Depth means a lot if you want to succeed in the modern NBA, as even though obviously the 5 starters you have on the court play a crucial part of your strategy, you need guys able to maintain your leads and even get you back in the game.
The starting 5 of any NBA team has to be balanced and feature both a lot of firepower and defense if franchises intend to contend and make a run at the playoffs, and obviously some of the team's rosters are way more balanced and talented than others.
Either for lousy veterans inexperienced rookies or just because players never live up to their potential, having a mediocre starting 5 is pretty much a synonym of having a terrible record throughout the regular season.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the worst 5 starting lineups in today’s NBA, so you don’t have much expectations with them looking up ahead of this upcoming season that’s on the verge of starting.
5. New York Knicks
Ramon Sessions, Tim Hardaway Jr, Doug McDermott
Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez
The New York Knicks don’t have much to look forward to this upcoming campaign other than the development of some of their young stars like Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez and Frank Ntikilina, who’s supposed to start the year backing up veteran playmaker Ramon Sessions.
To replace Carmelo Anthony, it’ll be an open battle between Doug McDermott and Michael Beasley, while Tim Hardaway Jr looks like a much more better player than he was during his first Knicks stint. Still, poor defense and spacing are going to be a major issue for a team that at least has a lot of depth on their roster.
4. Orlando Magic
Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross
Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic
The Orlando Magic are bound for yet another mediocre season in the weak Eastern Conference this year, with their young players looking more and more like busts every day that goes by, and with what could might as well be Elfrid Payton’s and Aaron Gordon’s last chance to prove their worth.
The Magic’s starting center job will be also up for grabs, with Vucevic being the much better offensive option but also a huge defensive liability. Also, we expect standout rookie Jonathan Isaac to have a lot of runs, especially on the defensive end.
3. Brooklyn Nets
Jeremy Lin, D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Timofey Mozgov
Some people actually expect the new-look Brooklyn Nets to make a playoff push and shut their doubters mouth this season, but even though they made several interesting additions, it doesn’t seem to be nearly enough to compete even in that mediocre conference.
Hopefully, Lin can bounce back from an injury-plagued season while D’Angelo Russell will look for revenge after his failed Lakers stint. When it comes to the 3, perhaps DeMarre Carroll will be a better fit for defensive purposes while Crabbe leads the scoring in the second unit.
2. Atlanta Hawks
Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince
Ersan Ilyasova, Dewayne Dedmon
Without any kind of doubt, the Atlanta Hawks are one of the worst teams in the NBA right now and their future isn’t looking really bright, especially considering they don’t have enough young talent to try and build a legacy after a couple of campaigns.
Other than Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore seems to have the green light to shoot as many times as they can, while their frontcourt woes are going to be hurting them for a very long time. It’s going to be really hard to win over 20 games with this kind of roster.
1. Chicago Bulls
Kris Dunn, Justin Holiday, Zach LaVine
Nikola Mirotic, Robin Lopez
And by far the worst starting 5 in the NBA has to be the Chicago Bulls, although 2 of those aforementioned players are set to start the year on the sidelines while they recover from growing pains, and Mirotic might as well lose his starting gig in favor of Lauri Markkanen when their season goes down the toilet.
An injury-plagued roster with absolutely no balance whatsoever isn’t encouraging for the once almighty Chicago Bulls, that should only look forward to the upcoming NBA Draft and - barring a miracle - aren’t going to win more than 15 games.