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 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, Ivica Zubac starts for the Clippers 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.
You might be wondering why a player listed traditionally as a small forward is projected to play point guard. Or why a power forward is projected to play center. That is because most of the players now can play multiple positions. We have seen a lot of names take over different tasks within the starting lineup. Teams will roll out smaller lineups, or decide to start big depending on who they are playing that night. LeBron James is a notable name because he can play quite a few different positions, and has been able to take over the point guard role. It just has a lot to do with the way the NBA is evolving. We might be looking in the future at a lineup that is not as specific as far as what a power forward or shooting guard is. It might be viewed as just three guards and two forwards, or three forwards and two guards.
How to Use Starting Lineups in Daily Fantasy Basketball
Daily fantasy basketball is one of the bigger sports behind football, and while it is a wildly fun fantasy game to play, it comes with some frustrations as well. Getting accurate lineup news and dealing with high variance injury reporting can lead to tough nights. The projected lineup page will give you the current day’s games, and the projected lineups up until they are confirmed. A red x mark will mean projected, and then it will turn to a green checkmark once it is confirmed. Confirmations on lineups can be from anywhere as hours before a game or up until just a few minutes before. It is frustrating, but it is something out of our control.
Alongside the projected and confirmed lineups, you can find DraftKings and FanDuel salaries, as well as our projections for each site. This gives you a quick glimpse at what their projected fantasy outcome will be. It is a great starting point before diving in, or if you are building lineups on the fly just before contests lock, it is a good source of updated lineups and projections. Because things change throughout the day, so do our projections. For example, if a backup center is now going to start for the regular starter that is now injured, projections will shift to other players and the new starter.
Transitioning Into A Position-Less Era Of Basketball
The history of the NBA has always been debated by era, whether that has been which era was the best, or would a team/player be able to compete in the new era. Generally we have always looked at the NBA as a two-guard, two forward, and one center system. This is generally what it has always been, but over the last decade the pace of play and styles of athletes have changed. We have seen an influx of three-point shooting, players who can play multiple positions, and guys that you would call hybrid players. Positions tended to be handed to those of a certain height and athleticism. Smaller players would be moved to guard, while larger athletic players would play forward. If you were tall, center was often where you were stuck. That is all changing now.
Why has this changed? There have been numerous reasons why basketball has evolved into what it is now. Analytics have become extremely popular around teams coaching staff and scouting teams. Using more pick and roll matchups and three-pointers in your offense is an efficient way to run. The pace of play has picked up greatly over the last decade, and that requires running with a team of quicker players. Ball movement has been on the rise, and isolation plays are way down. The game is less physical as well.
Houston and Golden State have been leading the way over the last few seasons, rolling out non-traditional starting fives. The Warriors have used an undersized Draymond Green at center, and have spaced the floor with extreme shooters and ball-movers. Houston’s GM, Daryl Morey, has always tried to be one step ahead of the league. His three-point heavy offense has sparked a change in how other teams operate. Morey has already started the trend of going complete small ball and that could be something that continues. A combination of guards and forwards is already more popular, and a three-guard offense could be the new norm.
Best Starting Lineups Of The Last 20 Years
We have seen a lot of great lineups over the last 20 years, with Golden State’s dominance to the big three in Miami. A lot of teams did an excellent job meshing the end of Hall of Famers' careers with current and upcoming talent. We saw that in Phoenix during the 2008-09 season. Steve Nash was a bit older and his MVP days were behind him, but he had averaged 15 points and nine assists that season. Jason Richardson and Grant Hill were still productive, but this was all about the frontcourt. Amar’e Stoudemire averaged 21 points and eight rebounds that season. Shaquille O’Neal didn’t play in Phoenix much but averaged 17 and 8 while he was there. Sadly it was another disappointing end to a strong Suns season.
Miami’s big three featured three of the strongest players in the NBA at the time. Dwayne Wade was in the midst of his prime, and LeBron James was producing unreal numbers. When Chris Bosh is your third-best option, you know you have a very good lineup. While the rest of the lineup was not very good, the big three was more than enough to bring a few titles to Miami. San Antonio in the early 2000s put together a strong mix of veterans and young talent. David Robinson and Tim Duncan lining up next to each other as Robinson passed the torch was special, and then you had Bruce Bowen’s three-point and defensive game. The backcourt of Tony Parker and Stephen Jackson was a bit underrated.
Boston’s big three formed and took home a rung with Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Kendrick Perkins. They were superb on the defense, and Pierce dropped 19-5-4 on average that season. Garnett was posting his usual numbers, and Allen is of course one of the best shooters in history. A couple of Lakers teams are in the mix, as you have the starting lineups with Andrew Bynum when he was producing strong numbers, and then Pau Gasol with Kobe Bryant. In the early 2000s, the prime Shaq and Kobe years with a mix of future Hall of Famers, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone were still worthwhile.
A starting lineup with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green has to go down as one of the best of all time, and easily over the last two decades. The offensive movement was superb, and the shooting was on another level. They were also an incredible defensive team.
NBA Starting Lineups Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Starting Lineup In NBA?
An NBA starting lineup is composed of five players, usually going with a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center. These positions make up a standard starting lineup that a team will decide before a game tips off.
Who Has The Best Starting 5 In The NBA?
The Milwaukee Bucks have the best starting five when you factor in both offense and defense as a whole. It starts with Giannis Antetokounmpo, but they also have names like Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton on their team. They are one of the most efficient starting fives in basketball this season.
What Is The Best Starting Lineup In NBA History?
The 1986-87 Boston Celtics had several legends on their team, starting with Larry The Legend. Adding in Robert Parish and Kevin McHale who dominated the glass and opposing defenses gave them an edge. The backcourt was led by Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge, who both produced over five assists per game that season.
Who Has The Best Bench Players In The NBA?
The Los Angeles Clippers have the best bench in basketball, and that is easy when it starts with one of the best sixth men in NBA history. You also have Montrezl Harrell off the bench, but the signings of Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson have really given this team an upgrade.
What Are The Positions In Basketball?
Positions in basketball still start with a point guard and shooting guard in the backcourt. A shooting guard is a secondary scoring option at times, while the point guard is generally the primary ball-handler. A small forward or wing player is used for spacing, while power forward and center play closer into the basket.
Who Is The Best Team In 2020?
The Bucks dominance in the league makes them the best team in 2020. They have the reigning MVP of the league, but have surrounded him with strong options. Milwaukee is on pace for one of the best average margin of victories of all-time, and are top five in offensive and defensive efficiency.
How Often Do NBA Starting Lineups Change?
Starting lineups can change from a few times a week to not changing for a month. However, the NBA is always dealing with rotational changes, injuries, and also trying to matchup best with an opponent. Therefor these lineups will change quite often.