Best Sub 7-Feet Tall Twin Towers in Basketball History

2
7

In pro basketball the term “twin towers” conjures up images of two hulking behemoths, typically in the seven feet range, who dominate the sport in the most elemental way possible – sheer, physical superiority. Olajuwon and Sampson, along with Duncan and Robinson, are likely the most famous examples.

But there have also been a few devastating combos in which both big men are under seven feet. Most recently, the best example is Rasheed and Ben Wallace, who formed the defensive backbone of the elite Detroit Piston teams of the mid 2000s.

In the mid South, it’s hard to avoid thinking about Michael Cage and Keith Lee, the cornerstones of a West Memphis High team* which won an Arkansas-record 60 straight games.

We’ll never know how Cage and Lee would have fared together at the NBA level  since bad knees caused Lee’s career to end prematurely. Had Lee stayed healthy, and teamed with Cage, they might have joined the list below.

Sport’s is all about winning, and players get their all-time cred from performances in the postseason. so I’ve focused on how the twin tower combo performed in the playoffs. The stats  you find are per-game averages  from the combo’s most dominant postseason.

 Rasheed Wallace (6’11”) & Ben Wallace (6’9″)

Detroit Pistons

Played in 23 playoff games in 2003-04; won NBA title

                   PPG  RPG  BPG APG  SPG  TOG (turnovers per game)

Rasheed 13.0   7.8    2.0   1.6   0.6    1.9

Ben           10.3 14.3    2.4   1.9   1.9    1.6

Total        23.3  22.1   4.4   3.5   2.5    3.5

Win Shares/48 minutes

Rasheed  .135

Ben           .186

True Shooting Percentage %

Rasheed 47.9%

Ben           46.0%

Player Efficiency Rating*

Rasheed 15.3

Ben 18.6

*all statistics from basketball-reference.com

Moses Malone (6’10”) and Charles Barkley (6’4″)

Philadelphia 76ers

Played in 13 playoff games in 1984-85; Lost in Eastern Conference Finals 4-1 to Boston

PPG    RPG    BPG   APG    SPG    TOG (turnovers per game)

Malone    20.2   10.6   1.7     1.8      1.3       1.8

Barkley    14.9    11.1    1.2    2.0      1.8       2.7

Total         35.1    21.7   2.9    3.8      3.1       4.5

Win Shares/48 minutes

Malone  .160

Barkley  .170

True Shooting Percentage %

Malone  50.9%

Barkley  58.2%

Player Efficiency Rating

Malone  18.0

Barkley 19.6

Bill Walton (6’11”) and Maurice Lucas (6’9″)

Portland Trailblazers

Played 19 games in 1976-77, won in NBA Finals

                PPG    RPG   BPG   APG   SPG   TOG

Walton  18.2   15.2   3.4     5.5     1.1   N/A

Lucas     21.2    9.9    1.2      4.2      1.5   N/A

Total       39.4   25.1  4.6    9.7     2.6

Elvin Hayes (6’9″) and Wes Unseld (6’7″)

Washington Bullets

Played in 17 games in 1974-75, lost in NBA Finals

                  PPG     RPG      BPG     APG    SPG    TOG

Hayes     25.5     10.9     2.3       2.2       1.5      N/A

Unseld   10.7     16.2     1.2        3.8       0.9     N/A

Total       36.2     27.1     3.5       6.0       2.4

Win Shares/48 Minutes

Hayes .162

Unseld .138

True Shooting %

Hayes 50.7%

Unseld 58.0%

Player Efficiency Rating

Hayes 18.8

Unseld 15.0

George McGinnis (6’8″) and Mel Daniels (6’9″) 

Indiana Pacers

Played in 18 playoff games 1972-73, won ABA title

PPG      RPG      BPG      APG    SPG    TOG

McGinnis   23.9     12.3     N/A      2.2     N/A    3.4

Daniels       15.9      13.8     N/A      2.2     N/A    2.2

Total            39.8     26.1                     4.4                 5.6

Win Shares/48 minutes

McGinnis .157

Daniels      .176

True Shooting Percentage %

McGinnis  51.0%

Daniels  52.3%

Player Efficiency Rating

McGinnis  21.7

Daniels      20.5

 Bob Pettit (6’9″) and Ed Macauley(6’8″)

St. Louis Hawks

Played 10 playoff games in 1956-57, lost NBA Finals 4-3 to Boston Celtics

PPG     RPG   BPG   APG     SPG    TOG

Pettit             29.8    16.8  N/A    2.5      N/A    N/A

Maccauley  14.2      6.2   N/A    2.2      N/A    N/A

Total:             44.0    23.0              4.7

Ed Dancker (6’7″) and Mike Novak (6’9″)

Sheboygan Redskins

In the  1945-46 postseason, Novak played in 7 games and Dancker played in 8 games. Sheboygan lost the NBL Championship 3-0 to Rochester.

Points Per Game (only scoring stats available)

Dancker 12.0

Novak      8.1

(n.b. These guys’ numbers won’t bowl anybody over, but they appear to be the most renowned “twin towers” tandem from the first half century of the game’s existence.)

 

* Michael Cage, who stood 6’9″,  went on to become one of the NBA’s top rebounders in the mid 1980s. The 6’10” Keith Lee was a a three-time All-American for the University of Memphis. Both players were Top 14 picks in the NBA Draft. Nationally, is there a better big man combo at the high school level?

Facebook Comments

2 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here