With half the season in the books, we are starting to get a pretty good look at how the NBA playoff picture is beginning to shape up, as some teams have outplayed their early season expectations and some have struggled to live up to the hype.
The emergence of a new crop of young stars and preseason trades has brought a changing of the guard in the NBA. Some of these moves have worked out for teams; others have seemed to flop as the season reaches its midway point.
Here's a look at the biggest surprises and disappointments so for this NBA season.
The Golden State Warriors were plagued by injuries last year and struggled to a 23-43 record in a season where the team chose to part ways with star guard Monta Ellis.
The team has seen stellar play from guard Stephen Curry and forward David Lee, who recently became the first Warrior selected to an All-Star roster since Latrell Sprewell in 1997.
The team has struggled with injuries again this season, but unlike last year, they have been able to overcome their losses.
They played strongly in the absence of Andrew Bogut earlier this season with Curry and Lee shouldering the load, and when Bogut came back and Curry went down, Bogut picked up the slack.
The Warriors have shown they are for real and will be a dangerous team come playoff time.
The Lakers have played better as of late to get themselves at least back in the hunt for an eight seed, but given the expectations going into the season, they have to be the biggest disappointment of the NBA season.
That has dropped to 16/1 at the midway mark in a season fraught with turmoil. The team struggled early without Nash, and tensions in the clubhouse were high enough to cause Mike Brown's firing.
Laker players seem to have bought into Kobe Bryant and Mike D'Antoni's system, but it may be too late for a team that had nothing less than a title on its mind only a few months ago.
The best Bulls fans could have expected going into this season was for the team to hang around close enough in the standings to make a late playoff push when Rose finally returned.
Instead, the Bulls have exceeded everyone's expectations, sitting just one game back of Indiana for the Central Division lead and primed to get a home playoff series.
Joakim Noah was playing outstanding basketball before his injury problems, and Luol Deng has compensated for the loss of Rose's scoring.
Rose is already practicing and looks to return around the All-Star break. With the way the team has been playing in his absence, Chicago could be a serious threat to the Heat in the East.
Much like the Lakers, the Celtics have been playing better as of late, but it seems as if time may have finally caught up to this Celtics team.
They have struggled this season to maintain the staunch defense that has kept the team at the top of the East since Kevin Garnett arrived. The team has looked tired at times.
The injury to Rajon Rondo only compounds the Celtics problems, and it's hard to see them maintaining their current run for much longer without their floor general.
The Celtics are currently fighting for an eight seed in the Eastern Conference and certainly aren't playing up to the expectations of Doc Rivers and the veteran players.
The New York Knicks coming together early has been one of the biggest surprises this season, as they have taken over the Atlantic Division from the Celtics.
The Knicks have superstars like Carmelo Anthony, but the role players have been the key for a Knicks team that shoots the lights out.
The decision to have Stoudemire come off the bench since his return has also payed dividends for a Knicks team that now has rhythm and flow with their rotations.
Everything that went wrong for the Knicks in past seasons has suddenly gone right, and they look to be one of the top contenders to come out of the East come the playoffs.