Howard Beck's Ultimate Guide

First-Round Playoff Schedule

Oklahoma City Thunder and the 10 Strongest Contenders for the NBA Title

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Oklahoma City Thunder and the 10 Strongest Contenders for the NBA Title
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With just a month left of regular season basketball, the NBA playoff picture is starting to settle.

While 16 teams make the playoffs, there are only a select few that can actually contend for championship gold.  

This season's playoffs will feature an intriguing mix of young blood taking their place among the association's elite teams.  

The 2000s were dominated by teams like the Lakers and Spurs, but now teams like the Thunder and the Heat are looking to take over in this decade.

Let's take a look at the 10 strongest contenders for this year's NBA title.

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