NBA All-Star Break: Are We Looking at Another Lakers-Celtics Finals?

With the basketball season moving towards the NBA All-Star break, the league is looking through the windshield at the trade deadline and playoff runs. Many teams are vying for position in the their respected conferences. Injuries, trade rumors, team identity and records against winning teams show which franchises will look to make a long run in June.

The Boston Celtics have shown that a collection of veterans playing together for multiple seasons is a blueprint for success in the spring. With the emergence of Rajon Rondo in the past few seasons, players like Kevin Garnett have had a lighter load, which is needed for the long stretches of a grueling NBA season.

Doc Rivers recently let the entire first team refrain from practice. This will help keeping the players' batteries charged in a hard-fought seven-game series. Boston looks like the team to beat right now, but injuries could occur to veterans any night.

The Miami Heat are still trying to establish an identity. LeBron James has and always was the lead dog, but where does that leave the rest of the team?

As recently as Sunday, Mike Miller was taking the last-second shot in Boston. When a team with three superstars is giving the ball to basically a sixth man in the clutch, what does that say about the culture of the team?

The Heat need to prove to the league that they can win against the elite teams. Maybe a true test in the playoffs will wake something up in them. Chemistry and depth will be a question until proven otherwise.

The Chicago Bulls have had injuries that have been hampering them all year. Derrick Rose has carried the team with his stellar play, but that alone will not put the Bulls in the driver’s seat.

Defense was supposed to be a focal point more this season. With the injury to Joakim Noah, the spark plug of the defense was gone. Carlos Boozer can do many things, but defense is low on the totem pole.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers