The NBA season is long, and perspective on Christmas Eve is far different than reality in June.
Sometimes it's best to step aside and let a guy who has been through it all offer some first-hand analysis.
A lengthy one-on-one conversation with Los Angeles Lakers veteran Antawn Jamison prior to Saturday night's game at Golden State offered plenty of that grander perspective.
While Jamison has plenty of reasons to be negative as he flounders in Los Angeles, one of the league's straight shooters opted not to badmouth his new squad and, instead, chose to reveal context.
I've known the veteran since his days with the Golden State Warriors, and when things were bad, he said they were bad. So his words in our conversation about the Lakers' future carried weight.
"I’ve been in the league 15 years, and I know that everything doesn't always go the way you want it to go," Jamison said. "So for us, we're just preaching patience, pulling for one another, and we’ll start playing our best basketball at the right time.
"You know it’s a long season, we just need to continue playing. We've got to stay positive and everything will take care of itself."
Jamison is a quality guy, and sometimes it's the big-picture mind of a veteran like him that brings some perspective. Things have been bad for the Lakers, but it's far from over.
And that doesn't just go for the Lakers, but the entire league—good or bad.
While things might look rough in November or December, there's still plenty of time to move back in the right direction, or vice versa.
The New York Knicks have found early success in the regular season, but does their top record in the Eastern Conference make them favorites for the finals?
What does it mean that the Chicago Bulls are in first place even without Derrick Rose?
Let Jamison's words of perspective help guide this list of favorites.
Remember, this list of contenders shouldn't serve as power rankings or a guide to the current standings. These are the top 10 favorites for an NBA title.
(All statistics accurate as of Dec. 24)