If you’re not getting stops, the least you can do is at least outscore your opponents, or else there’s just no way in hell you’re able to win much basketball games, let alone make the playoffs.
When building a Championship contending squad, the fit is one of the most important things. You need to put together pieces that could actually work well next to each other, or else it would be just like finding 4 guys at your local YMCA to try and win some pickup games.
Chemistry is also a major part of success at basketball, and even though it’s something that takes time to develop, sometimes it just never happens. Today, we’re going to talk about it, as we show you the league’s top 10 worst starting lineups.
10. Orlando Magic
DJ Augustin, Evan Fournier, Jonathan Isaac, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic – 68.0 PPG
If you consider the fact that the Orlando Magic don’t have a true playmaker running the point, it wouldn’t surprise you to see them struggling getting much going in the offensive end of the hardwood.
Also, Jonathan Isaac’s offense is not quite there with his defense yet, and Aaron Gordon has massively regressed this year. Take away Nikola Vucevic, and they don’t have a truly consistent scorer.
9. Charlotte Hornets
Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller – 67.6 PPG
The Charlotte Hornets are pretty much Kemba Walker playing with a bunch of guys that can’t shoot. So, naturally, some offensive issues are to be expected with this kind of personnel on the floor.
Walker is playing the best ball of his career but he’s just not getting enough support from his teammates. Other than Lamb and Kemba, none of their starters can create his own shot or shoot off the dribble.
8. Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young, Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, John Collins, Dewayne Dedmon – 67.2 PPG
I’m all in for Trae Young and John Collins pick and roll offense, but other than that, this team is ways away from finding any kind of offensive rhythm whatsoever, partly because of Young’s adapting period to the NBA.
Bazemore is a solid 3 and D player but not a consistent scorer, Taurean kind of hit a wall following a breakout year, and Dedmon is not out there to shoot the rock. Collins is a beast in the making, though.
7. Chicago Bulls
Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Chandler Hutchinson, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr – 67.1 PPG
Partially thanks to Hoiberg and Boylen, the Chicago Bulls are one of the most misused teams in the NBA right now. They have a lot of talent and the kind of squad that could and should push the pace but seems reluctant to do so.
Dunn and LaVine perfectly fit next to each other. One’s a great scorer and the other a top-notch stopper. Markkanen should be fed down lore more often, while Boylen took all of Carter’s offensive confidence away.
6. Memphis Grizzlies
Mike Conley, Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr, Marc Gasol – 65.6 PPG
The Memphis Grizzlies have built a defensive identity. They’re the league’s grit and grind team, hard-nosed defenders that will try and slow down the pace to prevent you from having a lot of possessions.
Even so, the lack of a true scorer have haunted them for years in the playoffs, and that has been the case again this season. Other than Conley, none of those players can shoot off the dribble or consistently hit three-pointers.
5. Brooklyn Nets
D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, Joe Harris, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Jarrett Allen – 64.6 PPG
Even despite having one of the worst starting units in the league, the Brooklyn Nets can mess around and find their way to the playoffs because of their strong bench and D’Angelo Russell’s stellar play.
Jarrett Allen is slowly, yet steadily establishing himself as a top-tier rim protector in this league, but his offense is still ways away. Other than Russell and Dinwiddie off the bench, they don’t have a true scorer.
4. New York Knicks
Emmanuel Mudiay, Tim Hardaway Jr, Kevin Knox, Noah Vonleh, Mitchel Robinson – 63.7 PPG
The New York Knicks are one of the most boring offenses the league has seen in ages. I mean, they’re obviously tanking, but still, there’s just nothing good to say about David Fizdale’s impact other than Mudiay’s resurge.
Kevin Knox may be in for a breakout following the All-Star break after a slow start of his career and Mitchell Robinson brings a lot of energy on the defensive end, but he’s a total non-factor in the other side of the court.
3. Los Angeles Clippers
Shail-Gilgeous Alexander, Avery Bradey, Tobias Harris, Danilo Gallinari, Marcin Gortat – 62.6 PPG
Avery Bradley is having arguably the worst year of his career, Gallinari is yet to be hurt but is just a matter of time until that happens, and Harris has played on an All-Star level. As for Gortat and Shail, they haven’t been useful in the offensive end of the hardwood.
Still, the Los Angeles Clippers are going to make the playoffs thanks to the way Doc Rivers has balanced its squad. While their starters aren’t getting much going in the offensive end of the floor, Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams have been studs off the bench.
2. Miami Heat
Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside – 62.4 PPG
When you take a look at the Heat’s personnel, there’s no wonder why they’ve been so terrible to start the season, especially with Gorin Dragic in the shelf with an injury and Justise Winslow running the point for stretches.
Other than Richardson, who’s stepped up big time and is a prime MIP candidate, this team features no true-scorers, at least in their first unit. If they can’t get stops, which is most of the time, they won’t be able to win many games.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Collin Sexton, Alex Burks, Rodney Hood, Cedi Osman, Tristan Thompson – 58.6 PPG
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the worst team in the NBA and is not even close. I mean, this team is obviously tanking, but they wouldn’t be able to win many games if they tried with the roster they have anyways.
Sexton is yet to develop a consistent jump shot and Burks and Hood have proven the Jazz right for trading them away, striking out despite having the team’s offense flow through them. As for Osman and Thompson, there’s not much to say.