Let's play teacher.
No, I'm not going to school you on how to play basketball, informing you about the merits of pin-down screens, two-for-one situations and when to hedge against pick-and-roll sets. Instead, I'm going to hand out letter grades for each of the NBA's 30 teams.
Expectations matter a lot here.
A 4-3 start to the 2013-14 season is not the same for the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers, as one team is expecting to three-peat and the other was widely assumed to be one of the worst teams in NBA history. But that's only one example.
What fun would it be if the grades just proceeded to go up as we rose up in the standings? Record matters, but so too does context and the way in which the record was achieved.
As a reference point, I consider "B" to be an average grade, which means that the team receiving that mark is falling in line with the expectations (or experiencing a weird mix of unforeseen circumstances, as was the case for two squads). It's also worth noting that alphabetical order was used when teams received the same grade; I'm not tacitly showing favoritism.
Here's hoping that your favorite team is passing!