How key storylines might play out

A Heat run at East's top seed among possible second-half outcomes

Updated: February 18, 2014, 11:13 AM ET
By Kevin Pelton | ESPN Insider

AP Photo/Lynne SladkyWill LeBron James and the Heat overtake Paul George and the Pacers in the East?

The NBA resumes play after the All-Star break on Tuesday night, and it's a two-month sprint -- or sometimes slog -- to the finish line of the regular season.

Based on trends from the first half, here are four outcomes we might see the rest of the way.

1. Miami makes a run at the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference


The Indiana Pacers have made home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs their mission since the start of the season, and for months they've been penciled into that spot. But after two Indiana losses in the last three games, the Miami Heat enter the stretch run just 2 1/2 games back, having picked up half a game on the Pacers since Indiana's win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 18.


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