A cohesive NBA starting lineup that blends the right amount of star power, role players, shooting, defense and ball movement can be a huge advantage to begin a game.

The reverse is also true, as having too many mouths to feed on offense, not enough floor spacing, playmakers or defenders can doom squads from the start.

As we near the quarter mark of the 2022-23 season, it's become clear that some teams already need to shake up their starting five.

For the following five franchises who've had starting units rank that woefully underperformed expectations, changes need to be made.


Cleveland Cavaliers

Starting Five: PG Darius Garland, SG Donovan Mitchell, SF Caris LeVert, PF Evan Mobley, C Jarrett Allen

Net Rating: minus-4.3 in 222 possessions (36th percentile)

Cleveland had four starters locked in the moment it traded for Mitchell, as a backcourt of he and Garland gave the Cavs a pair of All-Star guards to counter a frontcourt of Mobley and Allen, the latter of whom was another 2022 All-Star.

The starting small forward position was an open battle eventually won by LeVert, with players like Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and Dean Wade all making their cases during the preseason.

In a vacuum, LeVert is the best overall player of the group, but that doesn't mean he's the best fit amongst a core that's all under contract for the next three-to-six seasons. The Cavs need someone who can defend and hit open threes, something LeVert's only shown the ability to do in spurts.

His playmaking is far more valuable off the bench, especially while the Cavaliers await Ricky Rubio's return from a torn ACL. The Cavs' reserves rank 27th in scoring (28.4 points per game) and 21st in assists (6.1), an area LeVert (12.3 points, 4.9 assists, 39.7 percent from three) could make a real impact on.

Cleveland recently tried LeVert off the bench for the first time in a win over the Charlotte Hornets and inserted Lamar Stevens in his place, who's been out of the rotation for most of the season.

Stevens is a good, multi-positional defender but a suspect outside shooter who doesn't bring much to the table offensively. It's clear the position still isn't settled.

In a perfect world, Okoro would have secured this spot by now. Instead, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 draft is off to the worst start of his three-year career, averaging a measly 2.7 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 16.4 minutes. He's made just two of his 16 three-point attempts (12.5 percent) and rarely even draws his defender's attention from outside the arc.

Instead, the answer to who should start in place of LeVert is clear.

Wade is the perfect fitting piece amongst these starters as a 6'9" forward who's knocking down 50 percent of his threes, defending at a high level and has a sparkling swing rating of plus-16.3, ranking in the 93rd percentile.

Currently sidelined with knee soreness, Wade needs to enter the starting lineup upon his return and let LeVert lead a bench that also features Kevin Love, Okoro, Osman, Stevens, Robin Lopez, Raul Neto and, eventually, Rubio.