Basketball may be a young man's game, but winning games and contending for titles in the NBA is (typically) the domain of grizzled veterans with old legs.
The Oklahoma City Thunder notwithstanding.
The league's young guns have added plenty of intrigue to the early portions of the 2012-13 season. Rising stars like James Harden, Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker have lifted their respective squads back into the ranks of respectability.
But for their teams and others to assert themselves as legitimate postseason contenders, they'll have to learn how to win away from home. Success in new and different environments, hostile and otherwise, requires more than just talent and machismo. Rather, teams that win consistently on the road are those that are experienced and well seasoned.
And I'm not talking about the kind of seasoning you'd find at your local supermarket. The type of seasoning that elevates NBA squads cannot be bought—unless an organization figures it best to spend on elder statesmen. The New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat are among the teams that have churned out positive results with this strategy.
Free of scrap-heap additions of this sort, these five teams will simply have to endure the growing pains that come with learning how to carry positive home results over to situations involving hotel rooms and foreign arenas.
Statistics and games discussed accurate through Nov. 27.