Friday January 25th, 2013

We're already halfway through the season, but we're just starting to find out whether teams are saddling up for a playoff run or slowing down for the stretch run.

While some teams are firmly entrenched on their side of the spectrum, a majority of teams lurk in the middle. The Thunder, who return to the top spot in the Power Rankings for the first time in four weeks after beating the Clippers, lead a small group of teams that are all but certain to make the playoffs. Then there's the small collection of teams forming at the bottom, lowlighted by the Bobcats, who are unlikely to turn their seasons around barring a miraculous turn of events.

That leaves about half of the league trying to decide if it's gunning for the postseason or the lottery. Rather than look back and critique the past few months, let's look toward the future and break down what each team needs to do to have a successful second half of the season.

Here's where all 30 teams rank as we focus on the present while keeping an eye on the future.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.