In each NBA season, certain teams are usually a lock to make the playoffs. This group includes the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, among others.
Then, every year, there are the small handful of teams that come out of nowhere and perform well, either from start to finish or over the final month of the season. The 2012-13 season is only a little over a month old, but the surprise teams of the year are already starting to fall into place. Come playoff time, they will be the ones to watch against the more experienced squads.
One group that immediately comes to mind is the Golden State Warriors, who have found their balance and are making a lot of noise in the Western Conference. Their defense is starting to perform on the same wavelength as the offense, and the fans are roaring as a result.
Once the postseason rolls around, they and other surprising teams will start to establish themselves as the new generation of playoff basketball.
Note: All records and stats are accurate entering play on Monday, Dec. 10.