5 NBA Teams Facing 'Championship or Bust' Seasons in 2012-13

Vinny HardyCorrespondent INovember 1, 2012

5 NBA Teams Facing 'Championship or Bust' Seasons in 2012-13

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    So many things we deal with involve stages or phases. It may be a project at work that requires several things to take place in a certain manner before it can be completed.

    Our very lives themselves are at various different stages. Some of you reading this are young adults, some are middle age, others are senior citizens, etc.

    The same applies for the NBA teams we follow. Some are engulfed in rebuilding, some are reloading, others are primed and ready to win now.

    They are all at different stages of their existence as a franchise.

    Let's look at five teams who have put themselves in position to win it all this season.

5. San Antonio Spurs

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    The San Antonio Spurs are going to be another year older. We've heard this for years when the core three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are mentioned.

    The Spurs were 96 minutes away from making another trip to the NBA Finals last season. They had their hands around the throats of the exuberant Oklahoma City Thunder before surprisingly losing their grip and succumbing to OKC in six games.

    Kawhi Leonard and the rest of the young supporting cast now have a little more experience under their belts which may help them finish this time around in the playoffs.

4. Boston Celtics

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    The Boston Celtics' Big Three has evolved a bit since Ray Allen left to join the rival Miami Heat.

    Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo are back and ready to challenge the defending champs again for Eastern Conference supremacy.

    If Doc Rivers' guys bow out to them again, there's no doubt this will be the end of these Celtics as we know them.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    The Oklahoma City Thunder are still way ahead of schedule when you consider how young they are and how formidable they already are.

    They learned some tough lessons at the hands of the Miami Heat in last year's NBA Finals. Getting back is never guaranteed.

    The Thunder are confident, though, as they traded James Harden, a key component to their success to the Houston Rockets just before the start of the season.

    Excitement abounds among all parties involved. It will be interesting to see if Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb can step in and help them remain the best team in the West.

2. Miami Heat

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    The Miami Heat set this bar for themselves. They are the defending champs. They have one title now.

    However, one was just the starting point for them. They had to have one in order to start working on the multiple championships that they said they would win. This is where they are.

    It doesn't matter what we think. Most people's minds aren't going to change when it comes to LeBron James and the Heat. Now everyone is just sitting back waiting to see if they can continue to walk the walk.

1. Los Angeles Lakers

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    It's still early, but Laker Nation is up in arms over their team's rough start out of the gate. So far they are starting this season the same way they finished up last season.

    The windows of opportunity in sports are always short ones and will only get shorter faster if things start bad and stay bad.

    Mike Brown, a questionable hire from the start, will continue to feel the heat. Steve Nash looked his age in the season opener and now has an injured shin on top of that.

    Again, it's early, but the Lakers know that only thing that cures these ills is a title in 2012-13.