Can You Identify the NBA Team From Their 2019 Opening Night Starting Lineup?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: NBA

About This Quiz

In the first game of the regular season, teams are still trying to figure out which starting lineup works best for their success down the road. Even on rosters filled with talent, some players pair together better than others, which is why coaches are in a tough position when it comes to figuring out who should start a game together. 

Coming into opening night, these coaches know to put their elite players on the court because the NBA is built around star power. But what about the role players? How do they fit into that starting lineup? The first game of the season is often used to figure this problem out. Certain role players are better coming off the bench, providing a spark when the starters just aren't getting it done. Others might finish the game even if they aren't on the court for tip-off, as they can be trusted in critical situations that often arise in the fourth quarter. That's why opening night is a great time to see how players mesh together. 

How well do you know the players who were on the court for tip-off on opening night? Will you be able to match them to the team they played for? Get started to find out.

Which team revamped their roster in the offseason with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, Danny Green and Avery Bradley getting the start opening night?

The Los Angeles Lakers snatched up Anthony Davis in the 2019 offseason, but doing so required a major trade that saw the Lakers ship half their roster to New Orleans. To fill in their bench and starting lineup, the Lakers signed players like Avery Bradley, Danny Green and Dwight Howard.


In the first game of the season, Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Patterson, Ivica Zubac, Patrick Beverly and Landry Shamet showed why their defense was so highly touted while playing for what team?

The Los Angeles Clippers almost lost out on Kawhi Leonard when they couldn't find another superstar to pair with him. Realizing this, the Clippers traded for Paul George, who wasn't available opening night because of an injury.


Do you know which team hoped to return to the Finals with a starting lineup consisting of Glenn Robinson III, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, D'Angelo Russell and Stephen Curry?

Injuries derailed the Golden State Warriors championship hopes in the 2019 NBA Finals, as both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant went down. Durant departed in the offseason, and Thompson wasn't available to start the season, leaving Stephen Curry as the lone superstar on opening night.


Match this starting lineup to their Week 1 team: Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, Derrick Favors, J.J. Redick and Lonzo Ball?

With a little luck, the New Orleans Pelicans received the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. They selected Zion Williamson, but their No. 1 pick missed opening night with an injury, taking away some of the hype surrounding the Pelicans coming into the 2019-20 season.


On opening night, Pascal Siakam showed which team he was their future star while playing beside O.G. Anunoby, Marc Gasol, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet?

For many analysts, Pascal Siakam has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2019-20 season thus far. The praise for Siakam started on opening night when he scored 34 points and pulled down 18 rebounds.


Can you identify the team where Kemba Walker found a home alongside Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and Jaylen Brown?

Once they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Boston Celtics took a step back in 2019, as team chemistry became a major issue. Some of those problems were resolved when they signed Kemba Walker, a player known for his skill and leadership.


Who came into opening night with a starting lineup consisting of Domantas Sabonis, T.J. Warren, Myles Turner, Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb?

The Indiana Pacers made the playoffs four seasons in a row but haven't been able to make it out of the first round in those appearances. Adding Malcolm Brogdon was a huge deal for the team in the offseason, giving them more scoring opportunities, especially when Victor Oladipo returns.


Two former MVPs, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, were paired with P.J. Tucker, Danuel House and Clint Capela to complete what roster?

The Houston Rockets knew they needed to do something to mix it up after faltering again against the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA Playoffs. To accomplish their goals, the team shipped out Chris Paul and brought in Russell Westbrook (a younger, more athletic player) to add more versatility to their offense.


Where did Giannis Antetokounmpo start off the season with Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Wesley Matthews and Eric Bledsoe as a supporting cast?

Giannis Antetokounmpo realized his potential during the 2018-19 season, winning the NBA MVP for his stellar play. He picked up right where he left off on opening night, leading the Milwaukee Bucks to a victory by scoring 20 points, dishing out 11 assists and grabbing 13 rebounds.


Justice Winslow, Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard, Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn have made which team a pleasant surprise since getting the start opening night?

The main player missing from the Miami Heat on opening night was their new acquisition, Jimmy Butler. However, that didn't stop the Heat from getting a huge win over the Memphis Grizzlies by shooting 47 percent from the field.


Select the team where these players started to tip off the 2019-20 NBA season: Jae Crowder, Jaren Jackson Jr., Jonas Valanciunas, Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks.

The Memphis Grizzlies decided to go into rebuild mode after missing the playoffs in 2019. They first shipped out Marc Gasol before the season ended and finally parted ways with longtime veteran Mike Conley in the offseason. With these players gone, the Grizzlies look to young players to find future stars for their franchise.


Are you familiar with the team that put Tony Snell, Markieff Morris, Andre Drummond, Bruce Brown Jr. and Reggie Jackson on the court to start the season?

The 2019-20 season is a contract year for Andre Drummond, and he showed the Detroit Pistons that he's looking to get paid on opening night. In a winning effort, Drummond put up 32 points and an astounding 23 rebounds.


After adding Al Horford to the starting lineup, which team had a lot of hype coming into the 2019 season with Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson on the court for tip-off?

The Philadelphia 76ers ended the 2018-19 season with a devastating loss in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Simi-Finals. Coming into the 2019-20 season, they were picked by many analysts to make it to the NBA Finals, which they showed on opening night by getting a victory against the Boston Celtics.


What team opened the season with Rui Hachimura, Isaac Bonga, Thomas Bryant, Bradley Beal and Ish Smith as starters?

Bradley Beal surprised many people by signing a contract extension with the Washington Wizards before the start of the 2019-20 regular season. The Wizards have no other stars on their roster and most likely won't make a playoff run anytime soon, leaving Beal in a position where he's playing for individual awards.


In only his second NBA season, Luka Doncic proved from opening night that he was a superstar in the league while getting the start for which team beside Courtney Lee, Maxi Kleber, Delon Wright and Kristaps Porzingis?

European players are often overlooked in the NBA because many of them have been a bust over the past few decades, but the Dallas Mavericks decided to build a roster filled with European talent. In fact, their starting lineup had three European players: Luka Doncic, Kristap Porzingis and Maxi Kleber.


Who opened the season with Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, R.J. Barrett and Allonzo Trier on the court?

The New York Knicks not only missed out on the superstars who were free agents in 2019, but they also didn't receive the first overall pick as many expected. That forced the Knicks to fill their roster with mid-level talent, and it showed on opening night when they lost 120-111 to the San Antonio Spurs.


Can you identify the team that got a win in the first game of the season behind a starting lineup consisting of LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Trey Lyles, Bryn Forbes and Dejounte Murray?

Even as players have come and gone, including legends like Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs have not missed the playoffs since 1997. Continuing that trend in 2020 will be incredibly difficult considering the Western Conference is loaded with talent.


Match this starting lineup from the opening game to the correct NBA team: Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., Zach LaVine and Tomas Satoransky?

The Chicago Bulls have not come anywhere close to meeting the success the team had in the '90s. However, they do believe they have a star in Zach LaVine, who comes into the 2019-20 season off the best statistical year of his career.


P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges, Cody Zeller, Dwayne Bacon and Terry Rozier got which team a close win in the first game of the season?

The Charlotte Hornets knew they needed to start over after missing the playoffs in 2019, so they refused to offer a huge contract to keep Kemba Walker. Instead, they signed Terry Rozier, as they look to add young talent like him moving forward.


Where did Damian Lillard put up over 30 points as a starter alongside Rodney Hood, Zach Collins, Hassan Whiteside and C.J. McCollum?

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum finally led the Portland Trail Blazers to the Western Conference Finals in 2019, but they lost in four games to the Golden State Warriors. With the Warriors roster decimated, the Trail Blazers believe the 2019-20 season is their chance to finally win it all.


Name the team that struggled to put up points in the first game of the season with a starting lineup made up of Kevin Love, Cedi Osman, Tristan Thompson, Darius Garland and Collin Sexton?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have not recovered since the team lost LeBron James following their 2018 Finals appearance. They still have a few players from their last playoff team like Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, but the rest of the roster is still unproven in the NBA.


Do you know which team restarted their franchise by revamping their starting lineup with Danilo Gallinari, Terrance Ferguson, Steven Adams, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul?

The Oklahoma City Thunder once had three future MVPs on their roster: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. However, all three players are now suiting up elsewhere, which has set the Thunder back in terms of championship aspirations.


Nikola Vucevic led the charge alongside Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, Evan Fournier and D.J. Augustin for what team to get a win in the first game of the season?

In 2019, the Orlando Magic made the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Even though the team lost in the first round, it was a major step forward, launching them into the 2019-20 season with plenty of momentum.


Select the team that expected to have one of the best defenses in the league when they put Royce O'Neale, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley Jr. on the court opening night?

The Utah Jazz has a starting lineup filled with players who are willing defenders. Rudy Gobert, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, leads the charge on that side of the ball, ensuring that the Jazz has plenty of protection underneath the rim.


Kyrie Irving showed why he was such a sought after commodity in the offseason when he started the first game of the season alongside Taurean Prince, Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert for which team?

The Brooklyn Nets hit it big in the 2019 offseason by signing both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. However, Irving had to make his debut alone on opening night, as Durant was still recovering from an Achilles tear from the year prior.


Are you familiar with the team that trusted Treveon Graham, Robert Covington, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague to start the season?

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a starting lineup filled with talent, but the heart of some of the players has been called into question. For example, Andrew Wiggins was the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but he has yet to make an All-Star Game to match his draft status.


Pair this starting lineup to the team they played the opening game for: Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III, Dewayne Dedmon, Buddy Hield and De'Aaron Fox?

With athleticism all over the roster, the Sacramento Kings were one of the most entertaining teams to watch throughout the 2018-19 season. However, that didn't carry over into opening night of the 2019-20 season, as they suffered a blowout loss on the road.


Led by a starting lineup consisting of Kelly Oubre Jr., Dario Saric, Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio, which team got a big win in the first game of the season?

The Phoenix Suns have suffered mightily over the past decade, not making the NBA Playoffs since 2010. They have had plenty of opportunities at the top of the draft to find talent, but none of the players have panned out as of yet.


Can you identify the team that came into the 2019 season with plenty of hype because of their roster, including a starting lineup made up of Paul Millsap, Will Barton, Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray?

Nikola Jokic was supposed to be an MVP candidate coming into the 2019-20 season, but he's struggled for much of the year so far. His conditioning, in particular, has been called into question, especially after he came into the season overweight.


On which team did Trae Young explode in the first game of the season to lead a starting lineup also consisting of John Collins, De'Andre Hunter, Alex Len and Cam Reddish?

The Atlanta Hawks know their best bet to find success is to build a roster around Trae Young, who can shoot the ball from just about anywhere past half court. This floor-stretching ability is precisely what the modern NBA is about, and the Hawks understand this as well as anyone.


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