The teams with the best records in the NBA right now will likely stay where they are throughout the season.
But why do those teams have the records that they have? Why is a team like the Golden State Warriors doing better than the Cleveland Cavaliers or Sacramento Kings?
The obvious answer is Golden State's talent and players. But every player in the league can play, so many different factors go into a team's success or failure.
Here are the reasons behind the success of the current top seven NBA teams according to record.
Last season, the Warriors finished with a mediocre 23-43 record in 66 games and were far out of the playoff chase. After adding a few key role players in Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, and nabbing Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli in the draft, the Warriors have turned their franchise around.
Golden State is top 10 in the NBA in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency. The Clippers, Spurs, and Thunder are the only other teams that rank in the top 10 in both of these categories. And hey, what do you know? Those three teams are the top three teams in the NBA right now.
Both Jack and Landry have always been underrated throughout their careers and could start for most of the other teams in the league.
It's a privilege to have just one of these guys coming off the bench, but both? That's a huge luxury most teams wish they had, and it helps take some of the burden off Curry and Lee.
After the Knicks beat the Spurs recently for the second time this season, they are continuing to prove that they are an elite team.
However, the reasons that the Knicks are elite are far different from the Warriors.
Instead of running a fluid offense through the point guard like the Warriors do, the Knicks primarily run their offense through Carmelo Anthony and multiple pick and roll sets. The Knicks have surrounded 'Melo with three point guards capable of shooting and running the pick and roll to help him out on offense.
As a result, the Knicks are tied with the Heat for the second most efficient offense in the league.
The Knicks have also had a top 10 defense through most of the season because of head coach Mike Woodson and the team's commitment to his defensive scheme.
In their most recent loss, the main problem was their lack of effort on defense. Even Amar'e has begun to realize that a strong defensive effort is needed in order to win championships.
The Grizzlies are an elite team because of a gritty defense and fabulous post play on offense.
The Grizzlies frontcourt combination of Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, and Zach Randolph is arguably the best frontcourt in the NBA. Not only are they all All-Star level talents, but they work well together and are fun to watch.
From Gasol's passing and rugged post defense, to Gay's versatility and shot-creation abilities and to the rebounding bull that is Randolph, it's no wonder why the Grizzlies are one of the best teams in the league.
On the defensive end, the Grizzlies are the second most efficient defensive team in the NBA and rank fourth in rebounding rate. It helps that they happen to have, arguably, the best perimeter defender in the league in Tony Allen, who is also paired up with an underrated defender in Mike Conley.
They're also tied for first in offensive rebounding rate with the Denver Nuggets, largely due to the presence of Randolph.
On top of all these players, they have a capable coach in Lionel Hollins, who proved his quality after the Grizzlies' surprising playoff run in 2011.
When the Heat won the championship last year, it changed the way every team perceived team structure and positions. The small-ball lineup used by Mike D'Antoni during his Phoenix days was thought incapable of winning a championship, but it's a completely different story with the Heat.
For one, the Heat have the best player in the world and two of the top 10 NBA players on their team, as well as a perennial All-Star in Chris Bosh.
The Heat offense runs through LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, as they use pick and rolls and drive and kicks to attack the opponent. In every lineup the Heat have used, either James or Wade is on the floor (not including garbage time at the end of games), so the defense must always respect them.
This has led to Miami having the highest effective field goal percentage of any team in the league.
On defense, the Heat have some great individual defenders in James, Wade, and Shane Battier, but their suffocating team defense is why opposing teams have such difficulty scoring against them.
Although their defense has slipped a bit this season, the Heat still have one of the league's best defenses when their effort is there.
It's not a surprise that the Spurs are still one of the best teams in the league after all these years.
Coach Gregg Popovich has done a great job of finding decent players with good potential like Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Kawhi Leonard and turning them into solid contributors on a team centered around an aging core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
The Spurs' offense primarily runs through their 'big 3' of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. It usually consists of a Duncan post-up, a Parker drive, Ginobili creating and quick ball reversals in order to find the open man. Green and Leonard are both capable perimeter defenders and shooters, so the defense cannot leave them open.
For years now, the Spurs have had the same offensive sets and kept intact their three best players. Once thought of as a slow, aging team, the Spurs overhauled a lot of their older role players in the 2011 offseason for younger talent to keep up with the increased pace in the NBA today.
The Clippers' recent 17-game winning streak proves that the team has one of the most balanced rosters in the league. It doesn't matter who you are, but you can't have a 17-game winning streak in the NBA without a great roster.
Great players get tired, but the Clippers have a legit 10 players who could probably start on other teams.
The Clippers are one of the best teams in the NBA mainly because they have the best point guard in Chris Paul and the most talented bench in the league. Their bench players average the second most points per game behind the Spurs, but they outscore their opponents' bench at an average of 16.2 points per game—tops in the NBA.
Blake Griffin, even though he has been averaging career lows across the board, has been steadily improving his defensive game. DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe have also developed nicely.
The Thunder are once again at the top of the Western Conference standings. The team runs a high-powered offense through their two superstars, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who have led the team to the highest offensive efficiency in the league.
Scott Brooks has proven to be a good coach for this young team and managed everyone's egos quite well so far. Even with the loss of the bearded wonder, James Harden, the Thunder are still the best team in the West.
Serge Ibaka is improving in all aspects of his game. Kendrick Perkins still dons his mean scowl. And Russell Westbrook is still taking more shots than Kevin Durant.
These are all the aspects of the Thunder that led them to an NBA Finals appearance last season, and they have a great chance of getting there again.