As we get closer to the NBA Finals, the 2012 NBA Playoffs have dwindled to four teams. Of the 12 teams that have been sent home so far, a few are going to have a very difficult time making it back into the playoffs in 2013.
The natural progression of a growing team is to struggle to make the postseason and then continue advancing farther each year until it finally gets over the hump and wins an NBA title. Unfortunately, the teams highlighted in this slideshow won't get that opportunity to grow in the postseason next year.
Instead, they'll be replaced by younger, up-and-coming squads that are hungrier than they were this year. Here are the eliminated playoff teams that won't be back.