DALLAS -- The most dominant Big 3 in recent seasons, to no surprise, belongs to the Boston Celtics. Since Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joined Paul Pierce in Beantown, the trio has led Boston to a championship and a second NBA Finals appearance in three seasons.
They continue to be an unwavering force, ranking as the league's top three-man combination so far this season. On their heels is the most ballyhooed Big 3 assembled since the Boston bunch. Riding a 12-game win streak, the Miami Heat's trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh now rank as the NBA's second-best threesome.
Rankings are best measured on plus-minus rating, meaning how many points the trios outscore or are outscored by their opponents when on the floor together. According to ESPN Stats and Information, The Celtics' Big 3 is a plus-229. Miami's, after Saturday's fourth-quarter comeback at Washington, is a plus-217. They're a plus-150 during the win streak, and Saturday's nailbiter pushed another Big 3 into third place.
Any guesses which trio that is?
Chandler averages only 8.6 points, but it's the job he's done at the other end of the floor that's made a significant impact.
To that end, Nowitzki paid Chandler yet another high compliment after Sunday's practice, just before the Mavs were set to fly to Miami for a rematch with the streaking Heat on Monday night.
"It’s almost like when K.G. went to Boston," Nowitzki said of Chandler's arrival. "I don’t think Ray or Paul Pierce were great defenders before K.G. got there, but K.G., with his energy, his defense and his mentality and his high-octane self, he kind of changed the whole momentum on the defense. I think that’s what Tyson did here just with his overall willingness to defend. He talks out there, always a loud communicator, pushing everybody in the right spots. I think that’s what Tyson brings to our team."