drained by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The two-time MVP and 2016 Three-Point Contest champion continued to establish their unchallenged standing as the best backcourt in the league. But how do their peers of starting guard duos stack up?

PointAfter, a sports data visualization site that’s part of the Graphiq network, set out rank each team’s backcourt tandem following the 2015-16 season. To do this, we combined each starting backcourt’s win shares, box plus/minus and collective value over replacement player from the latest season. Each pair was then given a score in each category dependent upon their rank — if a point and shooting guard ranked No. 1 in win shares, for example, they earned 30 points. We’ll call this the “Backcourt Score” for the purpose of this ranking.

This method aims to reward players who were individually superior to their colleagues, in addition to those who guided their teams to victory more often than not. Because durability is a part of the game, backcourts that suffered injuries did not ultimately rank very high. So even though the Phoenix Suns’ dual-pronged attack of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight has plenty of potential, it wasn’t an impressive twosome when strictly looking at the 2015-16 season, because both guys were bitten by the injury bug.

It’s also worth noting that one superstar could balance out or even carry a weak link. Having two steady contributors did not necessarily mean said backcourt would rank above another with one All-Star and one role player.

In the event of a tie, the backcourt with the higher combined scoring average ranked higher.

#30. Philadelphia 76ers: Ish Smith and Nik Stauskas

Backcourt Score: 3
Combined Points Per Game: 23.2
Combined Win Shares: 0.9
Combined Box Plus/Minus: -5.6
Combined VORP: -0.7

Immediately after the Sixers acquired point guard Ish Smith from the New Orleans Pelicans, Philly went 3-3 over its next six games. The 27-year-old speedster averaged 8.2 assists per game during that stretch, putting his team in a position to win by getting teammates involved.

That proved to be the bright spot of Philadelphia’s season, however, as the 76ers won just 10 games all year. Nik Stauskas, meanwhile, continued to be totally inept as a shooter (his one tantalizing skill when entering the draft). The shooting guard shot 32.6 percent from beyond the arc, ranking him tied No. 124 out of 152 qualified players.

#29. Brooklyn Nets: Jarrett Jack and Bojan Bogdanovic

Backcourt Score: 6
Combined Points Per Game: 24
Combined Win Shares: 1.8
Combined Box Plus/Minus: -4.8
Combined VORP: -0.6

Nets starting point guard Jarrett Jack played only 32 games before suffering a torn ACL in his right knee. Jack described the injury as the “Worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.”

The veteran’s prolonged absence, coupled with Bogdanovic grading out a huge negative in terms of defensive box plus/minus (-2.9, much worse than his rookie mark of -1.9), ensured Brooklyn’s backcourt would finish as one of the worst in the league.

#28. Denver Nuggets: Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris

Backcourt Score: 9
Combined Points Per Game: 25.1
Combined Win Shares: 1.9
Combined Box Plus/Minus: -4.2
Combined VORP: 0.1

The poor ranking associated with the Denver Nuggets’ backcourt can be attributed to one word: youth.

Rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay struggled mightily throughout his first year adapting to the NBA. His true shooting percentage of 43.7 percent ranked No. 345 out of 350 qualified players.

Harris, meanwhile, improved drastically in his second year. After converting just 30.4 percent of his shots and 20.4 percent of his threes, he upped those marks to 46.9 and 35.4 percent, respectively. Still, the inexperience from this duo did them no favors.

#27. Los Angeles Lakers: D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson

Backcourt Score: 12
Combined Points Per Game: 28.7
Combined Win Shares: 2.1
Combined Box Plus/Minus: -3.2
Combined VORP: 0.5

From one young and inexperienced backcourt to another, the Lakers’ youthful guards also had their fair share of struggles during what was the franchise’s worst season in history.

Both players flashed potential, but they have a long way to go in their professional development before they can compete consistently with other talented guards in the pros.

#26. Sacramento Kings: Rajon Rondo and Ben McLemore

Backcourt Score: 19
Combined Points Per Game: 19.7
Combined Win Shares: 4.9
Combined Box Plus/Minus: -2.2
Combined VORP: 1.5

Rajon Rondo did not have a bad year for the Sacramento Kings after signing a head-scratching one-year, $10 million contract in the offseason. Quite the contrary, as he wound up leading the Association in assists at 11.7 per game.

Unfortunately for Sactown’s standing in this ranking, shooting guard Ben McLemore didn’t pull his share of the weight. He finished the season with a -3.2 BPM, -0.4 VORP and only 0.5 win shares. Instead of blossoming in his third professional season, he saw his minutes per game slashed to a career low (21.2) and his turnover rate (16.5 percent) reached a career high.

#25. New York Knicks: Jose Calderon and Arron Afflalo

Backcourt Score: 19
Combined Points Per Game: 20.4
Combined Win Shares: 6.7
Combined Box Plus/Minus: -2.5
Combined VORP: 0.8

The New York Knicks started arguably the least compelling backcourt duo in the NBA this season. Calderon is a great outside shooter and solid passer, but he’s a 34-year-old defensive sieve.

Afflalo hasn’t come close to replicating the numbers he posted for Orlando in 2013-14 since leaving and suiting up for Denver, Portland and New York. He also was miffed about being demoted to the bench late in the season by interim head coach Kurt Rambis. It’s fair to say this backcourt is not providing hope for the future in New York. Rather, they are stop-gap solutions until Phil Jackson can add more talent to the roster.

#24. Utah Jazz: Shelvin Mack and Rodney Hood

Backcourt Score: 27
Combined Points Per Game: 27.2
Combined Win Shares: 7.2
Combined Box Plus/Minus: -0.1
Combined VORP: 2

Utah entered the 2015-16 season shorthanded in the backcourt as a result of Dante Exum suffering a torn ACL while playing for the Australian National Team in August. As a result, Raul Neto had to take on the starting job until the Jazz decided to trade for Shelvin Mack in February.

Mack’s stats were superior to Neto’s (especially in terms of box plus/minus) so we opted to place him here despite the fact that he started fewer games for Utah over the course of the season.

Rodney Hood showed flashes of being a really solid player, but he’s still young and trying to carve out his niche. In any case, this unit will be far better next year when the defensive-minded Aussie returns to action.

#23. Milwaukee Bucks: Michael Carter-Williams and Khris Middleton

Backcourt Score: 31
Combined Points Per Game: 29.7
Combined Win Shares: 7.3
Combined Box Plus/Minus: -0.2
Combined VORP: 2.4

The Milwaukee Bucks failed to meet expectations after making an unexpected run to the playoffs in 2015. They went 33-49 and saw a wide variety of players (14 total) start at least one game. Of the 54 games he played, Michael Carter-Williams started 37 of them. Jerryd Bayless started 18 games at the point, and Giannis Antetokounmpo spent a vastly successful stint as the team’s floor general toward the end of the season when head coach Jason Kidd decided to experiment with the lanky “Greek Freak” running the offense.

MCW might not be the team’s starting point guard next season provided how well Antetokounmpo played in that slot in limited time. But in terms of the 2015-16 season as a whole, Carter-Williams gets the nod here. Let’s just say a backcourt of Giannis and Khris Middleton is much more favorable.

#22. New Orleans Pelicans: Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon

Backcourt Score: 32
Combined Points Per Game: 32
Combined Win Shares: 5.5
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 1.1
Combined VORP: 2.2

New Orleans guards Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon missed a combined 54 games throughout the 2015-16 campaign — a recurring theme for these two.

Interestingly, Holiday played his best basketball toward the end of the season when being utilized off the bench, a revelation that might force head coach Alvin Gentry to use him similarly next season. Gordon, meanwhile, will hit unrestricted free agency this summer, so it’s unlikely he’ll be back with the Pellies.

#21. Phoenix Suns: Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight

Backcourt Score: 32
Combined Points Per Game: 40
Combined Win Shares: 4.2
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 2.5
Combined VORP: 2.1

Aside from being undersized, there’s a lot to like about the Suns’ backcourt tandem of Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. The two borderline All-Stars continue to show flashes of great two-way play when healthy, but the “when healthy” part has been frustratingly rare for Phoenix’s brass.

The pair combined to miss 81 games during the 2015-16 season. That was good for the team in terms of tanking for a draft pick, but terrible in terms of building some semblance of chemistry.

#20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Ricky Rubio and Andrew Wiggins

Backcourt Score: 36
Combined Points Per Game: 30.8
Combined Win Shares: 9.9
Combined Box Plus/Minus: -0.2
Combined VORP: 2.2

Ricky Rubio has been criticized throughout his NBA career for his complete ineptitude as a scorer. He gave little reason for the critics to calm that narrative, as Rubio finished the campaign shooting an ugly 37.4 percent from the floor.

And while Andrew Wiggins poured in points (20.7 per game), his own three-point stroke made Minnesota’s backcourt arguably the worst three-point shooting duo in the NBA. Wiggins made just 30 percent of his three-point tries.

Wiggins also grabbed just 6 percent of available rebounds (total rebound percentage) despite standing 6-foot-8 — not exactly ideal. There’s plenty of potential here, but a fair amount of warts on the surface as well. Can Tom Thibodeau develop these two talents?

#19. Orlando Magic: Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo

Backcourt Score: 35
Combined Points Per Game: 28.9
Combined Win Shares: 6.1
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 0.5
Combined VORP: 2.7

Admittedly, you have to take Orlando’s ranking with a grain of salt, because a lot of the groupings below them suffered season-altering injuries this season. That being said, it still has to be encouraging for Magic fans that the young tandem of Payton and Oladipo checks in at No. 19.

As with the rest of Orlando’s roster, the young backcourt needs to continue developing and gaining confidence. It feels as if this team is right on the cusp of a breakout season, especially after hiring Frank Vogel as the new head coach. A combined 26.7 points, 10.3 assists, 8.4 rebounds and just 4.5 turnovers from the two young guards is not too shabby.

#18. Atlanta Hawks: Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver

Backcourt Score: 35
Combined Points Per Game: 24.9
Combined Win Shares: 10
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 0.1
Combined VORP: 1.4

Kyle Korver was truly incredible a season ago for Atlanta, flirting with a 50-50-90 season before ultimately leading qualified shooters by draining 49.2 percent of his long-range tries. But following offseason surgeries to his ankle and shooting elbow, respectively, Korver saw his three-point percentage dip nearly 10 percentage points this year by comparison.

Add mediocre defense from both Korver and Teague, and this unit didn’t grade out strongly in terms of advanced metrics. The Hawks still put together a solid season, but that was more due to the exploits of frontcourt members Paul Millsap and Al Horford.

#17. Dallas Mavericks: Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews

Backcourt Score: 37
Combined Points Per Game: 26.6
Combined Win Shares: 7.4
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 0.4
Combined VORP: 2.6

Dallas’ success in 2015-16 was tied far more closely to the starting frontcourt of Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia.

Wesley Matthews understandably regressed the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles. He shot 38.8 percent from the field and 36 percent from long range — both career lows. Deron Williams continued to play unspectacular basketball, further establishing that the player he was in Utah and early on with the Nets has been long forgotten.

Still, both guys filled meaningful roles for a Mavs team that had plenty of help elsewhere on the roster. They each averaged more than 32 minutes per game while contributing to a winning product.

#16. Memphis Grizzlies: Mike Conley and Tony Allen

Backcourt Score: 42
Combined Points Per Game: 23.7
Combined Win Shares: 7.7
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 1.7
Combined VORP: 2.5

The “Grit ‘n’ Grind” Grizzlies had to dig deeper than usual to remain competitive in the Western Conference this year. By season’s end, Memphis’ roster resembled Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson‘s grocery shopping receipt. A total of 28 different players suited up and played at least one game for the Grizz throughout 2015-16 as injuries took hold.

Upcoming free agent Mike Conley ended the season sidelined and Tony Allen missed 18 games of his own. Conley regressed on the defensive side of the ball to a career-worst -1.9 DBPM. Pair that with Allen’s continued ineptitude on offense, and it became difficult for this crew to climb much higher in the ranking.

#15. Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler

Backcourt Score: 44
Combined Points Per Game: 37.3
Combined Win Shares: 9.5
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 0.7
Combined VORP: 3

Jimmy Butler is a bonafide star in the NBA. He reached his second consecutive All-Star Game in 2016, and while his three-point shooting stroke deserted him, he remained one of the game’s best two-way players. In 67 games (all starts), “Jimmy Buckets” led the Bulls in scoring at 20.9 points per game all while taking on the toughest defensive assignments night after night.

And yet, Chicago’s backcourt is right in the middle of the pack because of a former MVP.

Derrick Rose’s post-injury struggles continued. He made just 29.3 percent of his three-point attempts and finished with a -3.3 BPM. When a player is estimated to contribute -3.3 points per 100 possessions, he probably shouldn’t dominate the ball, but D-Rose boasted a 27.3 percent usage rate. It’s fair to say the Chicago native is never going to return to MVP form.

#14. Miami Heat: Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade

Backcourt Score: 48
Combined Points Per Game: 33.1
Combined Win Shares: 9.6
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 1.5
Combined VORP: 3.2

After a career year with the Phoenix Suns back in 2013-14 — when Goran Dragic averaged 20.8 points, 6.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds while making 50.5 percent of his field goals and 40.8 percent of his threes — “The Dragon” hasn’t been able to find his niche in South Beach. He made a career-worst 31.2 percent of his treys and averaged just 15.5 points for the Heat through 2015-16.

Dwyane Wade, meanwhile, who’s been labeled washed up repeatedly despite no hugely discernible decline in skill, averaged 19 points, 4.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds. He’s never been a reliable three-point shooter, so he limited himself to just 44 attempts this season. Both guys played better in the postseason, but that doesn’t help their rank here.

#13. Washington Wizards: John Wall and Bradley Beal

Backcourt Score: 54
Combined Points Per Game: 37.3
Combined Win Shares: 8.4
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 2.6
Combined VORP: 4.3

On paper, the young tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal appears to be one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Wall held up his end of the bargain with career-highs in points (19.9) and assists (10.2). Beal, however, missed 27 games due to injury and only started 35 of the 55 games he played.

It was a season to forget for Washington, but if Beal can get healthy and put it all together beside Wall, this backcourt should have little trouble living up to lofty expectations.

#12. San Antonio Spurs: Tony Parker and Danny Green

Backcourt Score: 58
Combined Points Per Game: 19.1
Combined Win Shares: 10
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 2.8
Combined VORP: 3.5

After shooting 41 percent or better from three-point range in four consecutive seasons with the Spurs, Danny Green lost his touch to the tune of 33.2 percent shooting from deep. He made up for that decline with his usual solid defense, but the frigid shooting from beyond the arc was far from ideal.

Tony Parker played well, but he wasn’t a huge net positive on offense or defense while playing a career-low 27.5 minutes per contest.

#11. Indiana Pacers: George Hill and Monta Ellis

Backcourt Score: 58
Combined Points Per Game: 25.9
Combined Win Shares: 10.5
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 1.8
Combined VORP: 3.8

Part of Indiana’s move to embracing small-ball was the addition of Monta Ellis to play shooting guard. Typically a reliable volume scorer, Ellis averaged only 13.8 points per game — his lowest since his rookie year.

George Hill was much more reliable, sinking a career-best 40.6 percent of his three-pointers and limiting his turnovers while playing 34.1 minutes per contest.

#10. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith

Backcourt Score: 61
Combined Points Per Game: 32
Combined Win Shares: 10.5
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 2.9
Combined VORP: 3.5

Kyrie Irving falls in the camp occupied by Korver, Butler and Green among NBA stars who watched their three-point prowess dissipate throughout 2015-16. He’s caught fire in the playoffs (along with everyone else on the Cavs), but his slow start tied to an early absence while recovering from surgery limited what he’s usually capable of doing on the court.

Meanwhile, “J.R. Swish” lived up to his nickname by draining 40 percent of his 510 three-point attempts. His defense was also better than it’s been in years. Expect this duo to climb higher in the backcourt standings next year if they stay healthy.

#9. Boston Celtics: Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley

Backcourt Score: 67
Combined Points Per Game: 37.4
Combined Win Shares: 14.5
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 3.2
Combined VORP: 4.7

Boston’s diminutive backcourt featuring Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley featured a marvelous balance of offense and defense. IT created a whopping 22.2 points per game while suiting up for all 82 contests. Bradley took on the toughest defensive matchups and helped hide Thomas’ shortcomings on the less glamorous end.

Thomas made his first career All-Star team and Bradley posted the best offensive season of his young career. The Celtics are positioned well to become title contenders if they can land a big-name free agent like Kevin Durant.

#8. Detroit Pistons: Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Backcourt Score: 68
Combined Points Per Game: 33.3
Combined Win Shares: 12.2
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 3.4
Combined VORP: 4.8

Reggie Jackson faced heaping amounts of pressure this season after signing an $80 million extension with Detroit. In the face of all that scrutiny, he delivered.

Jackson notched career highs in points, assists and three-point percentage during his age-25 season, leading Motown back to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

KCP proved a solid wingman. Despite making a career-low 30.9 percent of his triples, he notched career-highs in BPM (1.1) and VORP (2.2).

#7. Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum

Backcourt Score: 73
Combined Points Per Game: 45.9
Combined Win Shares: 15.2
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 4.1
Combined VORP: 5.5

You could easily argue that Portland’s backcourt should be deemed top three in the league. C.J. McCollum blossomed to win the league’s Most Improved Player award during his first season as a starter, and Damian Lillard proved in the second half that he shouldn’t have been snubbed from the All-Star Game.

These guys are elite offensively, but the lack of two-way play slides them down a few slots in this ranking. Lillard remained one of the game’s worst defenders by the eye test and advanced stats. He and McCollum finished 13th and 12th, respectively, among their own teammates in DBPM.

#6. Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker and Nic Batum

Backcourt Score: 74
Combined Points Per Game: 35.8
Combined Win Shares: 14.9
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 6
Combined VORP: 6.9

Following back-to-back seasons in which point guard Kemba Walker made fewer than 40 percent of his attempts from the field, the former UConn star experienced a breakout. He averaged a career-high 20.9 points on 42.7 percent shooting from the field and a career-best 37.1 percent from beyond the arc (a massive improvement from 30.4 percent the season prior).

Add offseason acquisition Nic Batum to the mix — a defensive-minded wing who recorded two triple-doubles — and Charlotte’s backcourt certainly commanded opponents’ respect.

#5. Houston Rockets: Patrick Beverley and James Harden

Backcourt Score: 80
Combined Points Per Game: 38.9
Combined Win Shares: 17.7
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 7.8
Combined VORP: 8.5

This is another instance where one superstar guard helped prop up the exploits of the backcourt tandem as a whole. Though the Houston Rockets nearly missed out on the playoffs amid team chemistry concerns, James Harden was phenomenal offensively yet again. With averages of at least 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds, Harden joined an elite group of players to post similar stats in a season: Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

And while Patrick Beverley is clearly not as talented, he quietly put together a career year for the Rockets. He drained a career-high 40 percent of his three-point attempts, which led to a career-high 12.3 points per game.

#4. Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Paul and J.J. Redick

Backcourt Score: 82
Combined Points Per Game: 35.8
Combined Win Shares: 19.4
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 8.6
Combined VORP: 7.5

Now that Steph Curry is winning unanimous MVPs and Russell Westbrook is tying 30-year-old triple-double records, Chris Paul’s usual standing as the best point guard in the game has slipped in recent years.

Nevertheless, the savvy veteran remains elite on both sides of the ball, guiding the Clippers to winning records despite a lack of depth and injury troubles. J.J. Redick proved himself as a more than capable wingman, ultimately leading the Association in three-point percentage at 47.5 percent.

#3. Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan

Backcourt Score: 84
Combined Points Per Game: 44.7
Combined Win Shares: 21.5
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 8.2
Combined VORP: 8.7

Throughout the 2016 NBA playoffs, it appears as though the MonStars made their presence felt prior to release of “Space Jam 2” by stealing the talents of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

The two guards have struggled mightily throughout the postseason, but, boy, were they special during the regular season — both making the All-Star team.

#2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook and Andre Roberson

Backcourt Score: 84
Combined Points Per Game: 28.3
Combined Win Shares: 17.4
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 11.4
Combined VORP: 9.6

Oklahoma City’s ranking among opposing backcourts is a huge validation of just how transcendent Russell Westbrook was throughout the latest campaign. Andre Roberson is perhaps a bit underrated as a plus defender, but he made just 31.1 percent of his threes and averaged 4.8 points per game over the course of 70 starts.

Make no mistake, 99 percent of the credit here goes to Westbrook. He amassed 18 triple-doubles, ranked No. 2 in assists, No. 8 in scoring and No. 5 in steals. Though Kevin Durant is the only Thunder player with an MVP trophy on his mantle, Westbrook proved himself as the team MVP for 2015-16.

#1. Golden State Warriors: Steph Curry and Klay Thompson

Backcourt Score: 90
Combined Points Per Game: 52.2
Combined Win Shares: 25.9
Combined Box Plus/Minus: 13.1
Combined VORP: 11.6

Who else but the Splash Brothers would chime in at No. 1?

Stephen Curry put together arguably the best MVP season of all time, and Klay Thompson held his own by splashing a plethora of quick-fire treys.

Interestingly, though, Thompson actually finished 2015-16 with a -2.2 defensive box plus/minus (the worst mark since his rookie year). Though Thompson has garnered a reputation as a solid defender who uses his height to disrupt opponents, he’s never graded out positively by that metric, and his mark this year was tied with Damian Lillard and others for 30th worst among players who played at least 50 games. Perhaps Klay is a bit overrated defensively, but this duo remains the best backcourt in basketball by a comfortable margin regardless.

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