Age—and perhaps even more importantly, experience—are vital to NBA success. Many of the league's better teams (the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago, San Antonio, Miami, New York) boast an average age of 28 or more, while a number of bottom feeders (Cleveland, New Orleans, Charlotte) have an average age of 25 years or less.
With age comes experience, and the veteran savvy that comes with a few extra miles on the odometer is an extremely valuable asset over the course of an 82-game season.
That's not to say that young teams can't be competitive, however: Golden State, Houston and Portland are all proof of that. And just as there's a gap between the haves and the have-nots in the Association as a whole, there's a noticeable difference between the league's better young teams and those inexperienced squads struggling to find an identity.
(Note: All statistics are accurate as of Jan. 18. Average ages per basketball-reference.com.)