The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers were so strong out of the gate, their fans formed summer vacation plans around a postseason run guaranteed to last at least through the Eastern Conference Finals.
Late-season scuffles can't erase months of domination, but our eyes can't avoid seeing these NBA immortals show a hint of vulnerability.
Panicking about these beasts from the East would be foolish. Dispatching them with a worry-free dismissal, though, wouldn't be any wiser.
Something is going on. Not just with these Eastern Conference powers, but also with some of the giants lurking on the other side of the map.
While alarm sirens aren't being sounded, eyebrows are certainly raised.
So, what is it that has us concerned about these five NBA contenders? More importantly, what needs to happen for order to be restored?