Each NBA team is a chemistry experiment. Talent alone does not win championships. General managers must put together the right mix of skills, experience and personalities in order to create a winning formula.
Elite teams typically have star power as well as a deep rotation of complementary players. They support one another, work as cohesive units on the court, are well-coached, have strong leadership and are playoff battle-tested.
The Miami Heat came together to win the NBA championship last season, and the San Antonio Spurs are perennial contenders behind the leadership of Tim Duncan. During the first two months of the 2012-13 season, a few other teams have proven themselves to be threats to dethrone the Heat.
Here are four teams that have arrived as title contenders.