The 2012-13 NBA season is a quarter of the way through, and some teams are already making their critics eat their words for underestimating them. Once midlevel or below-average teams now rank among the elite, exceeding any and all expectations others may have had prior to the start of the season.
Teams playing better than anticipated can be beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, surprises are always nice, and there is something uplifting about seeing an underdog team come out of the woodwork to play well. More importantly, it makes the landscape more intriguing and provides an edge to the competition down the road. This is what's going to make the rest of the season all the more fun to watch.
A handful of teams have done better than expected already, and it's going to be interesting to see if they can maintain their fast starts. These teams have played some mind-blowing basketball thus far, and it would be a shame to see them stop now that the season is entering its next stage.