Playing Pretender or Contender with the NBA's Hottest Starting Teams

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Playing Pretender or Contender with the NBA's Hottest Starting Teams
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

As we've seen plenty of times in years past the first few weeks of the season aren't necessarily an example of how every team in the NBA is going to play for the remainder of the season. In fact, last year we saw the Boston Celtics make it to the Eastern Conference Finals despite an atrocious 4-8 start.

That being said, the same is true for teams who over-perform at the beginning of the season. Last year's Philadelphia 76ers ran out to a 10-3 start and had the league's best offense and defense a full three weeks into the season before falling back to Earth, barely finishing above .500 and losing in the second round of the playoffs.

There are quite a few teams we can look at and pretty much write off right out of the gate. It's pretty easy to look at the Golden State Warriors, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Charlotte Bobcats and rule them out as title contenders.

At the same time, there are a few teams that are hovering around .500 that can't be ruled out until their best player's left leg falls off, which of course includes the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics.

With a quick look at some of the more modest starting teams it's a pretty easy sell, but some of the teams starting hotter might need a longer, harder look. So let's do just that, making the cutoff point at at least three games above .500 to be considered a "hot starting" team.

All stats are as of November 26th, 2012.

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