Ranking the Utah Jazz Big 3 among the NBA’s best trios

Utah Jazz (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Milwaukee Bucks Big 3: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton

Combined average 2020-21 PER: 22.4

The Bucks’ combined average 2020-21 PER, unsurprisingly, is lent a significant boost by the presence of Antetokoumpo. His 29.2 mark trailed only Joel Embiid across the Association. Still, the discrepancy between the former back-to-back  MVP and his running mates can easily be viewed as an advantage for this trio, as they enter every game with a clear pecking order.

Giannis is the supernova, a two-way, one-man demolition derby who is impossible to game plan for. Middleton is the ideal offensive compliment, a hyper-efficient shooting wing who flirts with 20 points per game on the vaunted 50/40/90 shooting split on a season-to-season basis. On the opposite end, Holiday is an ideal lockdown defender to pair with Giannis, the ultimate free safety.

All told, the synergy between this unit is virtually untouchable, and was a massive reason for their 2020-21 NBA championship. In comparison to the Utah Jazz, the one component the Bucks’ trio arguably lacks is the elite rim protection of Rudy Gobert. Nonetheless, Antetokoumpo provides an ample amount of that himself, and all told, his Defensive Box Plus/Minus (DBPM) narrowly outweighs Gobert’s, at 2.6 to 2.5.

Let’s not overthink this one: the Milwaukee Bucks have Giannis Antetokoumpo and just won the NBA championship. Their Big 3 deserves placement over the Utah Jazz’s, and has a strong case for #1.

However, if we take full health as a given, the NBA hosts another three-headed monster that is just too talented to ignore.