Pivot Points: Despite Issues, Lakers, Celtics Still the NBA’s Best

NBA history's most successful teams have resembled anything but, as the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics have found the last week devoid of anything similar to holiday cheer.

The two teams have combined to drop five out of their past seven games and have shown multiple cracks in what was felt to be impenetrable armour, along with giving hope to the other teams with championship aspirations.

Before the season started the Lakers and the Celtics were declared the odds-on favorites to win their respective conferences and to reprise their lopsided Finals matchup of 2008.

They looked every bit the part, as quick starts vaulted both to the top of the league standings and had fans of each team giddy with anticipation of a possible postseason showdown.

Each franchise recorded impressive double-digit win streaks and seemed to be in midseason form on both sides of the court, with most aspects of their games firing on all cylinders.

Despite their gaudy early season records, there were warning signs in their schedules that indicated their success may not be as substantial as it seemed, as they were both beneficiaries of soft or favorable schedules.

Only 10 out of Boston's first 31 opponents currently have winning records, and the Celtics lost four of those games, which include a sweep to Phoenix and losses at home to Orlando and Atlanta.

The Lakers had the advantage of playing 17 out of their first 21 games in the friendly confines of the Staples Center, and although 15 of their first 31 opponents currently have winning records, more than half of those 15 opponents consist of Oklahoma City, Phoenix, and Utah.

The Lakers did win nine of those games, but three came at the hands of OKC and two more were against the Suns, and both of those were at home.

Los Angeles has only lost three of their road games so far, but all three came at the expense of...

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