With just two weeks left in the regular season, the contenders and pretenders are beginning to take form.
Let's take a look at the 30 NBA teams as they currently stand prior to the homestretch.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder can score, and with the return of Thabo Sefolosha a few weeks ago, they are getting healthy. More importantly, the Thunder are playing better defense.
2. San Antonio Spurs
Despite losing to the Jazz on Monday, the Spurs are playing excellent basketball, evident by their recent 11-game winning streak. If they are healthy going into the playoffs, they will challenge the Thunder for a spot in the NBA Finals.
3. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have continued to win without Derrick Rose. The extra playing time for C.J. Watson and John Lucas will pay off in the playoffs, but the Bulls won’t get to the NBA Finals unless Rose is 100 percent healthy and playing at an MVP level.
4. Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett has continued to play well as a center and has transformed the Celtics into a playoff contender. The growth of Avery Bradley has given Doc Rivers a reliable second option and has allowed Ray Allen to become a reliable scorer coming off the bench. Like the Spurs, if the Celtics stay healthy, they will contend in the playoffs.
5. Miami Heat
LeBron James and the Heat may be the most talented team, but they don’t look mentally ready for the playoffs. Dwyane Wade still isn’t 100 percent, and Chris Bosh continues to look lost when it counts.
6. Los Angeles Lakers
Andrew Bynum will need to step it up if the Lakers want to contend. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol won’t be able to carry the Lakers to a title this year. Coach Mike Brown needs to find a way to motivate this team before time runs out.
7. Memphis Grizzlies
Gilbert Arenas has scored in double digits in three of the last four games, and Zach Randolph is regaining his form since returning almost four weeks ago, providing a scoring punch off the bench and getting back into game shape just in time for the playoffs.
8. Los Angeles Clippers
After winning eight of their last 10 games, the Clippers will face the Thunder twice in one week. These will be benchmark games for a team that has the talent, but needs to show the mental toughness needed to win in the playoffs.