Defense and experience wins games in the postseason. The veteran NBA teams who are built for the playoffs have just the right balance of both.
These veteran groups use their NBA experience to their advantage by defending collectively. They feature leaders on the defensive end of the floor as well as superstars who can take games over on a moment's notice.
If the regular season ended today, each of the veteran teams on this list would open the playoffs as at least a No. 4 seed in their respective conference.
Three of these teams also rank in the top five for defensive efficiency. The other two rank among the top 16 while employing a defensive standout who will be critical in the playoffs.
All five of these veteran teams built for playoff success are also among the league's 10 oldest, with average roster ages of at least 27 years old.
Despite their run to the NBA Finals last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder were not considered for this veteran list due to their average age of 24.8. That number still ranks the Thunder as the fifth-youngest team in the NBA for the 2012-13 season.
The Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers, while also excelling on the defensive end, are each among the youngest half of teams in the NBA this season as well.
The sub-.500 Boston Celtics—though they are a veteran team, and they rank eighth in defensive efficiency—were left off this list primarily due to a rebounding rate that is the second-worst mark in the NBA.