The final month of the NBA regular season holds a number of meanings for the league's 30 teams.
For the elites, the last stretch of basketball is a luxurious gift. There's time for a few minor adjustments to the playoff rotation. Rest takes precedence of wins and losses as the playoff picture grows clearer.
As for the bottom feeders, the focus shifts (or stays in some cases) to player development with future seasons in mind. Young talent takes center stage, with flashes of brilliance sprinkled between the inevitable growing pains.
For the franchises on this list, though, the final weeks of the season are nothing more than survival mode. That might mean fighting for playoff berths or defending lofty playoff seeds built on successes now fading in the rearview mirror.
No game is more important than the next one for these teams. But these stumbling clubs need to make sure that they keep their recent struggles from becoming a defining theme.