Making the NBA playoffs shouldn't be taken for granted by teams who managed to get in the season prior. In fact, a number of squads that cruised into the playoffs last season will have to fight tooth and nail in order to get back there again.
Last year's NBA champion Dallas Mavericks seem to be struggling, and their new acquisitions haven't paid off.
The Chris Paul trade and an injury to Zach Randolph have ended the New Orleans Hornets' and Memphis Grizzlies' playoff hopes.
Even traditional powerhouses in the Eastern Conference like the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks will have trouble making the playoffs with the way that both teams have been playing.