Christmas is just around the corner, and by this point in the NBA season, we're usually able to separate the contenders from the pretenders.
That isn't necessarily the case this year, however: Quite a few teams hovering around .500 are poised to turn things around once the calendar turns to 2013. Injuries have limited a number of these squads so far in the early going, but for others, a road-heavy schedule has made life incredibly difficult.
With more than 50 games left before the playoffs, there's plenty of time for every team in the league to make a run. The new year will bring new fortunes for many, and those who appear destined for the second season should pay close attention to those in their rearview mirrors.