It will take awhile for you to have access to the entire lineup featured in NBA Playgrounds, but if you know the best players in NBA Playgrounds, you won’t need the entire lineup. In NBA Playgrounds Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan are not available, but this article covers the best players in NBA Playgrounds so you know who to use for your play style without having to look through every player to figure it out on your own. Of course the stats don’t mean everything in this game, but they do mean a lot, so our selections may not match up with yours, but it’s what we’ve had the most success with.

The players in NBA Playgrounds are rated in a variety of categories, but when it comes down to it only a handful of those categories really matter against the AI or other players. Stamina, speed, and 2-pointer stats aren’t going to win you many games against skilled players. However, dunks can fill your Lottery Bar quickly to get you faster power-ups, three-pointers will keep you in the game or extend your lead, steals are the life blood of NBA Playgrounds and blocks and rebounds can turn the tide in your favor.

We’ve already covered stats for all players, so reference that if you need to check out any of the players that aren’t listed here. You can also find some useful tips for perfect shots and even how to make normal shots.

Good Pairs

These pairs are just some examples we’ve put together. You can match almost any two players with the stats you’re looking for and create a good pairing, but these sample pairing should give you an idea of where to start.

John Stockton and Stephen Curry

Player Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
John Stockton 2 9 9 10 2 10 8 3 Epic
Stephen Curry 3 10 9 8 2 7 9 4 Legend

These two make a nearly unmatched three-point shooting and stealing combo. Both have very high three-point and stealing stats with high speed to boot. You won’t be blocking any shots or getting many rebounds, but your job here is to steal the ball often and convert that into a three-pointer on the other end of the court. This stops the opposing team from scoring and keeps you in the lead with constant three-pointers.

Jeremy Lin and Bill Russell

Player Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
Jeremy Lin 3 8 8 9 2 7 9 3 Common
Bill Russell 5 1 6 6 10 7 5 10  

Steals and three-pointers win games, but if you want a little bit defense to go along with that, this pairing will do well for you. Lin has high three-pointer and steal stats, while Russell has the top block and rebound stats in the game. Together you can steal the ball with Lin, then pop a three-pointer on the other end, and leave Russell to block shots and grab any rebounds. Between the two you have all the important aspects of NBA Playgrounds covered.

Scottie Pippen and Hakeem Olajuwon

Player Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
Scottie Pippen 9 7 8 9 1 7 6 4 Legend
Hakeem Olajuwon 7 2 8 6 8 5 6 8  

Dunking isn’t the most important aspect of NBA Playgrounds if you’re trying to win, but it does fill your Lottery Picks bar quickly, and it looks flashy. Pippen allows you to focus on three-pointers and steals to win games, with Olajuwon handling blocks and rebounds, but both players can take it to the hole with some fancy dunks if you want to add a bit of finesse to your play style, or you’re focused on building your Lottery Picks bar as quickly as possible.

Stephen Curry and Bill Laimbeer

Player Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
Stephen Curry 3 10 9 8 2 7 9 4 Legend
Bill Laimbeer 3 8 8 6 5 5 5 8 Common

With the new change to stealing so that it now requires stamina, high-level NBA Playgrounds has changed. Instead of going to endless steals, you have to time your steals and even wait for a crossover before you try a steal. This allows the offense to go for shots a little easier and makes blocking more important. With this combo of Curry and Laimbeer you get 3-pointers and steals from both players, as well as solid rebounds and decent blocks from Laimeer. That allows you to defend with Laimbeer, go for a steal and follow up with a block if you miss the steal attempt.

Steals

Having a high steal stat is good, but it’s not enough. After getting a successful steal you want to be able to convert that into a three-pointer on the other end of the court. The players listed here all have high steal stats as well as high three-point stats so they can help on offense and defense.

Jason Kidd - Dallas Mavericks

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
3 7 8 10 1 7 9 5 Epic

Jeremy Lin - Brooklyn Nets

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
3 8 8 9 2 7 9 3 Common

John Stockton - Utah Jazz

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
2 9 9 10 2 10 8 3 Epic

Magic Johnson - Los Angeles Lakers

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
4 8 10 8 2 7 7 6 Legend

Scottie Pippen - Chicago Bulls

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
9 7 8 9 1 7 6 4 Legend

Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
3 10 9 8 2 7 9 4 Legend

3-Pointers

These are the pure shooters in NBA Playgrounds. You can pretty much shoot from anywhere on your side of the court and the shot will go in (so long as your timing is good). Dirk Nowitzki even has a signature moves that allows him to perform a fade-away three-pointer that’s extremely difficult to block. Combine this with some of the power-ups in the game and Dirk might be the best player in the game.

Chris Mullen - Golden State Warriors

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
3 9 9 7 3 7 6 5 Common

Dell Curry - Charlotte Hornets

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
4 9 9 7 2 7 6 5 Common

Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
4 9 9 7 3 5 5 5 Legend

John Stockton - Utah Jazz

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
2 9 9 10 2 10 8 3 Epic

Ray Allen - Milwaukee Bucks

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
4 10 9 7 2 7 7 4 Epic

Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
3 10 9 8 2 7 9 4 Legend

Blocks

If you stand around the key with a player that has a high block stat, it's very easy to wait until someone shoots or dunks and go for a block. Just jump straight up and with a little bit of timing you'll swat everything away. Perfect this strategy and it almost doesn't matter what you do on the offensive end because you'll be blocking a good 70-80 percent of the shots your opponent takes.

Bill Russell - Boston Celtics

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
5 1 6 6 10 7 5 10  

David Robinson - San Antonio Spurs

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
7 2 8 4 10 5 6 7 Epic

Hassan Whiteside - Miami Heat

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
6 2 8 3 9 5 5 9 Common

Joel Embiid - Philadelphia 76ers

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
5 6 7 6 10 5 3 6 Common

Robert Perish - Chicago Bulls

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
5 2 8 5 9 5 4 10 Epic

Rudy Gobert - Utah Jazz

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
4 2 7 6 10 5 4 9  

Rebounds

Most of the players we recommended for blocking can also support your team with rebounds. Therefore the players listed here have an additional bonus alongside their extreme ability to dominate the boards. Take Bill Laimbeer, Larry Johnson or Enes Kanter for example. All three have high rebound stats, but they can also shoot three-pointers at the drop of a dime. Pair them with someone who can steal and shoot, or if you’re going for a big body team, a player who can block, and you’ve got a dominant team on both ends of the court.

Bill Laimbeer - Detroit Pistons

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
3 8 8 6 5 5 5 8 Common

Enes Kanter - Oklahoma City Thunder

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
5 7 8 3 5 5 6 8 Common

Greg Monroe - Milwaukee Bucks

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
6 2 8 8 4 5 6 8 Common

Kevin Love - Cleveland Cavaliers

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
4 6 7 7 5 7 5 8 Common

Larry Johnson - Charlotte Hornets

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
8 7 8 2 2 7 8 8 Common

Nikola Jokic - Denver Nuggets

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
4 4 9 7 6 7 3 9 Common

Dunks

Dunking is more about being flashy than anything else, but in NBA Playgrounds it can fill your Lottery Picks bar quickly. However, you don’t really want a player who only excels at dunking, so the players listed here can throw down with the best of them, but they can also drain a three-pointer or have high block, steals or rebound stats as well. Players like this make your team well-rounded instead of adding a player who is only good at dunking.

Clyde Drexler - Portland Trailblazers

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
9 7 8 7 2 7 5 5 Epic

Larry Johnson - Charlotte Hornets

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
8 7 8 2 2 7 8 8 Common

Paul George - Indiana Pacers

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
8 8 7 7 2 7 8 4 Common

Scottie Pippen - Chicago Bulls

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
9 7 8 9 1 7 6 4 Legend

Shaquille O’Neal - Los Angeles Lakers

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
8 2 9 4 8 5 5 9 Legend

Walt Frazier - New York Knicks

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
8 8 10 7 2 7 6 2 Epic

Zach LaVine - Minnesota Timberwolves

Dunk 3-Pts 2-Pts Steal Blocks Speed Stamina Rebound Rarity
9 7 7 7 2 7 7 3 Common

We’ve got all player stats as well as other strategy and advice in our NBA Playgrounds game hub!