The NBA finals are here and projected starting lineups are out. Lineups won't be Confirmed until the day of. We've seen the NBA Finals Odds come in and The Warriors are favored by only 1 point at FanDuel Sportsbook. It's as close as odds can possibly be. This has the makings of an epic series and Vegas certainly believes anything can happen. The top NBA rosters are battling it out in some epic games. Golden State has already clinched their spot out of the Western Conference, but with some casualties. Kevin Durant remains sidelines with a calf injury. Andre Iguodala also sat out last game. This left Alfonzo McKinnie starting, and would continue to do so if he misses time. Milwaukee and Toronto tend to bring the same starting lineup each night, but some options have not been successful. If they continue to struggle, starting lineup changes could be made on both sides. The one thing we can rely on is the stars playing monster minutes as both teams rely so heavily on them. Be sure to follow @nbastartlineups for on the minute lineup updates and confirmations.
Starting NBA lineups are one of the more important things to track, especially as players get more rest games. The injury reporting is one of the NBA’s biggest flaws, and often we don’t know the confirmed starting lineup until just a few minutes before, or even after tip-off. Our projected lineups give the best look as to what is likely going to be happen, but keeping tabs on news is still in your best interest. Because a player is in the starting lineup, it isn’t guaranteed for them to play 30+ minutes. For example, Arron Baynes starts for Boston on occasion, but will play close to 15-20 minutes.
With the fantasy basketball industry growing, knowing who is going to play has become very important. You don’t want to see a zero in your lineup, but often we have to take some risks due to that shoddy injury reporting. The lineups page will have projected starting lineups out until teams confirm their starting five. This is not a guarantee to happen before lineup lock, and sometimes teams will confirm up to five minutes before tipoff. With the offseason in the works, we talk about potential lineup changes and free agent moves for 2019-2020.
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Kevin Durant dodged a major injury, which would have really shaken up free agency in the offseason. Everything points towards Durant moving on from Golden State. The Knicks continue to be the team everyone links him to, especially with Kyrie Irving. The Warriors will turn back into the team that won a championship before, and they will have some money to bolster their depth and SF position. The Clippers are also in on Durant, but a few dark horse teams could come into the picture.
The Boston season came to a quick close, and Kyrie Irving is likely moving on from Boston. Both New York teams have been rumored, and both Los Angeles teams have been as well. Irving seems to come with some baggage, but his absence in Boston leaves a big gap to fill. Irving joining another team would mean a high usage point guard coming into play. Teams are starting to get more hesitant on Irving given his attitude since the season started. We could see Irving delaying this process for a while.
Kawhi Leonard showed off his worth in the playoffs and is looking healthy. The Clippers remain very much in play for Leonard, as they will look to land a premier free agent. Leonard would fit in a few places, as many teams need a top ten player at the forward position. Toronto will also try and re-sign Leonard, but there have been many rumors of him wanting to go to an LA team. Toronto could be on the verge of dropping off in the Eastern Conference, while the landing team would get a huge bump.
The 76ers went for it adding Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris via trade. Their season ended again, and now there are some major question marks. J.J. Redick is also a free agent. Still building around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, Philly has some decisions to make. We could see a completely different core around these players in 2019, and that means Harris and Butler moving to other teams will shake up their lineup. They have money to re-sign players, but they are not a lock to come back.
Kemba Walker will have his pick of the litter in free agency this year. It is unlikely he stays in Charlotte, meaning they would need someone to fill in there. Walker has a few options, and like most free agents, they will be linked to the Clippers and the Knicks. However, Dallas is a team that has money to spend, and a core of young players that need another piece. Utah is also a team desperate for another scoring option, and Walker would give them that. The Knicks and Clippers will be popular destinations, but a dark horse team like the Jazz or Indiana could easily grab him for their starting point guard role.