5 Best Starting Fives Ever

Every year we say that the Golden State Warriors have the greatest team of all-time and then they somehow improve their roster.

Golden State built their initial core through the draft. In 2009, they selected Steph Curry seventh overall, then in 2011 Klay Thompson was selected 11th, and in 2012 Draymond Green was picked 35th. This was the start of something special.

It all started in 2015 when they won the championship over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The next year they won 73 games, but came up just short of another ring. All Joe Lacob and Bob Myers did was add the second best player in Kevin Durant. To make matters better or worse, depending on who’s side you are on, they recently went out and signed arguably the best center in DeMarcus Cousins.

The 1996 Chicago Bulls, who went 72-10 and won a championship while only losing three times in the playoffs, are widely considered the best team of all-time. People can make up matchups all day, the Dubs are simply better.

Here are the best starting fives, that won it all, of all-time:

Honorable Mentions:

  • 2011-12 Miami Heat
  • 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2007-2008 Boston Celtics

5. 2003-04 Detroit Pistons

PG- Chauncey Billups
SG- Richard Hamilton
SF- Tayshaun Prince
PF- Rasheed Wallace
C- Ben Wallace

One of the stingiest defenses that the NBA has ever seen. If you scored 90 on them, you were on another level offensively. This team had the biggest upset in NBA Finals history when they beat the Los Angeles Lakers “super team” led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. They did it without a clear superstar on the team, which is unusual for championship team.

4. 1964-65 Boston Celtics

PG- K.C. Jones
SG- Sam Jones
SF- John Havlicek
PF- Satch Sanders
C- Bill Russell

The C’s were led by the dynamic trio of legendary Bill Russell (averaged 24.1 rebounds), Sam Jones (team-high 25.9 points), and John Havlicek (averaged 18.3 points). The Celtics finished the regular season with a 62-18 record—their record was not only the best in the league, but also the best in the team’s history, up to that point. No matter the team they found a way to win and they did it by dominating defensively. They had won every title in the decade up to that point.

3. 1985-86 Boston Celtics

PG- Danny Angie
SG-Dennis Johnson
SF-Larry Bird
PF- Kevin McHale
C- Robert Parish

This team was so good and that is an understatement. That year the Celtics cruised through the regular season as Bird was the league MVP for the third straight year. This is a feat that only two other stars had accomplished in NBA history (Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain being the only other two players to do so). The Celtics posted a 67-15 record, including a 40-1 record at home. During the playoffs, the starting five all averaged no less than 15 points a game each series. Each of the starters, except for Ainge, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame. This team dominated you inside with McHale and Parish, outside with Ainge and Johnson, and everywhere with Bird.

2. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls

PG- Ron Harper
SG- Michael Jordan
SF- Scottie Pippen
PF- Dennis Rodman
C- Toni Kukoc

The Bulls were 39-2 at home during the regular season, 10-0 at home during the playoffs, closed out opponents by an average of 12.8 points in the playoffs, and sported a 10.6 average scoring margin throughout the postseason. This team had arguably two top 20 players in Jordan and Pippen and one of the greatest rebounders and defenders in Rodman. These players could not only score, but would use their physicality and, at the time, set the NBA record of wins in the regular season (72). Teams could use any five they wanted, but they could not out muscle or out run Chicago.

1. 2018-19 Golden State Warriors

PG- Steph Curry
SG- Klay Thompson
SF- Kevin Durant
PF- Draymond Green
C- DeMarcus Cousins.

The first title (2015) and the 73-9 record (2016) came with Harrison Barnes. The second and third title came with KD. The future fourth title will include Boogie, there has not been a team, previously mentioned, that is talented as this roster other than the 85-86 Celtics. This starting five includes a Defensive Player of the Year (Green), two MVPs ( Curry and KD), and one of the purest scorers ever (Thompson). This is a team you would put together on 2k.

I have to point out that this was who had the best starting fives and not teams because every 10 years or so a new team emerges and dominates like none other. The starting fives show how when the game is tipped off and the game is on the line these five players could not be matched up against any other five. The Warriors have a cheat code as they keep recreating the best starting five.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Roger says:

    What a terrible article.

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