10 Best Lineups in the NBA So Far This Season

By Zack
March 4, 2015 1:25 pm Last Updated: March 4, 2015 1:25 pm

The Cleveland Cavaliers strong play lately has been mostly due to their acquisitions at the trade deadline, with their current starting lineup featuring J.R. Smith and Timofey Mozgov outscoring opponents by 26.9 points per 100 possessions.

Other lineups around the league have also been enormously successful, though not always culminating in a great record due to injuries.

Check out the top lineups in the league so far this season below, with a minimum of 249 minutes played together.

Cavaliers — Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov

Despite incorporating two new players into the starting lineup, the Cavs have reeled off 19 wins in their last 23 games.

Minutes Played: 269
Offensive Rating: 118.2
Defensive Rating: 91.3
Net Rating (Point differential per 100 possessions): 26.9

Warriors — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut

Golden State has the second-best record in the league, due in large part to a stellar starting lineup.

Minutes Played: 583
Offensive Rating: 113.7
Defensive Rating: 95.3
Net Rating: 18.4

Kings — Darren Collison, Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins

Sacramento fell out of playoff contention early despite fielding a strong starting lineup, mostly due to injuries and a weak bench.

Minutes Played: 427
Offensive Rating: 108.1
Defensive Rating: 91.8
Net Rating: 16.4

Clippers — Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Matt Barnes, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan

Already punishing opposing teams, this offensive-minded starting five could be even better thanks to Jordan’s explosion while Griffin’s been out.

Minutes Played: 880
Offensive Rating: 117.2
Defensive Rating: 101.1
Net Rating: 16.1

Thunder — Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams

Injuries have prevented this lineup from seeing much time so far this season, but Oklahoma City could easily beat whichever team they face in the playoffs.

Minutes Played: 249
Offensive Rating: 109.8
Defensive Rating: 96.4
Net Rating: 13.4

From left, Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Andre Roberson and Perry Jones watch from the bench in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball pre-season game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
From left, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Andre Roberson and Perry Jones watch from the bench in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball pre-season game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

 

Mavericks — Jameer Nelson, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler

This is the first lineup above the minimum where one of the players has been traded. Unfortunately for Dallas, they haven’t quite captured the same magic with Rajon Rondo in place of Nelson, though several lineups with smaller sample sizes–such as J.J. Barea in place of Nelson–have done well. 

Minutes Played: 254
Offensive Rating: 116.4
Defensive Rating: 103.6
Net Rating: 12.9

Rockets — Patrick Beverley, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Donatas Motiejunas, Dwight Howard

Houston hopes to see everyone healthy for the playoffs, with Howard missing much of the season with injuries.

Minutes Played: 360
Offensive Rating: 108.1
Defensive Rating: 96.7
Net Rating: 11.5

Blazers — Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews, LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez

Another Western Conference starting lineup, and despite Batum’s struggles this season.

Minutes Played: 597
Offensive Rating: 109.3
Defensive Rating: 97.8
Net Rating: 11.5

Wizards — John Wall, Bradley Beal, Paul Pierce, Nene, Marcin Gortat

Washington hasn’t been the same since the first part of the season, but the starting lineup has been pretty good when healthy.

Minutes Played: 425
Offensive Rating: 108.8
Defensive Rating: 98.6
Net Rating: 10.2

Hawks — Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap, Al Horford

The vaunted lineup that led to four All-Star selections has helped Atlanta snag the top seed in the East, and be the first team in the league to lock up a playoff spot.

Minutes Played: 756
Offensive Rating: 110.6
Defensive Rating: 100.5
Net Rating: 10.1