Power Ranking the Lakers' Starting Lineup with the West's Best
The Los Angeles Lakers have had one of the best starting lineups in the NBA over the past decade. While it is a bit past its prime, it is still among the best in the Western Conference. But where does it rank?
Here's how the best lineups in the Western Conference rank, including the Lakers.
7. Denver Nuggets
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Ty Lawson, Aaron Afflalo, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee
The Denver Nuggets' starting lineup is low on star-power, but it is still one of the best in the Western Conference. Why? Because it is so balanced.
The Nuggets have many guys chipping in, averaging over 10 points per game. Bench players Wilson Chandler and Andre Miller are also putting up double digits in points.
6. Dallas Mavericks
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Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki and Ian Mahinmi
The Mavericks' starting lineup is thought of as over-the-hill, but experience pays off when it comes to winning. Any lineup that can boast sure-fire Hall of Famers in Kidd and Nowitzki is one of the best in the game.
When you add guys like Carter and Marion to the mix, it gets even more ridiculous. Plus, Jason Terry plays starter's minutes. So that makes them even better.
5. Los Angeles Clippers
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Chris Paul, Randy Foye, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan
Obviously this lineup is highlighted by the presence of Griffin and Paul. However, Butler is a big time player who can still pack a scoring punch even though he may be past his prime.
Jordan and Foye both help on the defense end, making the Clips' starters balanced. This group is talented and will get even better as they play together more and more.
San Antonio Spurs
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Tony Parker, Daniel Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair
One of the biggest reasons the Spurs are one of the best teams in the NBA is their depth. However, that doesn't really help them in this conversation.
The Spurs do have a very good starting lineup. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are future Hall of Famers. Green, Leonard and Blair are all solid young players. Manu Ginobili adds another future Hall of Famer if he returns to the starting lineup.
3. Memphis Grizzlies
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Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol
The Grizzlies might be a surprise this high on the list, but it is a spot they deserve.
Randolph and Gasol are the best offensive frontcourt duo in the game. Conley is a solid point guard, Allen is one of the best perimeter defenders in the game and Gay is a top-notch scorer.
This lineup has everything it needs to be one of the best.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
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Ramon Sessions, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum
Bryant, Gasol and Bynum are one of the best trios in the NBA. Their collective presence alone makes the Lakers' starting lineup among the best.
The addition of Sessions this season answered a big need for the Lakers, and World Peace is formerly one of the best defenders in the league. He's just alright now.
This is where the Lakers ranked, but who was the team to edge them for the top spot?
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
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Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins
You know you have one of the best starting lineups in the league when, not one, but two of your starters are in the MVP conversation. Durant and Westbrook are both among the elite players in the league.
Sefolosha's defense is invaluable on the perimeter, and Ibaka and Perkins protect the rim as good as any duo in the NBA.
This lineup is the best because it fits together seamlessly. Each player has a purpose, and those purposes form a unit that is nearly unstoppable.