Fourteen of the 16 teams that made the playoffs this season also made it the season before, but don't expect that number to be as high in 2013.
While there is a huge gap between the best and worst teams, the NBA gives the league's worst teams multiple chances to improve throughout the year.
Some teams, like the Charlotte Bobcats and Detroit Pistons, are still multiple pieces away from being a playoff contender. Fans can safely presume that both teams will be in the lottery again next year.
However, that isn't the case for all the teams that missed the playoffs last season.
The condensed season made last season unique, and we will likely see a few teams that are more efficient over the span of a normal regular season.
For new teams to make the playoffs, some of last year's participants will have to miss out.
A prime example of a team that isn't likely to make the playoffs is the Orlando Magic, who have made the playoffs in each of the past six seasons. They are facing an uphill battle if they hope to make the postseason for the seventh straight time.
In the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz are far from a sure thing to qualify for the playoffs.
Here are a handful of teams that are poised to make a run at the postseason.