When it comes to sports, it shouldn’t be a surprise that some teams are better than others. Nonetheless, building a winning squad takes way more than just money, it takes hard work, effort and a lot of time.
Some teams thrive off their winning culture and the cities they play in, as all players want to play for a big market and become a local icon to see their jersey hanging high in the rafters until the end of time.
Naturally, those kinds of the team have a major advantage over their rivals and things become kind of cyclic. Everybody wants to play for the winners, so they just keep on adding talent. That’s why today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 starting fives in the NBA.
Dallas Mavericks: Dennis Smith Jr, Luka Doncic, Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki, DeAndre Jordan
10. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeff Teague, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson, Karl-Anthony Towns
This team is likely to change any minute now, as Jimmy Butler has reportedly demanded to be traded due to a personal feud with Karl-Anthony Towns, while Kevin Garnett suggested Thibodeau should actually start Derrick Rose, as advanced data pointed out that he was better off with the starters.
Nonetheless, at least talent-wise, this is the kind of team that could compete for a Championship if they weren’t such big chokers. Wiggins has a lot of upsides but needs to put some hard work, Gibson is an outstanding defender, Butler a two-way stud, and KAT one of the most talented big men in the world.
9. Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Moe Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jusuf Nurkic
The Portland Trail Blazers may not be Championship contenders at all (sorry, CJ McCollum), but even though, they feature a heavily balanced and strong first unit that has the perfect amount of scoring to go along with nice wing stoppers in Harkless and Aminu.
Their big three may not be the most prolific, but both Lillard and McCollum create one of the most explosive backcourt combos in the world, while Nurkic is a physical presence down low that won’t be bullied around. Even so, they need to share touches instead of just playing iso.
8. Milwaukee Bucks: Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez
The Milwaukee Bucks feature one of the most promising young starting fives in the world, mostly led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, a young man that’s bound to win an MVP award any time soon, and that could become the best player in the world if he developed a consistent jumper.
Next to him, Middleton is the perfect complement, a 3 and D wing that could play as the 2 and all the way to the 4. Bledsoe is a strong, athletic and fast point guard, and Brook Lopez is a proven veteran that can score in bunches.
7. Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid
The Philadelphia 76ers aren’t ranked higher on this list because of their youth and nothing else, as this team looks like a dynasty in the making and one of the strongest surging forces in the Eastern Conference for many, many years to come, especially now that LeBron James has left the Conference.
Ben Simmons is already one of the craftiest passers in the history of the game, JJ Redick is one of the most consistent three-point shooters in the league, while Robert Covington is a top-tier 3 and D wing and Dario Saric can do a little bit of everything. Add the most talented two-way big man in the league (yes, I said it), and you’ve got yourself a very promising squad.
6. San Antonio Spurs: DeJounte Murray, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol
The San Antonio Spurs may not have Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili or Kawhi Leonard anymore, but with Gregg Popovich on command, they’re always going to be Championship contenders, especially with an angry DeMar DeRozan keen to prove the Raptors wrong and take a step forward.
If healthy, Rudy Gay can provide a top-notch 3 and D expertise while LaMarcus Aldridge is finally going to have some help carrying the offensive load of the team. Gasol isn’t as prolific as he used to be, but he still has a lot left on the tank, and DeJounte Murray has proven that he can guard 1 through 5 with ease due to his length.
5. Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas
The Toronto Raptors are the team that always looks as if they were about to take a step forward and then finds a way to let us down. Nonetheless, they’ve added a lot of firepowers now in a couple of two-way studs, Danny Green and of course, Kawhi Leonard, the best defender on earth.
Whether if Kawhi will be as dominant as he was prior to suffering that injury is still to be determined, but this team looks like a major contender in the East, at least on the paper, mostly because they also feature one of the strongest second units in the league.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Paul George, Jerami Grant, Steven Adams
Ironically, Carmelo Anthony’s departure has made the Oklahoma City Thunder look like a much better team entering this season, as Jerami Grant could actually contribute in the defensive end of the floor while not taking away shots from a couple of ball-dominant players like Westbrook and Paul George.
Andre Roberson may not give you anything in the offensive end of the floor, but his a Tony Allen kind of defender that really help hides most of Westbrook’s defensive flaws. Also, Steven Adams has made great strides to improve his overall offensive game, while still being a top-tier rim protector whose impact does not reflect on the stat sheet.
3. Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford
If it wasn’t for the Golden State Warriors, the Boston Celtics could flat out win the NBA Championship with ease. They’re stacked with 4 of the best young players in the league in Irving, Brown, Tatum and Hayward to go along with a hardworking and versatile big man of the likes of Al Horford.
If that wasn’t enough, they have Brad Stevens to lead the way, a guy that has always found a way to make this team a contender regardless of their roster, while also having quite a strong second unit featuring Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Daniel Theis and Aron Baynes.
2. Houston Rockets: Chris Paul, James Harden, James Ennis, Carmelo Anthony, Clint Capela
Sadly, Carmelo Anthony’s arrival actually hurt the Houston Rockets’ Championship odds in several casinos, but we still believe that a team with 3 All-stars and one of the best defensive big men in the world is worthy of Championship considerations, regardless of how poorly Melo played the last season.
The Rockets feature the reigning MVP in James Harden, who’s playing the best basketball of his career and looks like finally wants to play some defense. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the world when healthy, while Capela has quietly surged as one of the league’s top-notch defensive big men.
1. Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins
And obviously, the best starting five in the world has to be one of the teams that feature 5 All-Stars. The Warriors aren’t fair and they’re not even fun to watch anymore, as we feel as if they just kind of broke the league.
Still, this kind of NBA 2K squad is something history books will always talk about, as they feature the greatest shooter in the history of the game, one of the best pure shooters and backcourt defenders of the decade, a 7 footer that’s offensively skilled as a guard, a tweener PF that can play and guard 1 through 5, and one of the most offensively talented big men of his generation. That’s just not fair.