Heading into the final portion of the 2013-14 NBA regular season, it's time to sort the true championship contenders from the pretenders.
What makes a team a legitimate NBA title contender? I looked back at the 10 most recent champions and runners-up to find out.
Of the 20 teams that have advanced to the NBA Finals since 2004, all but three had a win percentage above .650, and all but five had a point differential above plus-four. Miami is the only team to have won a title with either a win percentage below .650 or a point differential below four (.634 and plus-3.9, respectively, in 2006).
Using those cutoffs as a reference point, only seven teams qualify as a true title contender this season. That's not to say one of these seven teams is guaranteed to win the championship, but at this juncture of the season, it's difficult to argue against these seven as the prohibitive title favorites.
Here, with the help of Basketball-Reference and NBA.com/Stats, let's look at the biggest strength and weakness of the seven main title contenders. For team-based stats, a squad had to be among the top five in a given stat for it to qualify as a "strength" or in the bottom 10 (ideally bottom five) for a "weakness."